I’ve been to The Dubai Mall many times since it opened last year. I didn’t think I would like it as it’s hyped as the world’s largest mall (based on total area) – blah blah blah.
But, it’s actually quite a nice mall. I don’t go evenings nor weekends when it’s a bit packed but as a lady-of-leisure now (ha ha – I still get a kick out of that phrase) I go mid-day and mid-week and it’s a very pleasant experience. At least it is more pleasant now that I’ve figured out its labyrinth of a parking garage.
When the mall first openened up, you could walk right up to the Aquarium without having to pay. Now it’s roped off and unless you fork over some dirhams, you must stand a few yards away. The mall plays classical music over the speaker system and I remember my first visit being absolutely mesmerized by the fishies in the tank (my nose only inches away) listening to philharmonics and feeling like I was suspended in a Discovery Channel show.
I try to avoid looking at the Aquarium these days because as an avid scuba diver, I get this intense feeling of wanting to jump into the tank to say hello to all the little fishies (and huge sharks) and am always jealous when I see the other divers in there. The mall offers a scuba discovery program where guests can pay to dive in the tank but I think it’s all wrong (for me, I mean) because it’s so artificial. I’d rather dive in the real ocean.
In case you were wondering what world record the Aquarium holds…I’ll tell you! It holds the Guiness World Record for World’s Largest Acrylic Pane. So there – another Dubai world record!
Besides the Aquarium, other water features in and around the mall include an indoor ice skating rink, this cool water fall with sculptures of freedivers, and one of the largest water fountains in the world – the Dubai Fountain – which is 25% larger than the Bellagio’s in Vegas. I haven’t seen it myself yet – so no photo, sorry.
On my last trip to the mall, I also saw this really cool water feature – a drinking fountain! These little stainless steel guys below are actually quite rare in Dubai. It could possibly go down the Guiness World Record books as the only drinking fountains in a Dubai mall (joke). I don’t know why, but there is quite a stigma here about drinking tap water. I drink it at home and coming from a city with the best drinking tap water in the world I have of course tried to order tap water in a restaurant but I just get these awkward or blank stares so I’ve given up.
Looking at the drinking fountains I don’t think anyone has ever used it so I thought I’d be the first. Except I stupidly chose the one on the left and if you look closely at the photo…the spout was pointed directly at me – so you can imagine I got a little bit wet.