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New Typologies of Contemporary Shopping Malls in Egypt


Contemporary shopping malls in Egypt have created new public spaces for lifestyle and leisure, which complement the commercial logic of consumer behavior. Mega malls in Egypt are simultaneously merging shopping, leisure, and entertainment, creating an ambivalence. They are representations of the globalized economy, but also manifest a certain uniqueness through their typology, their mode of insertion in the urban fabric and the type of public spaces created in them. This paper traces four new typologies in the design of six mega shopping malls in Egypt, constructed since 2010, as they integrate new public gathering spaces for leisure, recreation, and entertainment. Data on the new malls in Egypt was collected from corporate websites and promotional brochures, Google Maps and Street View, TripAdvisor, social media websites, visitor comments and news articles. A key finding is the trend of integration of large outdoor recreational spaces such as courtyards and plazas in mall design, the inclusion of a water element for attraction as well as the transition in function from simply offering goods and services to one that offers experiences and events to encourage recurring visits to the mall. The transformation of the mall parallels changes in conceptualizing the city of the 20th century as a large marketplace, an emporium of consumption, to conceptualizing the city of the 21st century as a large theatre and a festive place.

Pages:95 to 122
Section: Space
How to Cite
Youssef, K. (2021) “New Typologies of Contemporary Shopping Malls in Egypt”, The Journal of Public Space, 6(1), pp. 95-122. doi:

Author Biography

Mount Royal University
Canada Canada

Karim W. F. Youssef is a lecturer in the Department of General Education at Mount Royal University and has previously lectured in the Department of Geography at the University of Calgary. Karim started his academic career as a demonstrator assisting students in architectural design studios. He specializes in environmental design with a PhD degree from the University of Calgary and a Master’s Degree from the University of Montreal.


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