Apparently, Dubai has more shopping malls per capita than any other place on earth. That is a pretty impressive statistic. I wonder if it is only Dubai or if this fact could apply to the whole of the UAE.
I've visited 2 of the major shopping centres in Abu Dhabi since I've been here and they are quite impressive, in a weird kind of way.
Marina Mall is massive. It has a full size Ikea, Carrefour, and multiplex cinema, but the most impressive feature was the rain. Yes, rain. Sitting in a coffee shop-cum-restaurant on the first floor with some newly acquired friends, we were a little disconcerted to see the lights go off. The next event was even more worrying; thunder and lightning. Remember we are inside a shopping mall in August in the United Arab Emirates at this point, not outside in the street in the UK in winter. The ceiling was painted to resemble sky and there were lights behind it so that it can change from blue sky with fluffy white clouds to grey sky with menacing dark clouds. Excellent. Not only that, but there are holes in the roof out of which comes water. So, here we are sitting, having dinner in a mall and it's raining next to us. To top it off though, when we looked over the banister for the fountain below, we were disappointed. Instead, what we saw was a man from the sub-continent with a mop and bucket. What a masterpiece of design!