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In Pictures: Iran's booming consumer culture
Iranians are increasingly buying into Western-style consumerism, despite sanctions and often high prices.
Last updated: 14 Jul 2014 12:27
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During his visit to Cuba in 2012, former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said: "The capitalist system is in decay," and that it has "come to a dead end - politically, economically, and culturally".

But changes taking place in Iran over the past few years seem to contradict this.

Despite slow mobile internet connections, high prices for consumer electronics and tight government censorship of the media, Iranians are frantically buying smartphones, tablets, and flat-screen TVs.

For many young people, shopping has become a near-obsessive ritual. Although traditional bazaars remain the favourite places to shop for most Iranians, they now face stiff competition from huge shopping malls all across the country.

Analyst Richard Javad Heydarian recently described Iran as "one of the most promising economies of the 21st century - and perhaps the next China", portraying the country as an awakening lion. In the past few months, relations between Iran and the West have warmed, and negotiations to lift sanctions could pave the way for even more changes.


/Thomas Cristofoletti/Al Jazeera

People shopping at the Isfahan City Centre Mall, one of the biggest in the country.



/Thomas Cristofoletti/Al Jazeera

A woman shops at Tehran's Grand Bazaar.



/Thomas Cristofoletti

A customer at Hyperstar, Iran's first international-style hypermarket, inside the Persian Gulf Complex, a huge mall located a few kilometres outside Shiraz. Hyperstar plans to open 15 branches by 2015.



/Thomas Cristofoletti/Al Jazeera

A portrait of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini is displayed on a wall of the Isfahan City Centre Mall, above elevator doors advertising laundry detergent.



/Thomas Cristofoletti/Al Jazeera

Customers at the 'Kentucky House', a fast-food restaurant in the Isfahan City Centre Mall.



/Thomas Cristofoletti/Al Jazeera

Children play at Iran Land, an amusement park inside the Persian Gulf Complex.



/Thomas Cristofoletti/Al Jazeera

A woman shops at an appliance centre in the Isfahan City Centre Mall.



/Thomas Cristofoletti/Al Jazeera

Young Iranians walk in front of a recently opened unofficial Apple reseller.



/Thomas Cristofoletti/Al Jazeera

Two girls check Facebook on a smartphone in Isfahan. Despite slow mobile internet connections, Iran has seen a considerable increase in smartphone purchases.



/Thomas Cristofoletti/Al Jazeera

Women's shoes are sold in a shop located inside a bazaar in Tabriz. Despite the increasing number of malls, many Iranians still prefer to shop in traditional bazaars.



/Thomas Cristofoletti/Al Jazeera

A view of Tabriz's Grand Baazar, among the oldest in the Middle East.



/Thomas Cristofoletti/Al Jazeera

Due to international sanctions, importing foreign cars is expensive, and many Iranians buy locally produced cars.



/Thomas Cristofoletti/Al Jazeera

Iranian women are increasingly reluctant to comply with government-imposed traditional dress codes. Many wear western-style hijabs made of fashionable fabrics.



/Thomas Cristofoletti/Al Jazeera

Young pilgrims eat ice cream in a cafe in Qom, the second-holiest city in Iran.




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images:
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captions:

People shopping at the Isfahan City Centre Mall, one of the biggest in the country.

;*;

A woman shops at Tehran(***)s Grand Bazaar.

;*;

A customer at Hyperstar, Iran(***)s first international-style hypermarket, inside the Persian Gulf Complex, a huge mall located a few kilometres outside Shiraz. Hyperstar plans to open 15 branches by 2015.

;*;

A portrait of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini is displayed on a wall of the Isfahan City Centre Mall, above elevator doors advertising laundry detergent.

;*;

Customers at the (***)Kentucky House(***), a fast-food restaurant in the Isfahan City Centre Mall.

;*;

Children play at Iran Land, an amusement park inside the Persian Gulf Complex.

;*;

A woman shops at an appliance centre in the Isfahan City Centre Mall.

;*;

Young Iranians walk in front of a recently opened unofficial Apple reseller.

;*;

Two girls check Facebook on a smartphone in Isfahan. Despite slow mobile internet connections, Iran has seen a considerable increase in smartphone purchases.

;*;

Women(***)s shoes are sold in a shop located inside a bazaar in Tabriz. Despite the increasing number of malls, many Iranians still prefer to shop in traditional bazaars.

;*;

A view of Tabriz(***)s Grand Baazar, among the oldest in the Middle East.

;*;

Due to international sanctions, importing foreign cars is expensive, and many Iranians buy locally produced cars.

;*;

Iranian women are increasingly reluctant to comply with government-imposed traditional dress codes. Many wear western-style hijabs made of fashionable fabrics.

;*;

Young pilgrims eat ice cream in a cafe in Qom, the second-holiest city in Iran.

