Part four of five installments
Neither Beverly Hills’ Rodeo Drive, Chicago’s Magnificent Mile nor Honolulu’s Ala Moana Blvd. have anything on Dubai when it comes to opportunities for retail therapy.
|Ski Dubai in the Mall of the Emirates|
Both malls have a broad cross-section of upmarket shopping. The Dubai Mall features an outlet of the British retailer Fortnum & Mason’s while the Mall of the Emirates has a three-story outlet of British fashion retailer Harvey Nichols. Both have a broad selection of fast-food as well as fine-dining establishments for those times when one just has to get off their feet.
|Dubai Ice Rink in The Dubai Mall|
A ticket to the tower’s observation deck or a seat in the At.Mosphere restaurant on the 122 nd floor are among the most popular tickets in town and don’t come cheap.
The Burj, as it is called by locals, offers visitors the opportunity to visit two different levels of the building: At The Top at level 124, and At The Top Sky at levels 125 and 148. Visits to At The Top are available during non-prime hours of 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and again from 6:30 p.m. until closing at a cost of AED 125 for adults. During prime hours, the price climbs to AED 200 for adults using General Admission or AED 300 for Immediate Entry admission.
|Hookahs at the Souk|
As if high-end shopping wasn't enough, in a rather amazing display of ostentation the Mall of the Emirates has an ATM that dispenses ... gold! Gold-dispensing ATMs, part of the Gold to Go network, are also located in the Burj Khalifa, the Atlantis Palm Resort, Galleries Lafayette and the InterContinental Hotel.
More traditional shopping opportunities are available at the Souk Madineh Jumeriah, located near the iconic Burj Al Arab hotel on the shores of the Persian Gulf. Unlike the large malls, which are similar to many malls in the West, the Souk Madineh Jumeriah is more a traditional marketplace and guests are expected to conduct themselves accordingly, including adhering to guidelines mandating “sensible dress” and the avoidance of wearing beach wear.
The Souk Madineh Jumeriah is most easily reached by taxi. Visitors who catch a taxi in the Dubai Marina district may find themselves being driven along Al Sufouh Rd. which, between the marina and the souk, is lined by plain walls approximately eight feet high, dotted from place to place by entrance portals. My taxi driver told me that behind those walls are residences for members of the royal family. Whether that is accurate or not, the entire span of Persian Gulf beach along that stretch is clearly designated “Private Beach” and the area is home to several upmarket hotels, resorts and dining venues.
|Atlantis Palm Resort|
Located on a palm-shaped, man-made island, The Atlantis has its own water park, a range of restaurants and other activities and attractions. In my estimation, such a resort must appeal most to people who want to say they have been to Dubai but who do not actually want to experience Dubai.
New buildings currently under construction – and they are everywhere – will continue to push the architectural envelope. If architects have their way, a planned structure patterned after the Eiffel Tower will surpass the Burj Khalifa, and likely in time for Expo 2020, which Dubai is hosting.
If you are planning to visit Dubai, appropriate attire is crucial, though not for the reasons you may think. More on that in my final installment.
Visit my main page at TheTravelPro.us for more news, reviews, and personal observations on the world of upmarket travel.
Photos by Carl Dombek
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