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Singapore Ion Orchard mall road night

Singapore 2010: Day 2 – Orchard Road, mall-hopping… and already shopping

Date: 26th September 2010

We woke up late.

Thought I’d get that out of the way first. After a tiring first day (with barely any sleep), we made up for it by only getting up around 10:30am. And by the time we were out, it was already noon.

But today, the skies were clear and sunny.

Singapore Kampong Glam noon

Singapore Kampong Glam Muscat street
We were ready for brunch

Singapore Kampong Glam cafe alleySingapore Kampong Glam cafe brick streetSingapore Kampong Glam Nasrin restaurantSingapore Kampong Glam shopsSingapore Kampong Glam Arab areaSingapore Kampong Glam Bian's cafeSingapore Tan + Tsakonas office

But despite the plethora of eateries and cafes, ‘the vegetarian’ (my friend Ramesh) found nothing to his taste. So we decided to go to Little India.

Singapore Rochor Centre colourful apartments
Rochor Centre
Singapore Rochor Centre apartment hanging clothes dry
This is how apartment households in Singapore hang clothes out to dry

Singapore apartment hanging clothes out dryWhile the guys headed to Little India, I instead went to Sim Lim Square – Singapore’s famous IT mall.

Singapore Sim Lim Square buildingBeing a Sunday, few stores were closed but you still had plenty open.

Singapore Sim Lim Square Nikon storeI was looking for a good tripod and the Canon 70-200 f2.8 IS USM I lens. Most stores didn’t have the latter in stock anymore but I did get a chance to try out the non-IS variant.

Singapore Sim Lim square tripod store
Taken on the 70-200 f2.8; these are unprocessed & only cropped — very impressed with the image quality!

Singapore Sim Lim Square Vangaurd tripodSeveral shops I entered asked  me why I needed the IS version and suggested that I simply go in for the non-IS version and buy a good tripod instead. Something I did give deep consideration later.

Singapore Sim Lim square floors
SIm Lim Square isn’t as big as Funan Digital Life mall — but still offers quite a lot

A few smaller shops did say they had the lens and it “could be arranged,” but I decided not to deal with them. After all, Sim Lim is equivalent to Bangkok’s Pantip Plaza — you have tread carefully when shopping here. You can get ripped off, at the same while scoring some really good deals.

Singapore Sim Lim Square SNSD Gee Samsung laptop
SNSD and other K-pop shown on laptops and TV screens was such a common sight

I had only made it to the second floor before my friends called and told me they were done with lunch. Since I had to catch up with them, I had to leave Sim Lim. Just like yesterday, I left disappointed knowing I couldn’t explore the mall in its entirety.

Singapore Sim Lim Square stores

Singapore Sim Lim Square escalator Indian KeraliteI grabbed a quick bite and made my way out.

As I stepped out and crossed the road in front of Sim Lim Square, I noticed crowds and street shops ahead of me.

Singapore Bugis Street shopping back entrance

Singapore Bugis Street shopping centre snake charmer
… and street ‘performers’ like this guy
Singapore Bugis Street Shopping centre Rochor
Turns out I was now inside the Bugis Street Shopping centre

Singapore Bugis street shopping centreSingapore Bugis Albert CentreBugis Street Shopping is the largest street shopping market in Singapore.

Singapore Bugis street shopping insideFor me, it wasn’t really impressive. Not after you have visited Bangkok’s Chatuchak Weekend Market (or JJ Market). In fact, a lot of the merchandise sold here was from Thailand — which obviously meant it was slightly more pricier here.

Singapore Bugis street shopping sex shopSingapore Bugis street shopping food

Singapore Bugis street shopping main front entrance
The main entrance to Bugis Street
Singapore Bugis Street shopping Iluma mall
We were really curious as to what this Iluma building was
Singapore Bugis iluma mall exterior
I thought it was some boutique hotel

I had to get to Suntec City to meet up with my friends, but instead of taking of the MRT, I just walked.

I passed through another mall, this time — Bugis Junction.

Singapore Bugis Square G.NA autograph session fan meet
K-pop star G.NA was going to be here in two days

Singapore Bugis square water fountain shoppingSingapore Bugis square water fountain

Singapore Bugis Square Porsche sports car
Spotted at Bugis Square. It was F1 weekend after all.

