J-Lo first customer of Morocco Mall, Africa's largest
Palm trees are seen underneath an atrium at a new shopping mall in in Casablanca, Morocco, Thursday, Dec. 1, 2011. AP PhotoHollywood A-lister Jennifer Lopez jetted over from Los Angeles to Casablanca to inaugurate the Morocco Mall, billed as Africa's largest shopping centre and among the world's top five.
After King Mohammed VI's sister, Princess Lalla Meryem, officially opened the mall on Thursday, the US star became its first customer and capped the glitzy launch with a private concert.
"She was magnificent in that show," a wealthy Moroccan businessman who made it on the very exclusive guest list told AFP Friday.
The sprawling "megamall", which sits on 10 hectares (250 acres) of land facing the Atlantic Ocean, aims to attract 14 million visitors a year and become one of Africa's top tourist destinations.
According to its developers, Moroccan group Aksal and Saudi group Al Jedaie, the mall will lead to the creation of 5,000 direct and 21,000 indirect jobs.
Among the 600 brands represented in the mall, the Galeries Lafayette outlet earned Italian architect Davide Padoa a Guinness World Record for "the largest in-store shop facade." "I am an artist, they call me the poet of architecture," the 41-year-old Padoa told AFP.
One of the mall's design landmarks is the central aquarium, which holds a million litres of water and has a lift running through its core.