I was pumped for the Dubai Mall – the largest mall in the world. The sheer enormity of it was awesome – four floors, 502,000 square metres of shopping space and more than 1,200 stores (and 14,000 parking spots). I was a happy girl. This is definitely solo time – I would not do that to any guy, no matter how many "man chairs" there were. I aimed big.
Big-time shoppers whose bags grow beyond their carrying abilities can hire a bellboy-type gent to cart around their bags on a trolley behind them and wait outside the stores. This would not be me, but how posh.
Wandering around the lavish space for hours, there was just so much to see. I came upon a giant aquarium with 10 million litres of water, of course one as per Dubai of the largest suspended aquariums in the world, measuring 51 metres in length and 11 metres in height. The acrylic panel in front of the tank won a Guinness World Record for the longest panel in the world, and you can check out its 140 aquatic species from three levels of the mall. Another largest in the world:
its collection of sand tiger sharks.
Everything and everyone was at the Dubai Mall – there was even a Tim Hortons! Read this article about how expats are populating the Tim Hortons shops in Dubai. I remember when spotting the first Timmy’s in the States was a big surprise. The article says 120 Tim Hortons are planned for the Middle East.
I also happened upon an Olympic-size ice rink, and oh, the tallest building in the world, right outside. The Burj Khalifa was a sparkly spectacle, and I did feel some regrets for our CN Tower in Toronto, which had held the record for the tallest tower, or free-standing structure, for 34 years, and is now dwarfed by this giant. The Burj Khalifa stands at 829.8 metres (the CN Tower at 553.33 metres).
Highlight of the day was to walk out of the mall to feel some sun and find the Burj Khalifa right there, and just the most beautiful expanse of buildings. There was the Dubai Fountain show to Arabic music, designed by the creators of the fountains at the Bellagio in Las Vegas, shooting water jets as high as 150 metres, which is equivalent to a 50-storey building. And then the stunning outdoor face of Dubai Mall (above) with picturesque cafes to sit in and stare and people-watch. I sat there in the sun for a really long time.
In my shopping-break serenity I noticed a billboard advertisement wall with Twilight actor Robert Pattinson in front of the Burj Khalifa. I tweeted the image. Next thing I know, my tweet takes off like wildfire, and every @Robossesed super-fan (@robforever, @slaveforrob, etc.) is retweeting and favouriting my image. I got 200 mentions. The power of Pattinson (and social media)!
Later on that day, I came out of a store and there was a guy wearing a Robert Pattinson T-shirt. I did a double-take. How odd … it’s not every day you see a dude in a Robert Pattinson shirt, nor is it every day in Dubai do you see Robert Pattinson. I guess they like him in Moldova, where this guy was from. I decide to reignite the Patty fan club and tweet this pic too. The Twitter frenzy takes off again.
I spent nine hours at Dubai Mall, and don’t think I saw half of it. Check out some more pics!
TIP: Even though you are captivated by the mall, take the time to go outside – Dubai is so thrilling, you never know what you will find. If you want to tackle the entire mall, best to set aside two days.
Published journalist, world traveller, big thinker, fun haver