The Dubai Mall

Dubai seems to pride itself on creating the biggest and best of things and the shopping centres there are no different.  During our holiday to Dubai we went to The Dubai Mall a couple of times.  I don’t normally fancy going to shopping centres when I’m on holiday as frankly the UK has enough of them and it seems most fashion/beauty brands are global these days so the choice of shops isn’t usually that different.  And, UK shopping centres have now caught on to the idea that you can include other facilities such as shops and restaurants to ensure people have a full day out there.  I’m thinking of cinemas, the LEGOLAND Discovery Centre and SEALIFE at Manchester’s Trafford Centre or the coming soon KidZania experience at Westfield, London.

But, it does seem Dubai is a bit ahead of the game and the choice of other things to do whilst at The Dubai Mall is pretty immense.  Our first visit there was in the evening with one of Mr ATWWAH’s friends who now lives in Dubai with his family.  It was quite nice to have a guide on our first visit as it is huge so we didn’t waste any time getting lost.  The first thing we saw, which was undoubtedly Master ATWWAH’s favourite, was an indoor waterfall which ran the height of the Mall so you can see it from different perspectives on the various floors.  He could have watched it for hours and it was hard to prise him away.  It is very impressive and he was fascinated by the diving men too.

MasterATWWAH waterfall

Master ATWWAH could have watched for hours….

Next stop was a peek at the Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo.  My day job involves working for Merlin Entertainments so I am a bit of an attractions geek and it was interesting that the operators of the aquarium didn’t really mind that they were giving their experience away for free to any shoppers as you don’t actually need to go into the aquarium to see the fish, stingrays and sharks.  Anyone can watch them from outside, as there is a huge viewing window (and using the word window makes it sound tiny)  in the shopping centre.  Think of a huge department store’s windows and imagine them full of aquatic creatures and then imagine that space doubled or trebled and that gives you an idea of what it looked like.  It probably explains why there was only a relatively small number of people who were paying to go in.  Although there are further attractions inside including glass bottom boat rides and the chance to dive with sharks.

We then headed to one of the food quarters and a Lebanese restaurant.  We were too late to get a seat outside so we settled for a window seat so that we could catch the famous Dubai Fountain, or as we named it all holiday, ‘the dancing fountains’.  These operate in the evenings and generally every half hour on the hour although the timings can be a bit sporadic as we got to see two shows relatively close to each other and when we visited the Mall the next day we also saw what I assume was a rehearsal/technical show.  But, seeing the Dubai Fountain in the evening is a must.  It is spectacular.  And pretty loud.  Master ATWWAH spent the whole thing with his hands covered over his ears and there were other little toddlers outside who were covering their ears too.  Although we had a seat inside at the window of the restaurant the experience is far better outside so most people wander out mid-meal.

Dubai Fountain

The best views of the Dubai Fountain are outside

Dubai Fountains at night

Dubai Fountains at night

After the Fountain we headed back inside and came across another of Master ATWWAH’s favourite bits, I have no idea what the official name for them are, but literally they were tubes of light coming out from the ground and when you hit them they played a note.  So, a little bit like chimes but they were coming up from the floor.  Anyone who knows the technical name please email me or pop a comment at the end of the post 🙂

Lights

What are these called????

We returned to the Dubai Mall the next day as we had booked tickets for the Burj Khalifa (more on that in another post) and although we didn’t join in we had fun watching the kids on the ice rink.  There is also a great attraction there called KidZania, one is opening in Westfield, London soon.  Master ATWWAH is too young for it really but it is basically a mini city where kids can learn how to do various jobs and earn their own currency, KidZos, which they can use in exchange for products.  If your children are old enough it’s definitely worth a visit, although it will take about five hours out of your day.

Ice rink

Master ATWWAH was dying to have a go

The Dubai Mall is relatively easy to get to with tons of free parking for those who are driving.  There is a huge taxi rank and buses also run there.  One tip that Mr ATWWAH’s friend gave us was if you are visiting on a Thursday evening which is the start of the weekend in Dubai be prepared for it to be really busy and for the queues to leave by taxi to be long.

Also, as with everywhere in Dubai outside of hotels, wear respectful clothing with knees and shoulders covered and avoid kissing or overt displays of affection.

I’ve been very lucky to be shortlisted for the MAD Blog Awards in the Family Travel Blog category.  If you enjoy reading the blog please take a second to vote for me and any other of your favourite bloggers in the various categories.  I’d very much appreciate it.  Thanks, Mrs ATWWAH

MAD Blog Awards

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