As the title of this blog alludes to, I come from a rural county. We had two tiny shopping centres and have just got a Primark this year. When I was at college, we would go to the Bullring in Birmingham and marvel at the many things we couldn’t afford, because, well, college.
In the UK, we tend to do streets and Markets rather than Malls; Camden, Carnaby, Oxford to name a few. My tastes, and body shape, lean towards vintage clothing, so I’m more likely to be found in a beaten up vintage store than a Westfield centre at home. I should also say that Shrewsbury has some amazing independent shops, with a lot of talented people, these are things that I really miss out here, and if you ever happen to be passing definitely take a look – http://www.originalshrewsbury.co.uk/
Malls are different here.
Seriously they are like little towns, just inside. And it makes sense, there are quite a a few months here where walking outside is just not an option, air con is essential, so the streets and shops you’d normally find outside are inside This post is about my own experiences of malls so far, due to a lack of car this been dictated by which ones currently have Metro access.
Mall of Emirates:
I think I’m always going to have a bit of a soft spot for this mall. When we first arrived it was only three metro stops from our hotel, so it made exploring that little bit easier, and PENGUINS.
The Mall of Emirates is one of the malls here with a huge Carrefour, which means it gets busy and I would avoid doing food shopping on the weekend, I’ve developed a tactic of sticking in my headphones and listening to audio book whilst I try to ignore the madness, I’m pretty sure that supermarkets back home will feel like ghost towns after this. Filled all the usual high street subjects, the malls also has a 22,500 square meters ski slope, because why not.
Dubai Mall is another level. It has the worlds largest collection of Sand Tiger Sharks, two indoor waterfalls, an ice rink, a souk, and a DINOSAUR. Its surreal in the best way, the fact I know consider it normal to walk past a shark on my way to h&m is a little concerning. The mall is massive and I still get lost from Topshop to Chanel, every shop is here, the choice of food and drink is crazy, there is even a coffee shop based on Breaking Bad. The mall is also connected to the worlds tallest building, the Burj Kalifa, and outside every night is an awesome dancing fountain show.
A smaller mall, but just as nice, again this one has a giant waitrose (I think if you put enough British Expats in an area, a Waitrose has to appear. I feel like when winter is here, we will spend more time at this mall with the amazing restaurants and marina view.
Festival City Mall:
So I’ve mentioned the mall before. Ikeaaaaaaaaaaaa and John Lewis and a pretty big M&S food hall, a good stop when the home sickness kicks in, The also have an award winning light show – we’ve not made it to that yet but it’s meant to be amazing. It’s also our closet large supermarket now which means I’ve nosed around Ikea more times than I’m willing to admit – #firstnamebasis.
So whilst Dubai Mall brings the glamour, this mall brings the fun. I’m not experts but this might be the most attractive Starbucks in the world. This mall is so colourful, and fun to walk around. Its based on the different parts of world visited by Ibn Battuta, who at 21 sailed around the world. The Mall has a Ship, and and life size elephant statue, it’s also quieter than so of the above malls which makes it a bit easier to get around. It’s also where I lost the the house key, but we don’t talk about that.