getting lost in the mall

Sometimes I think that the Dubai Mall used to be 2 or 3 malls separated by a parking lot and were later joined together and the space between them made into additional mall space.  From one end of the mall to the other there seem to be design changes that could easily be explained if it had once been several malls.  Perhaps, as the mall was built over time, different contractors added to it changing its design as they expanded.  The mall is like no other in the world but its changing floor plan can sometimes get tourists lost; if it wasn’t for the direction signs I would always get lost in this mall.  I took a photo of it from the Burj Khalifa (above) and it looks like a huge department store and you can see how there are straight and curved corridors, large domed plazas and all sorts of other designs.  From the outside it appears to have been constructed at the same time and by the same company but inside I found the floor plan to be quite a maze.

I’d seen the “gold ATM machines” on the internet but this was my first time to see one firsthand.  This machine dispenses 24 carat gold bars, you just insert your debit or credit card, choose how much gold you want and it is dropped into the slot below.  Surprisingly, the machine was doing brisk business I watched as some European and then Japanese travelers purchased gold bars.  Everyone watched as they made their purchase and then heard the “clunk” of the bar hitting the delivery tray.  I’d never seen anything like it.

Unlike my earlier visits to this mall I had my SLR camera this time and was able to get some better shots of the huge fish tank.  I even went up on the second floor to get another view.

I haven’t gone “inside” of the fish tank exhibit yet but from the second floor looking down I could see the tunnel that I’d heard about; visitors get to walk through a plexiglass tunnel that is (literally) under water.  Visitors can look up and around as sharks and other large fish swim by.  For those who can’t swim or have never been scuba diving it provides a chance to see ocean animals up close and in person.

Despite the economic setbacks of 2008/2009, one thing hasn’t changed in Dubai: a shortage of taxi cabs.  If you’re going to a follow on destination after visiting the Dubai Mall, be sure to allow planet of time if you’re taking a taxi – especially during busy times like weekend evenings.  I had to wait close to 45 minutes in this long queue before I could get a cab.


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