Rabat - Morocco’s first Ikea store could be opened very soon near Casablanca, after Moroccan authorities suspended the project over a dispute with Sweden over the Western Sahara.
Rabat – Morocco’s first Ikea store could be opened very soon near Casablanca, after Moroccan authorities suspended the project over a dispute with Sweden over the Western Sahara.
Citing sources from Ikea Morocco, Alyaoum24 reported that the Swedish furniture giant is due to open its first store in the city of Zenata, located between Casablanca and the capital Rabat, within three weeks.
The company spent months building the sprawling store in Zenata, and it was slated to open last September. However, Moroccan authorities suspended the opening, saying the store lacked the necessary “certificate of conformity”.
Mohamed Hachani, mayor of Ain Harrouda, which controls Zenata city, told Medias24 that Ikea hasn’t obtained the certificate of conformity yet.
However, he noted that formalities are underway and on the right path to grant Ikea the certificate.
The Swedish company has reportedly invested 40 million euros to build the 26,000 square meter store.
The cancellation of Morocco’s first Ikea store, which was planned to open September 29, was linked to Stockholm’s actions concerning the so-called Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR).
The alleged move caused uproar in Morocco and caused the Moroccan government to hint that it would retaliate against the Swedish government.
Amid the diplomatic rift between the two countries, Mustapha El Khalfi, Minister of Communication and government’s spokesperson, announced that Morocco had decided to boycott Swedish companies and products.
Meanwhile, Swedish government reacted to the firmness shown by the Moroccan government, saying Stockholm decided not to recognize the so-called SADR. Stockholm stressed that its policy regarding the Western Sahara is still under review and will be completed by 2016.