The first weekend after the grand opening of the Dubai Mall was overwhelming. The crowd, the mall itself and of course, Dubai traffic! It was like there was a pilgrimage of sorts going on and all roads leading to the mall were packed.
We went there just in time for the opening at 10 am. We always wake up early even during our day off (Friday) so we were lucky to avoid the traffic on the roads later that morning. As reported in the papers, drivers had to endure as long as two hours just to get to the car park from the nearby road. Some families abandoned their cars on the side of the roads and walked to the mall, creating severe traffic problems.
Anyway, back to the mall.
In one word: ENORMOUS. Think 50 football stadiums. Think 1,200 retail stores, an olympic size skating rink and a VERY big aquarium inside it.
Here are some photos I took while on our visit there.
A view of the aquarium inside Dubai Mall – the world’s largest indoor marine mammal pavilion. The 50m long aquarium is flanked by two glass tunnels at varying levels offering windows into the incredible diversity of marine life.
Just part of the aquarium. I didn’t have the right lens or enough distance to fit the whole aquarium and capture it.
From the 2nd level, we can see the crowd in awe. Pristine couldn’t get enough of the fishes. She was too excited to see the marine life inside, it looks like she could stare at it for HOURS. I wouldn’t be surprised, I tend to forget about the time when looking at aquariums. There’s just something THERAPEUTIC in them.
We came face to face with the mean residents:
A look at marine life (compare the size of the aquarium to the heads/extended hands partly seen below the photo!).
Other parts of the mall:
Display of the UAE flag!
The Gold Souk (Gold Market) – which will be the largest gold retail market in the world.
Ceiling of the gold souk, near the entrance. The small dots glitter, as if you are looking at the stars in the night sky. Beautiful!
Exquisite ceiling lamps inside the Gold Souk.
Traditional Arabian style hallways.
Outside, the tall Burj Dubai (world’s tallest building when completed) is standing in its glory:
I am only able to take 3/4 of the whole building height. My neck hurts.
Other photos (not mine, just came in the forwarded mails from friends):
Front of Dubai Mall with the Burj Dubai in the background.
The skating rink. If you stand near it, better put on your jacket!
The beautiful ceiling of the Gold Souk.
This is Pristine’s favorite fish. She loves the way this fish moves his eyes! The eyes look like those button eyes found in stuffed toys.
I can’t believe Dubai Mall was really able to get its act and finally open. One week before the grand opening, it was all endless construction mess and incompleteness all around.
On the opening day, the flyover leading to the mall was even completed. I am impressed. The laborers they hired really knows some magic.