Singapore Victoria Street public library buildingSingapore Bugis Suntec City laneSingapore over bridge to Suntec city

Singapore city traffic diverted F1
Singapore’s roads aren’t this empty, just that traffic was diverted because of the race

After catching up with my friends, Ramesh made his way to the F1 tracks to begin his evening. While myself & Loi pondered what to do next. I had plans of going to Marina Bay Sand Casino to go up to the sky deck. When I had called them up earlier in the day, I was informed it was only open to visitors until 4pm, after which it would be off limits to non-guests.

We were inside CityLink Mall (yes, another mall in the area) when we decided to check out the HMV store.

Singapore CityLink mall HMV store

Singapore Jay Park HMV store
Damn, Jay Park was in Singapore yesterday! (Jay Park is an K-pop star who’s going to be big worldwide… trust me)

By the time we stepped out of the HMV store, we already spent SGD150 (around Rs. 5,100) on official band t-shirts — and it was past 4pm. So I pushed Marina Bay Sands for tomorrow and headed to Suntec City mall instead.

Singapore Suntec City Tropics Atrium

Singapore Suntec City Canon booth

Singapore Suntec City stores
This is just one section to Suntec City mall

After shopping some more at Suntec, we made our way back to Victoria Street where I had plans to show Loi the Bugis Street shopping centre.

Singapore National Library building
The Singapore National Library building

Singapore greenery trees BugisSingapore Victoria Street iluma mall signalBut lay before us was Iluma — the alluding building which I assumed was a boutique hotel.

Singapore iluma mall exterior design

Singapore iluma mall Victoria street
But upon closer inspection…
Singapore Iluma Mall entrance
… guess what…
Singapore Iluma mall interior design
… it’s just another mall

But a funky one at that. Iluma is a pretty cool mall mostly targeting a younger crowd. Despite its appearance, we didn’t find the usual selection of high-end designer brands. Instead, we came across stores like this:

Singapore iluma mall Comics Connection storeThe merchandise on display was good enough to draw me & Loi in. Nearly half-an-hour later, we step out after having spent some dime on anime merchandise.

Singapore iluma mall floor design
We window-shopped a bit more…
Singapore iluma Otaku House shop
…. before stepping into another nerd’s toy haven

Inside the Otaku House was more anime merchandise; more necklaces and keychains (like the ones we bought from Comics Connection), to cosplay outfits and other props for rent or purchase.

But we sighed… and quietly walked out, reminding ourselves that we had already spent enough and would soon run of Singapore currency at this rate.

It didn’t stop us from exploring the mall still.

Singapore iluma mall inside design
Pretty cool looking mall

The top-most floor houses what they claim to be Singapore’s largest arcade. And then there is the open roof top.

Singapore iluma roof top National Public Llibrary

Singapore sunset skyline iluma rooftop
You get a nice view of the Bugis surroundings from up here
Singapore Raffes hospital Bugis Victoria street
Victoria Street and Raffles Hospital in the distance

Singapore Raffes hospital Bugis junctionSingapore evening sky building iluma rooftop

Singapore iluma rooftop restaurants
There are a few rooftop restaurants up here

As we made our way down, I realized iluma was one of the more unique malls in Singapore. Not only does it look cool, it really manages to cater to a young crowd with more affordable options compared to the rest of Singapore’s malls.

Singapore iluma mall ground floor

After we stepped out of iluma, I took Loi to the Bugis Street Chopping centre.

Singapore Bugis Street shopping Tokyo ShopAnd by the time we were done with that, we were hungry. So we popped into the near by Burger King for a good ol’ beef burger

(Note: Beef burgers are a rarity in India due to religious sentiments so even McDs are too ‘chicken’ to serve beef burgers here).

Singapore Burger King Bugis

Anime jewelry necklace keychain Singapore purchase
Some of the anime merchandise we bought
Singapore iluma building lights night
iluma mall lights up at night

After this, we took the MRT to Orchard Road, our next destination.

I actually wanted to go back to Sim Lim Square, but Loi needed to meet his cousin — and since he didn’t have a local SIM, I had to tag along with him.

When we got to Orchard Road, we stepped right out to Ion Orchard mall.

Singapore Ion Orchard mall road night
There was some dance competition open to the public
Singapore Orchard road Ion Orchard dance contest
And this fat dude was getting a lot of fake screams from the women… so he kept dancing

Orchard Road is Singapore’s famous shopping stretch (as if the rest of the city didn’t offer enough already), home to many star hotels and a very popular stop for tourists.