Daylife ID:
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Photographer:
;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;
Image Source:
Thomas Cristofoletti/Al Jazeera;*;Thomas Cristofoletti/Al Jazeera;*;Thomas Cristofoletti;*;Thomas Cristofoletti/Al Jazeera;*;Thomas Cristofoletti/Al Jazeera;*;Thomas Cristofoletti/Al Jazeera;*;Thomas Cristofoletti/Al Jazeera;*;Thomas Cristofoletti/Al Jazeera;*;Thomas Cristofoletti/Al Jazeera;*;Thomas Cristofoletti/Al Jazeera;*;Thomas Cristofoletti/Al Jazeera;*;Thomas Cristofoletti/Al Jazeera;*;Thomas Cristofoletti/Al Jazeera;*;Thomas Cristofoletti/Al Jazeera;*;Thomas Cristofoletti/Al Jazeera
Gallery Source:
Daylife
Daylife Raw Data:
Consumerism in Iranhttp://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Consumerism_in_Iranen-ussupport@newscred.comUntitled Site10Fri, 11 Jul 2014 09:25:18 GMT http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Consumerism_in_Iran/slideshow/no-caption/e1e8ef019f777a47f5c47e2d51e7a84a

Isfahan, Iran. People shopping at the Isfahan City Center Mall, one of the biggest in the country.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Consumerism_in_Iran/slideshow/no-caption/e1e8ef019f777a47f5c47e2d51e7a84aThomas Cristofoletti/Al Jazeera

Isfahan, Iran. People shopping at the Isfahan City Center Mall, one of the biggest in the country.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Consumerism_in_Iran/slideshow/no-caption/79c7d1d94f82e95af636c390f60e0ca6

Tehran, Iran. A woman shops at the Grand Bazaar of Tehran.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Consumerism_in_Iran/slideshow/no-caption/79c7d1d94f82e95af636c390f60e0ca6Thomas Cristofoletti/Al Jazeera

Tehran, Iran. A woman shops at the Grand Bazaar of Tehran.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Consumerism_in_Iran/slideshow/no-caption/b4676a1f3548615e88fc0fab4124785f

Shiraz, Iran. A woman shops at Hyperstar, Iran'??s first international style hypermarket, built inside the Persian Gulf Complex, a huge mall built a few kilometers outside Shiraz. Hyperstar plans to open 15 branches by 2015 in 5 different cities.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Consumerism_in_Iran/slideshow/no-caption/b4676a1f3548615e88fc0fab4124785fThomas Cristofoletti

Shiraz, Iran. A woman shops at Hyperstar, Iran'??s first international style hypermarket, built inside the Persian Gulf Complex, a huge mall built a few kilometers outside Shiraz. Hyperstar plans to open 15 branches by 2015 in 5 different cities.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Consumerism_in_Iran/slideshow/no-caption/bf53a497783d46b3ba96832a65cc16d1

Isfahan, Iran. A portrait of Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei and Ayatollah Ruhollah Musavi Khomeini is displayed on a wall of the Isfahan City Center Mall, one of the biggest in the country.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Consumerism_in_Iran/slideshow/no-caption/bf53a497783d46b3ba96832a65cc16d1Thomas Cristofoletti/Al Jazeera

Isfahan, Iran. A portrait of Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei and Ayatollah Ruhollah Musavi Khomeini is displayed on a wall of the Isfahan City Center Mall, one of the biggest in the country.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Consumerism_in_Iran/slideshow/no-caption/7421a7f70149c4e6080cfc6facca9e33

Isfahan, Iran. Customers at the 'Kentucky House' one of the fast food restaurant built inside the Isfahan City Center Mall, one of the biggest in the country.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Consumerism_in_Iran/slideshow/no-caption/7421a7f70149c4e6080cfc6facca9e33Thomas Cristofoletti/Al Jazeera

Isfahan, Iran. Customers at the 'Kentucky House' one of the fast food restaurant built inside the Isfahan City Center Mall, one of the biggest in the country.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Consumerism_in_Iran/slideshow/no-caption/aadea5fe45098444037643cec5a2fedd

Shiraz, Iran. Children play at Iran Land, an amusement park built inside the Persian Gulf Complex, a large shopping mall located in the outskirts of Shiraz.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Consumerism_in_Iran/slideshow/no-caption/aadea5fe45098444037643cec5a2feddThomas Cristofoletti/Al Jazeera

Shiraz, Iran. Children play at Iran Land, an amusement park built inside the Persian Gulf Complex, a large shopping mall located in the outskirts of Shiraz.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Consumerism_in_Iran/slideshow/no-caption/43d02eab452095ecb5caf96f20f05ee7

Isfahan, Iran. A woman shops in an appliance center inside the Isfahan City Center Mall, one of the biggest in the country.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Consumerism_in_Iran/slideshow/no-caption/43d02eab452095ecb5caf96f20f05ee7Thomas Cristofoletti/Al Jazeera

