By Margaret Sheard…..
I had previously heard reports of the wonderful 1001 Airport Mall, which is situated on the main Lefkoşa/Gazi Mağusa road at the junction to Ercan Airport, and we decided it was time to go and visit the Mall ourselves. We were not disappointed, it is indeed a great place to visit and for sure we will go again.
On arriving at the parking area it was good to see that thought had been given to the hot summers and the majority of the car parking area is under canvas awning so no more returning to a vehicle which feels like entering a sauna.
The Mall entrance area was decorated with balloons, natural foliage with a large statue and sheep ornaments and we noted there were wheelchairs for disabled people. In the Mall itself we were very impressed to see areas to our left and right with many shops selling a good range and variety of items.
We started on the left side where there was an information counter where we talked to the staff who were very helpful, there are a number of quality clothes shops, linens, porcelain, a bank, computer, TV and white goods, and a huge yapi market where there was I would think everything you might need for the home from furnishings and lighting to decorating materials, plastic-ware and much more. At this end of the Mall were the toilets and I must say they were excellent – very modern and very clean.
After wandering around this end of the Mall we started on the other end where we found jewellery, shoes, mother and baby, more clothes shops and a huge toy shop. There is a large seating area surrounded by food outlets giving a large range of different types of snacks. As we didn’t want to eat we chose to have a coffee and sat in the outside seating area to relax and discuss what we had seen.
Throughout the concourse there were a number of antique and very colourful 3-wheeler trike trucks with the Arcelik logo on the front, and we noted one of them, a bright red truck, was filled with all manner of sizes and colours of bra’s.
After our break we continued exploring the Mall and came to the area which is dedicated to the younger generation and children. There is a huge play area for the younger children with a host of playthings to keep them amused. In a smaller area there are games for the older children. All around the Mall we were seeing staff dressed as cartoon characters walking around and having fun and photos taken with the children.
The building which was originally occupied by 1001 has had a major facelift and refurbishment and we finished our tour with a visit to 1001 and were very impressed with the layout and items on offer. The 1001 store boasts a food hall with a large vegetable section as well as their normal range of many goods and there is even a very nice small cafeteria area where you can sit for a drink and perhaps one of their delicious looking cakes.
So our impression of the 1001 Airport Mall – brilliant, and we will certainly visit again. I believe this is the first authentic modern style Mall in North Cyprus and it would be nice to see more springing up in other areas in the future, to enjoy stress free shopping in a very nice environment. On a previous visit to the UK we visited the Lakeside shopping centre in Essex which has a huge mall, much larger in scale than the 1001 Airport Mall but North Cyprus is now getting to be so much more advanced and sophisticated to 12 years ago when I first came to live here.