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Friday 23 December 2016

UAE 2016 Day 01: Ibn Battuta Mall

We’ve arrived in Dubai!

It was only 12:30pm and the serviced apartment that Ginny and Sern booked was obviously not ready to receive us yet. Seeing as we had a few hours to kill they took us to a shopping mall nearby that had a peculiar theme. It was to be the start of our love affair with Ibn Battuta Mall!

As the website explains: “In June 1335, a young man of just 21 years set out to explore the world. His journey spanned 24 years and six different lands - Tunisia, Egypt, Persia, India, China and Andalusia. Along the way, he survived storms and pirates, served as a judge and scholar, dined with nobles and commoners. This extraordinary adventurer was Ibn Battuta. His life and travels are an inspiration to us. It has influenced our mall in design and spirit. You’ll see it in the interior themes and names of our courts. It has influenced our mall in design and spirit. You’ll see it in the interior themes and names of our courts. At Ibn Battuta Mall, shopping, dining and entertainment come together with history, culture and the story of a remarkable adventure. It is what makes us one of Dubai’s most exciting shopping and retail destinations.

welcoming committee

we entered through the China Court

a reindeer!

a truly Middle Eastern Christmas

The mall is separated into six difference themes namely Tunisia, Egypt, Persia, India, China and Andalusia.

The first section of the mall was appropriately the China Court. "A storm, sunken ships, pirates, Ibn Battuta’s journey to China was an eventful one. However, the art and inventiveness he saw in China made up for his troubles. The court captures the majesty and vibrancy of Imperial China. Spacious colonnaded halls decked with giant dragon medallions, white marble columns reminiscent of the gates of historic Chinese cities, a coffered ceiling with royal motifs symbolizing happiness and prosperity. At the centre of it all is one of the most seaworthy vessels of its times – a Chinese Junk. It’s our homage to the great traveller and his remarkable adventure."

China Court

a sunken ship?

almost life sized

in the centre of the Court

from another angle

very tall Christmas tree

and a few little ones as well

The next section was the India Court. "Ruled by the Mughals in the 13th century, India was renowned for its unique Indo-Islamic architecture, majestic monuments and immense wealth. The splendour of India’s Mughal period is clearly evident in the court. The central dome bears influences of the Taj Mahal, the Red Fort and the Wind Palace. However, the centrepiece of the court is the Elephant Clock. A marvel of medieval technology created by an inventor Al Jazari. Every hour, wooden carved figures, dragons and phoenixes of the Elephant Clock come alive and move together as it tells you the time."

the elephant clock

influenced by the Taj Mahal?

the central dome

almost life sized as well

bears influence of the Mughal Red Fort as well?

adorning the walls

every hour like 'clock-work'

inspired by Moghul architecture

one final shot

We then came upon the Persia Court. "Persia was one of the greatest centres of learning and culture in the 14th century. The artistry of Persia can be seen in the arabesque design of the court’s enormous dome. It’s arched passages, blue and turquoise mosaic walkway and magnificent brass chandelier immediately transports you to the vaulted streets of Baghdad."

arabesque design

sky-painted ceiling

Islamic quadrant

Islamic astrolabe

measuring angles in the sky?

 magnificent brass chandelier 

blue and turquoise mosaic

We hope to explore the other Courts at another time (Tunisia, Egypt and Andalusia). But for now, we took a breather and rested at a Café that we would soon grew very fond of.

Caribou Coffee is located at the centre of the Persia Court where you can get an amazing panoramic view of the entire dome and its chandelier. Oh, and they serve pretty good mocha latter as well.

in the centre of the Persia Court

surrounded by blue and turquoise mosaic

hits the spot!

It's time to head to Dubai Marina!

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