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Thursday 30 January 2020

UAE 2020 Day 10: The Galleria, Al Maryah Island

We hopped on the 2.30pm bus from Al Ain and slept most of the way back to Abu Dhabi Central Bus Station. We arrived close to 5pm and walked across to Al Wahda Mall,  and after a few short minutes we met up with Ginny and Sern who just got off from work. They took us to an upscale shopping mall on the tiny but posh Al Maryah Island.

there's even a cinema here

quietly elegant mall

with plenty of natural light

The Galleria at Al Maryah Island is a relatively new mall surrounded by 5 star hotels and high end serviced apartments. This mouthful of a self-description says it all: “First opened in 2013 as a luxury and fine-dining destination with brands such as Louis Vuitton, Cartier, Gucci and Zuma, in September 2019 it dramatically expanded its offering when 250 new stores such as Zara, H&M and Debenhams open alongside family favourites such as The Cheesecake Factory, PF Chang’s and Paul Café. Combined with world-class entertainment venues including a 21-screen VOX Cinema with IMAX, a flagship Xtreme Zone and urban parks catering to family activities”

comfortable lounging area

Ginny and Sern had a ‘little errand’ to run at one of the retail outlets here. Once the ‘little errand’ was done they took us to a fusion Chinese Korean fusion restaurant called the Royal Orchid. Located  in the North terrace of the original Galleria mall, this restaurant offered great tasting food with a menu that is simple yet varied. 

at the Royal Orchid

placing our orders

simple yet varied

making up their minds
walking out to the terrace

Originally knowed as Sowwah Island the Abu Dhabi Municipality renamed it Al Maryah Island in 2012. This diminutive island occupies a unique location in the midway between the current business area of Abu Dhabi, and the projects at Al Reem Island, Mina Zayed and the cultural district at Saadiyat Island. A fascinating fact that we found remarkable is that Al Maryah Island is a natural island, and not man-made from reclaimed land.

as the sun sets

over Al Maryah Island

waiting to be served

beside the Four Seasons Hotel

with plenty of walkways

in all directions

calm and peaceful

the sun was setting soon

as we dined

we bore witness

to a most pleasing and calming sunset

The restaurant also provides seating at the terraces outside where we dined while enjoying a pleasing and calming view of the sunset over Al Maryah Island.

hakka chicken noodle

vietnamese chicken pho

hong kong noodles

stewed duck rice

fried noodles

We then headed back to Al Reef to prepare for a good night’s sleep. Tomorrow would prove to be a physically demanding day that will be well worth the exertions.

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