Isfahan, Iran. A woman shops in an appliance center inside the Isfahan City Center Mall, one of the biggest in the country.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Consumerism_in_Iran/slideshow/no-caption/3265950eb708c6223d91d1bf9d2df327

Isfahan, Iran. Iranian youths walk in front of a recently opened unofficial Apple reseller.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Consumerism_in_Iran/slideshow/no-caption/3265950eb708c6223d91d1bf9d2df327Thomas Cristofoletti/Al Jazeera

Isfahan, Iran. Iranian youths walk in front of a recently opened unofficial Apple reseller.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Consumerism_in_Iran/slideshow/no-caption/3d6afc6359d46d7883a602dcc32197c4

Isfahan, Iran. Two girls check facebook on a smartphone. Despite slow mobile internet connections, Iran has seen a considerable increase of consumers purchasing smartphones.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Consumerism_in_Iran/slideshow/no-caption/3d6afc6359d46d7883a602dcc32197c4Thomas Cristofoletti/Al Jazeera

Isfahan, Iran. Two girls check facebook on a smartphone. Despite slow mobile internet connections, Iran has seen a considerable increase of consumers purchasing smartphones.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Consumerism_in_Iran/slideshow/no-caption/1afa5eee23f237e1925bbe8998fbb7ab

Tabriz, Iran. Women shoes are sold in a shop located inside the local Grand Baazar. Despite the increasing number of malls opened around the country, many Iranians still prefer to shop in traditional bazaars.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Consumerism_in_Iran/slideshow/no-caption/1afa5eee23f237e1925bbe8998fbb7abThomas Cristofoletti/Al Jazeera

Tabriz, Iran. Women shoes are sold in a shop located inside the local Grand Baazar. Despite the increasing number of malls opened around the country, many Iranians still prefer to shop in traditional bazaars.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Consumerism_in_Iran/slideshow/no-caption/b5186e5d999ac0b6ea2cd0f220fb2249

Tabriz, Iran. A view of the local Grand Baazar, the oldest in the Middle East. Despite the increasing number of malls opened around the country, many Iranians still prefer to shop in traditional bazaars.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Consumerism_in_Iran/slideshow/no-caption/b5186e5d999ac0b6ea2cd0f220fb2249Thomas Cristofoletti/Al Jazeera

Tabriz, Iran. A view of the local Grand Baazar, the oldest in the Middle East. Despite the increasing number of malls opened around the country, many Iranians still prefer to shop in traditional bazaars.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Consumerism_in_Iran/slideshow/no-caption/dff30bf84a73824027cc93ee73d8bea1

Shiraz, Iran. Customers inside a dress shop.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Consumerism_in_Iran/slideshow/no-caption/dff30bf84a73824027cc93ee73d8bea1Thomas Cristofoletti/Al Jazeera

Shiraz, Iran. Customers inside a dress shop.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Consumerism_in_Iran/slideshow/no-caption/f3ea96792acfb0d626ea289c7c160eb7

Shiraz, Iran. Cars are seen in a parking lot of Shiraz. Due to the international sanctions, importation of foreign cars is expensive and many Iranians opt to buy locally produced cars.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Consumerism_in_Iran/slideshow/no-caption/f3ea96792acfb0d626ea289c7c160eb7Thomas Cristofoletti/Al Jazeera

Shiraz, Iran. Cars are seen in a parking lot of Shiraz. Due to the international sanctions, importation of foreign cars is expensive and many Iranians opt to buy locally produced cars.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Consumerism_in_Iran/slideshow/no-caption/ddc5a6b8ced35931c99c7f9cc5ac3880

Tehran, Iran. Two young girls walk in the streets of Tehran. Iranian women are increasingly reluctant to comply with government-imposed traditional dress codes and many have started to go around the prohibitions, wearing western style hijabs, made of fashionable fabrics.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Consumerism_in_Iran/slideshow/no-caption/ddc5a6b8ced35931c99c7f9cc5ac3880Thomas Cristofoletti/Al Jazeera

Tehran, Iran. Two young girls walk in the streets of Tehran. Iranian women are increasingly reluctant to comply with government-imposed traditional dress codes and many have started to go around the prohibitions, wearing western style hijabs, made of fashionable fabrics.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Consumerism_in_Iran/slideshow/no-caption/1d1153fbe8582e2f5d97a8e19e7efe95

Qom, Iran. Young pilgrims eat ice cream in a cafe of Qom, the second holiest city in Iran.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Consumerism_in_Iran/slideshow/no-caption/1d1153fbe8582e2f5d97a8e19e7efe95Thomas Cristofoletti/Al Jazeera

Qom, Iran. Young pilgrims eat ice cream in a cafe of Qom, the second holiest city in Iran.



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