Saturday, February 19, 2011

Living Your Life in the Mall

In a country where the average summer temperature is 106 F (record high of 118 F), people tend to spend a lot of time indoors. Malls are a very important part of the culture here. All your normal shops from grocery stores to pharmacies to hardware stores to apartments are frequently inside a mall.

Dubai Mall is part of the Burj Khalifa complex (the tallest building in the world) and is the largest shopping mall in the world based on total area. (It's the 7th largest in the world in amount of retailers.) It's size is equivalent to 50 soccer pitches. Besides the 1200 retail stores, several over the top attractions bring in plenty of attention. This is the Dubai Aquarium, complete with a tunnel you can walk through and you can even pay to go diving inside the tank!
The ice rink is very popular. It's fun to watch the hipsters and the locals showing off.
We went to the mall to go to see True Grit. At the movie theaters here you can reserve your own seat which is quite nice. This is the only movie theater where I have ever felt comfortable with taking my shoes off and letting my bare feet rest on the floor! It is all carpeted inside the theater and very,very clean. You can pay for Gold Seating where you are waited on and basically sit in a Lazy-Boy. We just opted for stadium seating. The lobby of the theater feels more like an opera house than a cinema.

Walking around we stumbled upon a flamboyant fashion show that was showing off over the top hats for wearing to the horse races. A new giant racing complex just opened here, so of course wearing the appropriate gear is important.
We stopped for dessert and coffee at a fancy Italian cafe next to the aquarium. This Barbie cake was pretty funny.
I would love to eat this mountain of creme puffs.
The exchange rate for the Dirham is 3.6, so these extravagant mousse cups are only about $7.22 each. There is no sales tax in Dubai; they really work hard to pull in a lot of tourists from all over the world. As of 2007, Dubai was the 8th most visited city in the world.
My sister and my dad, with a view of the aquarium behind them. I can't get over how entertaining all the people watching is here.
I was in such a festive mood (and nursing a sore throat) so I actually bought some gelato! This is pretty rare for me; I only eat ice cream or gelato a couple times a year. While this watermelon and pistachio gelato was pretty refreshing, I could still only eat less than half of it. Frozen desserts are not my thing. However, one popular thing here, lemon or lime mint smoothies, I could drink every day.

We leave tonight. The plane doesn't leave until 2 in the morning and it will take us nearly 24 hours to get back. Two flights with a 5 hour layover in Amsterdam. My sister had to give us an extra suitcase for all the purchases I made. Although I don't feel too bad about it as a lot of them are gifts. I am also not looking forward to going home to 27 F degree weather. I generally like rain and a temperate climate, but this 80 degree weather we have been having here is suiting me just fine.

I always love coming home from a vacation; I am inspired by all the things I have seen and I have some big ideas for jewelry and art and cooking when I get home.

Talk to you again in a couple of days!


  1. What a great vacation -- can't wait to see all the treasures you got!

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