I didn’t come to Dubai to walk through malls. Unfortunately, the favourite pastime here is hanging out at malls. This weekend, however, I explored a mall that I loved.
Ibn Battuta was a Moroccan explorer whose travels inspired the architecture in the six courts that make up the Ibn Battuta Mall in Dubai–the Andalusia, Tunisia, Egypt, Persia, India, and China courts. Each section of the mall is themed not only in the roof and designs on the walls but also in the odd ornaments and pieces of furniture.
There was definitely still too much rampant capitalism and materialism, but I enjoyed walking around these shops. The Persia court was my favourite partially because it had a mini-exhibit on Ibn Battuta and his travels. He set out when he was twenty and managed to see every Islamic country of the time which I was greatly impressed by.
We found a bookstore and I went in, excited because John Irving had released a book three days prior. To my absolute disgust, they had no copies of Avenue of Mysteries (or of Hollowgirl by Sean Williams, which had been released the same day but which I had already finished on my kindle app.) Though I was exceptionally happy to smell the pages of new books, I was disappointed by their lack of Irving and Gabrielle Zevin.
I found a bubble tea place on our way out and the San Franciscan in me was positively gleeful.
I’m not going to begin shopping every weekend, but Ibn Battuta is by far the coolest mall I’ve ever been to. Forget the ski slopes and indoor aquariums, showcasing various architectural styles is the real deal!