And boy, does this one-way road live up to its reputation!

Singapore Lucky Plaza Orchard road
Opposite ION Orchard, Lucky Plaza is very popular among Filipinos working in Singapore
Singapore Ngee Ann city mall orchard road
Ngee Ann City mall, the largest mall on Orchard Road
Singapore Takashimaya shopping center Orchard road
Popular for housing Japanese department store Takashimaya
Inside Ngee Ann city mall Singapore
You can get into Ngee Ann city to get to the underpass which comes out the other side of Orchard Road

Inside Ngee Ann City mall fountain Singapore

Singapore Paragon Tod's Prada Miu Miu Orchard road
Paragon, a high-end mall housing luxury brands like miu miu, Prada and more

Once Loi met up with his cousin, I was on my own to explore the rest of Orchard Road for some time.

I got back to the other side to continue from where I left off.

Singapore Emporio Armani store Orchard road
Next up, Mandarin Gallery
Singapore Orchard road street performer gold
You’ll find a few street performers on Orchard Road… and for the love of god, do not taunt them like a few tourists did. They don’t like it.

Singapore Orchard Road woman bikini sculpture

Singapore Orchard Road female bikini sculpture
This can be found in front of the Mandarin Gallery

Singapore Mandarin Gallery Orchard road

Singapore Tourism Visitors center Orchard road
This is the Singapore Tourism office where you can get info, maps, make reservations and such
Singapore Courts electronics store Orchard road
Courts is a large multi-storey electronics store
Singapore bus stop bed ad Orchard road
Pretty innovative ad

Singapore Orchard Road old building traffic signalSingapore Orchard Road The Centrepoint mall RobinsonsSingapore Orchard road mall escalator

Singapore Orchard Central mall Orchard road
This was a pretty cool looking mall

Singapore Orchard Central mall lights Orchard roadSingapore Orchard road Orchard Plaza Hotel GrandSingapore Orchard road green grass treesAfter this point, the malls slowly disappeared.

Singapore Orchard road art gate monument

Singapore Orchard road Orchard Central signal
Crossed to the other side and made my way back

Singapore Orchard road crossing Meritus Mandarin hotel

Singapore Orchard road Tangs store
Tangs is a local department store
Singapore Orchard road Wisma Atria mall
The Orchard Road MRT station is connected to Wisma Atria mall
Singapore Orchard road Ion Orchard Paterson road junction
Ion Orchard, from across the road

After catching up with my friend Loi, we decided to see off his cousin at the bus stop and take one ourselves as we hadn’t done so yet.

Singapore Orchard road Ion Loiyumba cousin
My friend Loi with his cousin sister who studies in Singapore
Singapore sbs transit bus inside
The buses use the same MRT cards

Since we didn’t really know where to get down, we just got off at the end of Orchard Road.

Singapore Orchard road Plaza Singapura Carrefour
There were still more malls this side

Singapore Cathay Mall 75 years oldAs I looked at the map, we realized that Victoria Street wasn’t very far from where we were currently, so I asked Loi if we could just keep walking.

Singapore School of the Arts campus building
The School of the Arts Singapore campus
Singapore YMCA hostel building
We passed by quite a lot of landmarks

It was nearing 11pm, so we stepped into a food court to have dinner and to quench our thirst with some beer.

Singapore Kopitiam food court 24 hours
Open 24 hours, Kopitiam has mostly Chinese and Pan-Asian fare
Singapore Kopitiam roast honey duck pork
We weren’t really hungry so we just had roast duck and pork with our beer

Singapore Kopitiam Master Duck counterAfter ‘dinner,’ we resumed our walk towards our hostel.

Singapore Arts Museum night sculptures
This was the Singapore Arts Museum

Singapore Arts Museum building nightSingapore Victoria Street church junctionI couldn’t help but remind ourselves how good a location we chose to be stay in, given how close we were to a lot of what Singapore has to offer (especially if you a re shopaholic!).

Singapore Management University building
Singapore Management University campus

Singapore Victoria street at night building

Singapore Bugis street shopping closed night
The Bugis Street Shopping centre… closed
Singapore Kampong Glam at night Sultan Mosque
Sultan Mosque down the street

Singapore Kampong Glam trees moon sky

Singapore Old Street cafe & bar hotel
Santa Grand Hotel Bugis is in front of ABC Hostel

We were finally back in our room…. oh wait, we ran out of drinking water.

