Wednesday 16 November 2011

UAE: Following the Steps of Ibn Battuta (in a Mall)

One of the more popular shopping malls here in Dubai is Ibn Battuta Mall. It is huuuuuggee although obviously it is not as huge as Dubai Mall, which currently holds the world record as the largest mall in the world. Ibn Battuta Mall however claims to be the world’s largest themed shopping mall. And its theme is...
The travels and journeys of the famous 14th century explorer from Morocco, Ibn Battuta.
The mall is set up in just one level and it stretches to well over 1 km from one end to another. As it is set up based on Ibn Battuta’s travels, visitors are basically transported to about 6 different countries and regions as they walk along (or travel by shuttle service!) from one end to the other. These include: Andalusia, Tunisia, Egypt, Persia, India and China. Of course these were not the only places that Ibn Battuta had travelled to. According to Wikipedia, “over his lifetime Ibn Battuta traveled over 73,000 miles and visited the equivalent of 44 modern countries”, “a figure unsurpassed by any individual traveller until the coming of the Steam Age some 450 years later”.

Ibn Battuta first set out to travel at the age of 21 to perform the Hajj (pilgrimage) in Makkah, Saudi Arabia but he eventually continued to travel and never to return to Morocco again until some 24 years later. His book, which recounts his travels, is entitled “A Gift to Those Who Contemplate the Wonders of Cities and the Marvels of Travelling” or simply referred to as “Rihla” or “The Journey”. Not sure if this is available anywhere though... *makes a note to check at a bookstore soon*

Anywayyyysss...  we might not have covered 44 modern countries (yet! ;-)) but at Ibn Battuta Mall, we can surely cover some of the countries that Ibn Battuta had been to, and it would probably only take less than an hour to do so (taking into account of some window shopping :-D) instead of some 24 years.

Let the journey (and/or shopping) begins...

First stop: Andalusia

The design of the archs is copied from the prayer hall of the former Great Mosque of Córdoba in Spain

Second stop: Tunisia


Third stop: Egypt

The concourse area in "Egypt" is where one can learn more about the travels of Ibn Battuta

Fourth stop: Persia

My personal favourite area :-) There's a Starbucks in the area right below the dome, where you can relax and enjoy some coffee while marvelling at the design and architecture of this area.

Fifth stop: Indiaaaahhh

Sixth and last stop: China


Further Information

For more information on Ibn Battuta, you may check Wikipedia and FamousScientists.org. Do let me know if you are aware of any website that provides better information about him, and I shall update accordingly.

The best way to get to the mall is either by car/taxi or by metro. The mall is located adjacent to Ibn Battuta Metro Station on the Red Line of Dubai Metro system.

For more information about the mall, including its mall directory, you may visit its website here.

For other http://www.rambleandwander.com/ postings on the UAE, click here


Comments and feedback are always appreciated. So do leave one or two if you have the time. Thank you!

  1. Replies
    1. It is! Who would have thought of coming up with such a shopping mall, aye? :-)

  2. wonder when will it be my rejeki to visit Dubai. Duit oh duit.

    1. Soon? ;-) Just do it as a stopover on your way to Scandinavia perhaps?

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