It promised to be the ultimate shopping experience, bringing together a vast range of retail outlets under one roof to deliver a sophisticated flavour to Sharm El Sheikh.
With this in mind, I visited Genena City for the first time. I was expecting something reminiscent of City Stars in Cairo and although what I discovered was quite different I wasn’t disappointed.
The first thing that occurred to me was the amount of space which the design of Genena affords. I arrived at 9pm and found it fairly quiet but as time drew on and the crowds increased, I quickly saw the benefit as the open spaces gave the impression it wasn’t as busy as it actually was.
As a seasoned shopper who looks to the experience as well as the shops themselvesas of equal importance, this was a huge plus.
I wandered around with no particular agenda, rather to see what would reach out and grab me. I saw branches of chain stores I have been to in both Sharm and Cairo so felt instantly at home with the familiarity.
As well as the chain stores, there were many independent fashion retailers offering a wide range of items from everyday beachwear, sports clothing and casual wear to the high end of retailers, offering a more sophisticated collection for those looking for something for a night out or special occasion.
One of the clever strategies I came across whilst going into stores is that many are divided into menswear, womenswear and children. avoids the pacing up and down I normally find in European shopping centres where in most cases shops are specifically targeted to just one of these categories.
This meant that as I was shopping with my teenage nephew and pre-teen daughter, we all had something to go off and look for – and anyone with children will know is a life-saving feature that helps reduce the questions of “when is my turn” and the like; a huge 1-0 to Egyptian strategy there.
In typical Egyptian style, the store staff were only too happy to assist – whether it is looking for your chosen size or making suggestions based upon what you are wearing or have shopping bags to show where you have already been!
This can and does take off the hassle of searching for what you need as, personallyI tend to become bored and disinterested if it looks like it’s turning into a chore more than a pleasurable experience.
Because of its grand appearance and pristine condition of surroundings, one could be forgiven for assuming Genena City is going to burn a large hole in your wallet. I’m happy to report this isn’t necessarily the case. The reality is that it is cross section of retailers to suit all budgets and tastes, which is really good news for residential customers as well as tourists.
One thing I did note was there are still a considerable amount of unoccupied units which when they were grouped together gave an almost deserted feel to certain parts of the centre. I was hoping to find at least one or two electrical item stores but so far these are lacking.
Mobile phone stores were plentiful so maybe this will extend itself to a number of electrical retailers in time to come. I do feel confident and certainly hope in the future that these will eventually become occupied and become part of the vibrant array of shops that have already taken the opportunity to branch out within this very promising new development.
I wasn’t looking for anything in particular and in the true to form style, I emerged from the doors laden with bags from several different stores. I was however hoping to see a range of local, more traditional things to browse and buy and I was not disappointed. Scarves, branded sportswear and smart casual clothing pieces were in abundance and we came away with bags full of these!
The relaxed approachand the great customer service means I will definitely be a regular visitor and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend a visit to all, regardless of your budget, preferences or taste – this is a shopping centre that commands the use of the cliché; there is something here for everyone.