(Steps out again)

Singapore Kampong Glam Al Baik Mariam restaurantSingapore Kampong Glam cats at nightSingapore Kampong Glam Biriyani Bistro restaurantSingapore Kampong Glam wall grafittiOnce back from the nearby 7-Eleven I was finally done with day 2! As we checked out out our merchandise, we also counted how much we had already spent and soon realized we were running out of Singapore dollars.

We just had one more day left in Singapore, so it was either going to be Sentosa or the Singapore Zoo. I also wanted to hit the sky deck at Marina Bay Sands Hotel and Casino.

Would I be able to do it all?

Well…


Other posts in this series:

Singapore & Malaysia 2010: Planning and preparing for the trip

Singapore 2010: Day 1 – Little India, CBD, Clarke Quay, China Town… and a lot of walking

Singapore 2010: Day 3 – Singapore Zoo, Marina Bay Sands; leaving Singapore for Penang

Malaysia 2010: Day 4 — One day in Penang (Around Georgetown, Gurney Drive, Penang Hill)

Malaysia 2010: Day 5 — Langkawi (Ferry ride from Penang, Cable car & Sky Bridge)

Malaysia 2010: Day 6 — Langkawi (Island hopping tour, Pantai Tengah beach, Night market)

Malaysia 2010: Day 7 — Kuala Lumpur (Low Yat Plaza, Petronas Towers, Jalan Alor)

Malaysia 2010: Day 8 — Kuala Lumpur (Batu Caves, Petaling Street/China Town)

Malaysia 2010: Day 9 — Kuala Lumpur (KLCC Aquaria, Merdeka Square, KL Tower observation deck)

Malaysia 2010: Leaving Kuala Lumpur… and about going back

Ibn Battuta mall China court panorama

UAE 2010: Showing my parents the sights of Dubai; inside Ibn Battuta Mall

Date: 10th April 2010

After a tiring previous day (and only hitting the bed at 4am), I got up early to receive my parents from Bur Dubai bus stand as they were visiting from Abu Dhabi. Since today and tomorrow were all going to be ‘family time,’ we were going to be staying with my father’s friend, in his nice, posh little flat in Karama.

Once we all landed at my father’s friend’s place post-lunch, we rested for some time before heading out.

It was back to Dubai Mall for me — but for my parents, despite having lived in Abu Dhabi for nearly an year, it was going to be their first time experiencing Dubai Aquarium and At The Top of Burj Khalifa.

First up, the aquarium: Dubai Aquarium from entrance outside glassDubai Aquarium little girl baby shark

Dubai Aquarium little sting ray Acha touch
My father really enjoyed being this close to sea creatures

Dubai Aquarium narrow sting ray tube

Dubai Aquarium under sting ray face
That’s what a stingray’s face looks like

Dubai Aquarium dome lots of fish

Dubai Aquarium divers working
Well, hello there!

Dubai Aquarium darkness Dubai Aquarium from outside Dubai mall crowdsFor more photos and videos from inside Dubai Aquarium, check out my first post. Next up, we waited for our turn to go up the Burj Khalifa.

Dubai Mall At The Top gift shop parents
My parents at the At The Top gift shop

Burj Khalifa statistics At The Top entrance

Burj Khalifa statistics Story in numbers facts figures
200+ storeys; 95kms – from where one can see the top of the spire; 12,000 slaves… sorry, labourers; 57 elevators; 500,000 tonnes – weight of the empty building

I had booked for an evening slot for the At The Top visit, hoping I could see Dubai all lit up. But as we got up, the sun was still very much above the horizon.

Burj Khalifa parents At the Top view
Regardless, my parents loved the view
Dubai Financial Center from Burj Khalifa evening
Dubai financial center
Burj Khalifa floors above At The Top
That’s how many floors there still are above the observation deck
Burj Khalifa sunset over The World islands
The sun setting over the yet to be completed The World islands
Burj Khalifa tourists watching sunset
Watching the sun set from atop the world’s tallest building is a great idea

At The Top Burj Khalifa tourists watching sunsetDowntown Dubai construction site from Burj Khalifa For more photos and videos from At The Top, check out my first post.

