The face of Sarajevo is changing: many old buildings have been refurbished and some new ones are being built. Especially a few shopping centres. One of them is the BBI Centar, that opened in april 2009, right in the hearth of the city. "It was designed under the highest construction and architectural standards. The centre has replaced a shopping centre called “Sarajka” that was a symbol of Sarajevo. The building comprises of approximately 43,000 sqm, including 7,000 sqm of office space."
The BBI has has a supermarket, a practitioner, a beauty centre, an hairdresser, a gym, a car wash, ATM machines, banks, restaurants, coffee bars, playroom and many luxury shops.

Since its opening it has been visited by thousands of visitors but it arouse a strong controversy (see a take on this issue on Balkan Insight's blog): the money used to build the complex came for the United Arab Emirates and the Bosnia Banka International, who owns the center, operates in a way that complies with sharia rules: so they don't sell alcohol or pork meat in restaurants, bars and in the supermarket. Some people saw this "imposition" as a limitation of their freedom and the beginning of the predominance of religious rules in the city.


© Marco Pavan, 2009
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