Thursday, April 22, 2010

Dubai Travelogue (part 7) - Closing the mall!

I would liked to have stayed for another musical show but it was already past 10pm. We thought of spending a little time in the mall before heading home. There was an area within the mall called "At the Top" - there was no one at the reception but my bro-in-law told me that this was where you had to buy tickets to go to the top of Burj Khalifa. The tickets were cheaper when booked online (around Dhs. 100 per person); buying it on the spot was very expensive (Dhs. 400) - am serious, not joking - 400 for taking a ride up the elevator (which would be pretty fast in skyscrapers) to view the city from above. "At the top" isn't exactly on top of Burj Khalifa; it is on floor 124 (the building has 160 floors). I felt the price was too high and was not keen on going to the top. I believe looking down from any skyscraper is the same - all you see below are toy buildings and blocks - World Trade Center in New York was special because that was the first time I looked down from such a height. I think it would be more fun and thrilling if they would have a glass observatory with glass floor projecting out from the building - it would be safe (as safe as the glass flooring!) and it might make you feel a bit jittery as well!

Coming back to our story... I didn't even have the option of going up because "At the top" was closed for the time being. It seems there was some elevator problem and they closed it down temporarily for a few weeks.

In the mall, many shops were pulling down their shutters - during weekdays shops closed at around 10pm while on weekends they would be up till 11pm or midnight. There was a huge ice rink inside the mall; the Dubai ice rink was an Olympic size rink. It was 10pm and yet the rink was full with people. There were seating arrangements similar to what you would see in a ice hockey stadium. The stadium looked beautiful under lights. Ice skating is something I've wanted to try out for long and I made a mental note that I should skate on this trip. There was this fear of how to balance on a single blade but when so many people are doing it, I should also be able to do it.

We knew that the Pajero was parked in D2 but didn't know where D2 was. All of these malls had multiple parking lots across floors. Each lot was divided into numbered areas and each lot had an escalator leading into the mall. On taking the escalator you would have a machine which would give you a slip that mentioned the parking lot you were in - just push a button and it would spit a small piece of paper with details. The machine was free but when we arrived at the mall, it was out of paper and wasn't spitting anything. Inside the mall, there were directions to parking areas but those were referred to by shop names - like "Carrefour parking", "EMax parking" and so on - the boards didn't contain the lot numbers and even the security staff didn't know which number was in which parking lot! And what fun it was - we walked from one end of the mall to the other end. On the way we crossed the Dubai Aquarium - this wasn'a small table sized aquarium; in height it covered almost 2 to 3 floors! You could see the fish through the glass panel from the outside itself. It boasted of having over 140 species of marine life.

Walking across these huge malls is very tiring and the Dubai Mall is amongst the largest malls in the world. My bro-in-law and I walked in front while kids and sister followed. They took short breaks along the way. At one pit stop, my bro in law also took a break and he seriously said, "If not for me you all would never have walked so much in this mall. See how many shops you get to see"!

To add to the confusion, all parking exits appeared similar. When we were almost at the other end of the mall, one security guard gave us directions to D2. "You have to go that way". He pointed in the direction by which we had come! Great - and once again we crossed the Dubai Aquarium - I even spotted a giant squid inside; it didn't seem like the fish needed any sleep; they were all pretty active inside! By now, almost all shops had closed and there were hardly any people inside the mall except security guards.

What an interesting day it was - we opened the Festival City mall early in the morning and we closed the Dubai Mall at night! At home, I drank fresh strawberry milk, saw IPL highlights for a while and jumped into my dream world.


Subbu said...

SS did you study in Dubai...

Subbu said...

SS did you study in Dubai?

Unknown said...

not Dubai; Abu Dhabi