We finished our tour of Burj Khalifa, made our way out and to the Dubai Fountain site. The $200 million-plus Dubai Fountain is an attraction built on the artificial (duh) lake just outside Dubai Mall.

Dubai Mall The Address hotel at night
The Address hotel in the back
Dubai mall Dubai fountain site at night
The crowds wait for the show to start

Built by the same people behind the famous Bellagio fountains in Las Vegas, Dubai obviously had to up the ante. So these fountains shoot water up higher, 500 feet high (150 metres)!

Shows are every half an hour between 6pm to 10pm. Here’s the show I saw: Since it’s free, and since I can’t afford to go to Las Vegas just yet, this was great!

Burj Khalifa Mithun parents portrait
Me and my folks in front of a massive concrete & steel Christmas tree

Burj Khalifa glowing dubaiAfter the show, we made our way to the buses that drop visitors to the metro station.

Pink Porsche Dubai mall parking
Why, why would someone do that to a Porsche?
Burj Khalifa glowing at night dubai
Architectural beauty

The next day with my parents…

The next morning, I took my parents to Bur Dubai for some shopping and to show them around. Bur Dubai souk morning

Bur Dubai souk father pushing cart
My father considering ‘post-retirement’ work

Bur Dubai souk morning wide angleBur Dubai souk morning shopsBur Dubai souk station morning Bur Dubai souk Indonesian shop

Bur Dubai souk Chinese man with father
My father bothering some random Chinese dude for a photo

After showing them the souk station, I took them to the Hindu temple (photos of both can be seen in my first post). Bur Dubai Hindu temple tourists Bur Dubai souk Hindu temple entry exitBur Dubai Hindu temple entry exit Poojasri fashions

Bur Dubai souk park parents sitting
Taking a break from all the walking

Bur Dubai morning old buildingBur Dubai mosque roadBur Dubai mosque blue sky

Bur Dubai creek morning pigeons
Pigeons by the creek

Bur Dubai creek pigeons bouysAnd with that, we were done. Took a taxi and headed back to my father’s colleague’s place. He offered to drop us off near Jebel Ali power station, where we had been invited for lunch by our relatives.

Inside Mr. Nandakumar's Peugot car with sunroof
Inside Mr. Nandakumar’s Peugot

Once again, it was a drive on Sheikh Zayed Road.

Emirates Towers Dubai from car
Emirates Towers

Glass building Sheikh Zayed roadGlass building construction Sheikh Zayed roadSheikh Zayed road tall buildingSheikh Zayed road row of buildingsSheikh Zayed road Dubai Marina construction

Dubai Hard Rock cafe Sheikh Zayed road
Those guitars used to be where Dubai’s Hard Rock Cafe was

Sheikh Zayed road office towersMetro line train Sheikh Zayed roadDnata travel center Dubai office twin towers

Jebel Ali station flat view
The view from my uncle’s flat near Jebel Ali power station, where he works

After lunch, we decided to check out Ibn Battuta Mall, which was nearby. This was the last major mall I had yet to see and the one my friends highly recommended, just because it was different.

The mall business in Dubai is, let’s just say, quite cut throat. For such a small state, Dubai has some of the largest malls in the world. And since just about every mall offers the same set of stores, mall operators come up with differentiators to draw the crowds in.

What’s the differentiator for Ibn Battuta Mall? For one (if you haven’t figured out already), it’s named after the great Muslim explorer Ibn Battuta. The entire mall is themed after his travels across China, India, Persia, Egypt, Tunisia, and Andalusia with a section dedicated to each zone.

We parked near the China entrance. Ibn Battuta mall parking lot DubaiIbn Battuta mall Chinese entranceIbn Battuta mall Chinese corridor China courtEach of the sections have a lobby with a major attraction specific to that zone. This is what the China court looks like.

Ibn Battuta mall China court panorama
Panorama comprised of 6 shots

The main attraction here being a replica of a Chinese sailing ship supposedly used by Ibn Battuta in his travels. Ibn Battuta mall Chinese ship modelIbn Battuta mall Chinese boat fountainIbn Battuta mall China court ship

Ibn Battuta mall Grand cinemas IMAX
Ibn Battuta Mall houses the only IMAX screen in Dubai

From China, we then moved on to India. Ibn Battuta mall India court from ChinaIbn Battuta India court shopsIbn Battuta India court lobbyIbn Battuta India court dome chandlier

Ibn Battuta India court elephant rider
India Court’s big attraction

From India into Persia. Ibn Battuta mall Persia court from IndiaIbn Battuta mall Persia court kids roomsIbn Battuta mall Persia court main dome Ibn Battuta Mall Persia court armillary spherePersia Court’s big attraction is a replica of a Starbucks Coffee outlet*.

