Saturday evening Betty and I visited Ibn Battuta Mall here in Dubai. Mohammad ibn Battuta was a native of Morocco and lived in the 14th Century. He was one of the great travelers. During his lifetime, he traveled much of the known world and made it all the way to China’s east coast and back. His travels were recorded in “The Journey of ibn Battuta”.
Malls are a way of shopping life here (the suqs did not scale but they are still here for tourists), and after a while all the malls begin to look alike. But Ibn Battuta is something else entirely! A themed mall, it has six sections decorated after six of the lands Ibn Battuta visited: Andalusia, Tunisia, Egypt, Persia, India, and China. The interior architecture and decoration, including the natural-looking ceilings, are well done and quite beautiful.
Not a bad selection of stores and places to eat, also. And Novo Cinema, 23 screens (I think) plus IMax.
The mall is down by the Jebel Ali seaport. One must pass through the the Ibn Battuta Gate building to get there – the building has a keyhole arch at least five stories tall, and the road runs through it at ground level.
I’ll be back!