HOLIDAYS IN A SHOPPING MALL
Traveling to Dubai almost inevitably means visiting at least one shopping mall. Frequenting shopping malls or at least visiting one of them is on a must list during your stay in Dubai. It is not only touristic habit, but surveys show that shoppers from all over the Middle East come to Dubai especially for shopping. There are several reasons for that. In the basis of this widely spread habit all over UAE lies the fact that the climate is now very suitable for shopping avenues where you could nonchalantly walk around, stop in front of shopping windows, stop for a coffee or lunch. Constantly sunny weather and summer temperatures that reach 50 degrees Celsius, made shopping malls the most convenient solution for shopping development. Economical climate also helped in creating grandiose merchant temples.
Let’s start with local habits. Survey among 1,000 residents in the UAE showed that early 2 in 10 Emiratis go to a shopping mall every day, while 6 in 10 people visit a shopping center once a week. Shopping is not the only reason why people frequent these centers. They also spend time in coffee shops and restaurants. It might sound impossible, but 21% of surveyees said that visit more than five different places every month.
Dubai is of course region’s leader in enormous, glamorous shopping malls, including the world’s largest shopping mall by total area – Dubai Mall. Located in the downtown it is retail, entertainment and leisure space. Among other things, it features Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo. Special place in shopping universe belongs to the Mall of the Emirates which is known to be the first shopping resort in the world. Shopping resort sounds like a complete new category in shopping experience, offering more than just a possibility to go home with hands full of designer brand bags. It actually contains the world famous ski resort where you can ski, snowboard or play with the penguins. Especially known for its beauty is a Moroccan inspired mall Ibn Battuta. It is considered to be the largest theme mall in the world. There is also a place called Outlet Village – a Tuscan inspired, outlet luxury mall. You got the picture – everything is there!
With some 96 malls around the city it is almost impossible that you will find whatever you need, weather it is designer clothes or fine dining, theme parks , ice skating or other kind of entertainment. You got the picture – everything is there!
HATTA MOUNTAIN DEVELOPMENT
Diversity matters. Possibility to change environment is important – from the city to the nature, from the beach to the mountains and vice versa. There is something relaxing about different surrounding, different view on the horizon. Dubai already has its favorite mountain getaway. Yes, you heard it well – mountain. Located halfway between two costs of Arabic peninsula, on the border with Oman and just 1,5 hours away from Dubai there lies Hatta mountain. Hatta mountain with its lake is not really what you could easily imagine in the middle of the desert. Mountain peaks and large water surfaces is what already makes this location favorite place for outdoor sports from hiking to riding a bike (on bicycle paths or off-road) and kayaking. Hatta mountain is already an exquisite tourist location, lovely and unique. It is about to face large investment in development of touristic attractions.
In the past it was famous area for growing date palms for food and building material. Still existing old village with typical mountain dwellings is planned to be preserved because of it cultural and military significance. Hatta village includes two military towers dating from the 18th century and a mosque (1780). The old water supply system has also been restored. Because of it location in the mountains it has already for a long time been a favorite get-away place for whole families from Dubai during the summer who would escape infamous 50 degrees Celsius and humidity in the city. The plan authorities have now is to develop Hatta mountain’s existing potentials by expanding touristic possibilities, among other things by increasing number of green areas for winter sports and organizing cultural festival.
Archeologist will work on preservation of cultural heritage, while new infrastructure should implement sustainable use of natural resources. The very first hydroelectric power plant not only in Dubai, but in the whole region, is planned to be build in the Hatta mountain. It will also use solar water turbines and 1,716 million gallons of water from the Hatta Dam to produce electricity. To make it possible, an upper reservoir 300 meters above the level of the water surface will be constructed, with capacity up to 880 million gallons. Adding this reliable source of green energy to the plan of boosting tourism in the Hatta mountain, Dubai authorities are about to create another complex project that will implement number of different contents and will definitely create another oasis for tourists.