Ibn Battuta Mall Persia court dome Starbucks
*just kidding

From Persia, you have two paths to Egypt. Ibn Battuta Mall entry Egypt court

Ibn Battuta Mall Egypt court street lamps
Both paths eventually meet
Ibn Battuta mall Egypt court corridor
The Egypt Court houses a lot of history, facts and trivia about Ibn Battuta

Ibn Battuta mall Egypt court trade middle agesIbn Battuta mall Egypt court across North AfricaIbn Battuta mall Egypt court life of traveller

Ibn Battuta Mall Egypt court travel mapIbn Battuta mall Egypt court pyramid

Ibn Battuta Mall Eqypt court lampsAnd finally Andalusia.

Ibn Battuta mall Andalusia court entryIbn Battuta mall Andalusia court corridorIbn Battuta Mall Andalusia court ceilingIbn Battuta Mall Andalusia court center statue

Ibn Battuta Mall Andalusia court fountains
Andalusia Court’s main attraction

Ibn Battuta mall Andalusia court flight ceilingWith that, we had conquered all five regions of Ibn Battuta’s mall. So we made our journey back, passing by more displays.

Ibn Battuta mall Andalusia court India displayIbn Battuta mall Eqypt court display

Ibn Battuta mall China hall pillars ceiling
Back in China Court

Ibn Battuta China hall ceiling

Ibn Battuta Mall truly is a must-see in my opinion. It was a good move on Nakheel Properties’ part to use a theme like this to set the mall apart from Dubai’s other shopping centers.

Once out of Ibn Battuta Mall, we wished our relatives goodbye and took the metro to Bur Dubai bus stand. I was heading back to Abu Dhabi.

Dubai bus to Abu Dhabi at nightAnd with this, ends my Dubai sojourn — for now.


Next posts in this series:

UAE 2010: From the desert sands of Abu Dhabi to the corniche

UAE 2010: Yas Island, Abu Dhabi – Ferrari World and Yas Marina Circuit

Previous posts in this series:

UAE 2010: Heading back to the Gulf after 7 years

UAE 2010: Driving from Abu Dhabi to Dubai (& back)

UAE 2010: Sheikh Zayed Mosque, Abu Dhabi

UAE 2010: Heading to Dubai by bus; checking out Bur Dubai

UAE 2010: Dubai Mall (Aquarium, Underwater Zoo & Gold Souk) – Part 1

UAE 2010: Burj Khalifa, At the Top (and Wafi Mall) – Part 2

UAE 2010: Driving around Dubai (Souk Madinat Jumeirah, The Atlantis & The Palm Islands) – Part 1

UAE 2010: Dubai Marina, Jumeirah, The Walk and David Guetta concert – Part 2

Mall of Emirates Ski Dubai inside

UAE 2010: Mall of Emirates and Times Square Center

Date: 8th April 2010

After yesterday’s tiring walk (despite being an eventful day), it was back to more mall-hopping today. After Dubai Mall, it was off to the next most popular mall in Dubai: Mall of Emirates.

As usual, I took the metro from Union Station.

Inside Dubai Metro Union StationMall of Emirates is located after Dubai Mall (as per the metro line) so the ride takes nearly 20 minutes.

To-Let office Sheikh Zayed road
To-let office building on the 12-lane Sheikh Zayed road
Burj Al Arab from inside metro

There is a Mall of Emirates stop on the metro line and a walk-way metro link connects directly to the mall.

Now Mall of Emirates isn’t the most impressive-looking of malls (architecture wise) — or at least compared to the expensive Dubai Mall. Therefore you’re not going to see a whole lot of photos in this post, simply because I didn’t take that many.

The only portion of the mall that impressed me was this bit…

Mall of Emirates lobby Harvey NicholsMall of Emirates dome elevatorMall of Emirates glass dome ceilingMall of Emirates glass dome sunlightMall of Emirates marble floorMall of Emirates glass dome Ralph Lauren

… that was it.

