Friday, January 30, 2015

Retail Therapy

It had to happen.  The day dawned that we headed to one of the enormous malls with the intent to shop.  We chose the Al Marina Mall largely because it was the nearest and a nice walking distance from the apartment along the Corniche and across the bridge/causeway from the main island ... where only Emirati's may own property.

Al Marina Mall
The big thing was that the flag on the largest flagpole in the world was at half mast.  "Who's died?" we thought and then when we looked more closely we saw that the flag was actually being raised!  "Derr," we thought.  Obviously they raise it in the mornings.

Half Mast
However it turned out that the King of Saudi had died that morning so there was a reason for the flag to be at half mast after all.

The mall itself was enormous.  We'd arranged to head our separate ways for an hour but I hadn't even left the first floor before that time was up.  The blurb said the mall was 235,000 square metres in size -- times by 10 for square feet -- and it includes an ice skating rink and ski slope like the Emirates Mall in Dubai.  Apparently when it opened some leaks were discovered so rather than repair them, the operators simply left the slope as was.  So there it is now, dark and waiting for something.

Waiting, waiting...

And yes, every shop in the world appears to be there.  But its not the biggest mall in Abu Dhabi.  That is the Yas Mall which takes enormous to an all new level.

It was so intimidating that I couldn't bring myself to buy anything!

Well, apart from two or three coffees as there were 15 different coffee shops all packed to the gills with locals enjoying a coffee and sweet thing and perhaps a shisha.

Side by side coffee shops, both jammed
Coffee culture is alive and well in Abu Dhabi and the coffee shops on the whole do it very well indeed.

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