Top shopping malls in Cuba 2023! When you think of Cuba, you might imagine its colorful colonial buildings, its vibrant music and dance, its rich history and culture, or its famous cigars. But did you know that Cuba also has some of the best shopping malls in the Caribbean? In this article, we will explore the top shopping malls in Cuba in 2023, where you can find everything from local handicrafts to international brands, from traditional cuisine to modern entertainment.
Cuba has been undergoing a gradual economic and social transformation since the 1990s, opening up to foreign investment, tourism, and private enterprise. As a result, the country has seen the growth of new commercial and retail spaces, especially in the capital city of Havana and the popular tourist destination of Varadero. These shopping malls offer a variety of products and services, catering to different tastes and budgets.
The best shopping malls in Cuba in 2023, how to get to Plaza La Estrella, the largest shopping mall in Cuba, popular brands in Cuba, and a lot more will be discussed in this article.
What are the best shopping malls in Cuba in 2023?
Some of the best shopping malls in Cuba in 2023 are:
- Plaza La Estrella: This mall has a variety of indoor and outdoor shops, restaurants, bars, and a world-class cigar and rum store. It is located near two resorts and is popular among tourists.
- Plaza Las Dunas: This mall is also a great place for souvenirs, especially handmade trinkets and baubles. It has a bar, a tower for taking pictures, and a beach nearby.
- Carlos III Shopping Mall: This mall is a spiral-shaped building with a central food court and a kids’ area. It has a variety of stores selling clothes, electronics, books, and more.
- Centro Comercial la Puntilla: This mall is a modern and spacious shopping center with a supermarket, a pharmacy, a bookstore, and several clothing and accessory stores.
- PR Nayper: This mall is a small but cozy shopping center with a cafeteria, a beauty salon, a jewelry store, and a clothing store.
How to get to Plaza La Estrella, the largest shopping mall in Cuba?
Plaza La Estrella is another shopping and entertainment center on Cayo Santa Maria, the same island where Plaza Las Dunas is located. It is between the Royalton Cayo Santa Maria and Memories Paraiso Beach Resort. It was opened in 2009 and is also managed by Grupo de Turismo Gaviota S.A
To get to Plaza La Estrella, you can take a taxi or use the Hop-on/Hop-off Panoramic Bus that stops at every hotel, plaza, and dolphinarium. The bus costs 5 USD per person per day.
How has the economic and social transformation of Cuba affected the retail sector?
The Cuban retail sector has undergone significant changes in the last three decades due to various factors:
- Economic Crisis: The collapse of the Soviet bloc in the early 1990s led to a severe economic crisis and a shortage of consumer goods.
- Emergence of Non-State Economic Activity: New forms of non-state economic activity, like self-employment, cooperatives, and joint ventures with foreign investors, increased the diversity of goods and services available.
- Tourism and Remittances: The expansion of tourism and remittances boosted the demand for products, both domestic and imported.
- U.S. Embargo and Sanctions: The U.S. embargo and sanctions restricted trade, financial flows, and increased business costs.
- Foreign Investment: Since 2022, Cuba has allowed foreign investment in wholesaling and retailing to attract capital and technology.
- Private Sector Recognition: The state recognizes the private sector’s role, especially in food, personal services, and handicrafts.
- Monetary Reform: The monetary and exchange rate reform since January 2021 aims to eliminate distortions and stimulate production and efficiency.
- Diversification of Exportable Offer: Diversifying and modernizing the exportable offer can generate more foreign exchange and strengthen domestic linkages.
- Foreign Investment and Cooperation: Opening to foreign investment and cooperation can bring capital, technology, know-how, and access to new markets.
- Potential U.S. Relations: Normalizing relations with the U.S. could ease trade and financial restrictions, increase tourism, and enhance remittances.
What are the features and attractions of Plaza Las Dunas, the newest shopping mall in Cuba?
Plaza Las Dunas is a shopping and entertainment center located on the island of Cayo Santa Maria, between the hotels Melia Cayo Santa Maria and Melia Las Dunas. It was opened in 2011 and is managed by Grupo de Turismo Gaviota S.A.
Some of the features and attractions of Plaza Las Dunas are:
- A variety of restaurants, bars, and snack bars offer international and local cuisine.
- A discotheque called Marcaribe, where you can dance and enjoy the music
- A bowling alley called La Bolera, with six lanes and a bar section
- A spa and gym called Aguas Claras, where you can relax and exercise
- Three air-conditioned boutiques selling souvenirs, clothing, and accessories
- An outdoor handicraft market where you can find local art and crafts
- A beachfront location on Cayo Santa Maria, with pristine waters and white sand
What are some popular brands in Cuba?
Some popular brands in Cuba are:
- Habanos S.A.: This is a tobacco company that produces famous Cuban cigars, such as Cohiba, Montecristo, and Partagás. It has a 70 percent market share of the global premium cigar market.
- Havana Club: This is a rum brand that is jointly owned by the Cuban government and the French company Pernod Ricard. It is one of the most exported Cuban products and has a variety of flavors and ages.
- ETECSA: This is the state-owned telecommunications company that provides fixed-line, mobile, and internet services in Cuba. It has over 6 million customers and operates under the brand name Cubacel34.
- Gaviota Group: This is a tourism company that owns and operates hotels, resorts, restaurants, marinas, and other facilities in Cuba. It is affiliated with the Cuban military and has a presence in more than 30 destinations across the island.
- BioCubaFarma: This is a biotechnology group that develops and exports medical products and services. It has over 30 companies and employs more than 22 thousand people. One of its most notable products is Heberprot-P, a drug for treating diabetic foot ulcers.
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