Oh, Mall of Emirates also houses Ski Dubai – the first in-door ski resort in the Middle East.

Mall of Emirates Ski Dubai entranceMall of Emirates Ski Dubai inside

Mall of Emirates Ski Dubai inside slope panorama
Panorama comprised of 7 shots
Mall of Emirates St. Moritz cafe
Nice (artificially created) mountain view

I was tempted to go in and check it out because I have yet to experience snow — and yes, I know Ski Dubai uses fake snow. But still, something for next time.

Not much else to say about the mall. It was the usual collection of high-end brands but what I liked about Mall of Emirates is that it still offers something for everyone. Maybe it was the anchor tenant Carrefour, but I saw more people in Mall of Emirates than I did see in Dubai Mall… and this was on a week day morning.

More people were shopping too. I mean actually buying stuff unlike most of the visitors I saw in Dubai Mall.

I was one of those shoppers. I was in the hunt for a particular lens (which was hard to come by) and my friend did advice me to check out the Virgin Megastore in the Mall of Emirates. Which I did. Then I saw a lot of stuff I wanted to buy… and then told the sales people I would be back because what I wanted to buy was kinda big.

I had to check out electronics retailer Sharaf DG, whose largest outlet in UAE was located in another mall. And so I decided to step out of Mall of Emirates, have lunch at the Lulu Center nearby and take a taxi to Times Square Center.

Building for rent near Lulu center
Just another empty building on the way to Lulu Hypermarket

After an India lunch, I hopped in to a taxi and went to Times Square Center which was actually before Mall of Emirates (as per the metro line).

Times Square Center isn’t very big (comparatively by Dubai’s new standards).  As soon as I walked in, lay before me stood these machines.

Mall of Emirates Yellow Hat store carsTimes Square center classic carsTimes Square center Yellow Hat bikes hotrodsMall of Emirates Yellow Hat choppersTimes Square center white classic car excaliburI don’t know if it was Yellow Hat who put them up, but the collection was impressive.

Sharaf DG was located on the top floor in Times Square Center.

Times Square Center ceilingTimes Square Center escalators treesTimes Square Center escalators

The outlet is definitely big and has pretty much everything you need — except that the lens I wanted was out of stock. Sharaf DG make a claim that if they don’t have something in stock, the buyer will get a hefty discount*.

They still took my information down and told me they would contact me once the Tamron lens I wanted would arrive. The price they quoted was much less than what it cost in India, even from the grey market.

I soon left and made my way back to Mall of Emirates by cab…

Mall of Emirates Ski Dubai from outside
That's Ski Dubai from the outside

Mall of Emirates dome marble floorMall of Emirates the Toy Store

… hopped backed into Virgin Megastore and spent close to Dhs 1000.

I then struggled to carry my purchases to the taxi and in the process, managed to get the only workout during my time in UAE.

I finally managed to get it all back to the room.

So what did I buy?

Band Hero gaming haul Dubai
Band Hero (the complete set + Guitar Hero World Tour the game), Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm and Batman Arkham Asylum

The Band Hero set was a straight 25% off on the price (and they threw in a free copy of Guitar Hero World Tour — which I already had). I got Arkham Asylum pretty cheap too (considering it wasn’t an old game by any means) and I got a free Nintendo t-shirt too. All-in-all, a great deal!

Now all I had to worry about was how to get it all back to Bangalore.


Next posts in this series:

UAE 2010: Driving around Dubai (Souk Madinat Jumeirah, The Atlantis & The Palm Islands) – Part 1

UAE 2010: Dubai Marina, Jumeirah, The Walk and David Guetta concert – Part 2

UAE 2010: Showing my parents the sights of Dubai; inside Ibn Battuta Mall

UAE 2010: From the desert sands of Abu Dhabi to the corniche

UAE 2010: Yas Island, Abu Dhabi – Ferrari World and Yas Marina Circuit

Previous posts in this series:

UAE 2010: Heading back to the Gulf after 7 years

UAE 2010: Driving from Abu Dhabi to Dubai (& back)

UAE 2010: Sheikh Zayed Mosque, Abu Dhabi

UAE 2010: Heading to Dubai by bus; checking out Bur Dubai

UAE 2010: Dubai Mall (Aquarium, Underwater Zoo & Gold Souk) – Part 1

UAE 2010: Burj Khalifa, At the Top (and Wafi Mall) – Part 2

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