I've been away from blogging for a while, mainly due to Eid holidays and other family priorities, so I thought I'd blog about what's been going on lately!
We spent our Eid holidays in Dubai, which was Alhamdulillah very nice, and quite the refreshing change from the dreariness of the shopping scene in Oman. Since I've been away from the Middle East for about 4 years, I wasn't able to experience the explosion of malls in Dubai these past few years. Apparently, I'd been missing out!!!
In lieu of that, I was subjected to a whirlwind tour of all major malls in the vicinity of Dubai. Seriously though, it was mind blowing in all aspects of the word "blowing." I felt like a complete tourist as happily i snapped away and collected about 300 pictures of mall interiors and architecture in Dubai. I'll be posting a few of the many architectural wonders of Dubai for your viewing pleasure soon Insha'allah. Please bear with me, and my unusually slow Internet connection these days, it should be up and running soon.

Here's a quick description of what I saw:

1) Mall of the Emirates - This one's been around for a while actually, its famous for its indoor ski resort and Kempinski (sp?) Hotel. Since I've just arrived from Toronto, I wasn't very impressed with the ski resort, although it was a valiant attempt at reproducing real snow and snow-like conditions! My favorite part was watching all the abaya-clad women walking around with their kids, wearing ski jackets and boots! That's one sight u don't unfortunately see in Canada too often. Otherwise, good stores, and good stuff.

2) Ibn Battuta Mall - This is the best mall in Dubai, in terms of architectural splendour. Its not particularly famous for its stores or size, but for its ability to recreate an entire culture and civilisation based on architectural speciality. The mall is a single level creation, spanning 6 different continents (I think) and including everything from: Andulasia, Tunisia, China, India, Egypt and Persia. Each continental section is a world of its own, and completely awe-inspiring, with cleverly interwoven stories of the travels of Ibn Batutta. Shopping definitely is secondary in such a place, and really unnecessary after viewing it's internal beauty and complexity.

3) Dubai Mall - This is the latest mall, and still a work in progress. A normal mall in many ways, except that a part of it contains one of the largest indoor Aquariums in the world. I was amazed at its size and ability to recreate an underwater world, complete with sting rays, sharks, and other strange and creepy sea life. Along with the Aquarium, they have an indoor Discovery Centre, which houses otters, seals, penguins and a variety of various fish in different shapes, sizes and colors. Visitors are invited to go for a tour of the aquarium, which is massive and runs along one wall of the mall, built with a walk way/tunnel through it. Of course you have to pay for a ticket to walk through the tunnel, experience sharks swimming on either side of you, and sting rays zipping over your head. The whole time, I had only one thought: what happens when the glass wall gives way and millions of liters of water and sharks are dumped unceremoniously on your head.... SubhanAllah. The mall also has a huge indoor gold souk, which is rather beautifully decorated.

4) Wafi City - Once used to be a pyramid shaped centre, famous for containing upscale and top designer brand stores, it's currently being expanded to include another pyramid, as well as some other large buildings built in an Egyptian architectural style, a necropolis, a couple of sphinxes and other such monuments. Very pretty, nice architecture but unfortunately overpriced stores and I hated having to pay 5 Dirhams to use the washroom!

5) Dubai Festival City - This is a fairly new place as well. It's probably the biggest mall and is really amazing in all ways. Not only does it house every single store imaginable in Dubai, including some stores that bring back fond memories of Canada ( Le Chateau, Costa Blanca, Urban Behavior), it also has a canal running outside it, and its located next to the Marina, in between the Intercontinental Dubai and the new Four Seasons Sheraton. (Please don't quote me on that, I might have my facts wrong) It has some beautiful indoor waterfalls, fountains and similar types of creations.

6) Madinatul Jumeira - Situated right behind the Burj al Arab hotel, this is a mini-city that contains a large souk type arrangement of stores of different types, local and international. It has a nice large patio-style food court with good food and a beautiful view. I guess the best thing about this place is the view and the replica of old Arabian architecture.

That wraps up my mall review of Dubai. I also happened to visit the Palm Jumeira where the famous Atlantis hotel is, and i got a chance to look at all the new and somewhat empty properties that are springing up in that area. Quite magnificent and grand, but unfortunately, it gives an air of materialism that makes me feel quite uncomfortable. I'm glad I don't live there because I wouldn't be able to feel connected to the real world and that would be scary!

I'm back now, Alhamdulillah, and facing the arduous task of packing up for my impending marriage and move. More on that later!

PEACE
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2 Responses
  1. lol.. u missing the slopes sis?? I am!!! I bought my snowboard to UK though.. gonna find me some snow if it kills me!! lol


  2. Habayeb Says:

    lol there's a new mall opened now "Dubai Marina Mall"