March 3, 2014, Monday. On my 8th day in UAE, I was invited by my fellow Pinoy Travel Blogger, Edcel of www.soloflighted.com who’s been working in Dubai for a year now and currently enjoying his month-long break, to a casual and friendly meet up. He came with the love of his life, Jana whom I found very stunning, smart and fascinating. From the time I met them at Burjuman Metro Station at 4PM until we parted ways at almost midnight, I felt I found two long lost best friends! They’re fun, sincere and sensible to be with. Where did we go? Ed texted me two options – Dubai Mall (World’s biggest mall, which I’ve been to for a couple of hours a week ago) and Ibn Battuta Mall. I chose the latter.
Inspired by the most salient places among the extensive travels of the famous 14th century Arabian explorer, Ibn Battuta, the uniquely designed mall that’s located adjacent to Sheikh Zayed Road with its very own Dubai Metro train Station is by far, the most gorgeous mall I’ve ever been to! It screams, “Go outside and travel the world!” in a very grand and sublime ways. Ibn Battuta Mall has 6 themed courts depicting Persia, Egypt, Tunisia, Andalusia, India and China.
History states that Ibn Battuta arrived in Persia in 1326 from Mecca after he joined a caravan of pilgrims. He visited the places of al-Najaf, Basra, Isfahan, Barsian, Shiraz, Baghdad and Tabriz.
After several minutes that Ed, Jana and I were walking around just to find Starbucks Coffee in Persia Court that I personally suggested for us to sit and chat, my eyes and my camera were literally fixed on the incredibly breathtaking dome that reflects arabesque design of Persian carpets and domes of mosques. My worries and stress ruling my mind evaporated at the very sight of that colossal brass chandelier that perfectly blends with the glazed geometric patterns creating a spectacular visual stimuli. That dome in Persia Court perhaps can beat any anti-depressants! It’s a visual feast that made me discreetly euphoric! Inside, my inner child was stimulated as I was silently jumping for bliss!
Arched wooden windows, brass lanterns, mosaic tiles in turquoise and other shades of blue and gold mesmerized me before I sip my White Mocha Chip Frappuccino and dunk my fork at the very decadent, Strawberry Cheesecake.
Before savoring caffeine dose and sugar load, we passed by Egypt Court initially. That portion of the mall is reminiscent of Ibn Battuta’s travel to Nile Delta and Cairo before he went to Mecca.
Huge and handsome brass lanterns light up the Egypt Court hanging from intricately designed metalworks. Ceiling’s made of wood while Hieroglyphics adorns the sandstone walls reflective of ancient Egyptian ruins.
An eye-catching tableaux serves as a majestic centerpiece that shows astronomers setting an Observational Armillary Sphere, plotting coordinates of celestial bodies and documenting their observations.
Walking under Tunisia Court’s ceiling that’s artistically painted to appear as blue skies with white fluffy clouds reminded me of Venetian and Paris Hotels in Las Vegas. However, this part of the mall is an architectural expression of Ibn Battuta’s visit to North-African cities of Algiers, Tunis, Tripoli, Alexandria before heading to Mecca from his hometown in Morocco. Picturesque narrow and cobblestone streets and souks represented by modern shops, magically lighted by Moroccan brass lamps are featured in Tunisia Court.
“More than a thousand years ago, on a hill in Cordoba, Abbas bin Firnas boldly set out to do what no man had done before. He was ready to test the first flying machine in recorded history.”
Apart from the “Flying Machine” on the hills of Cordoba, Andalusia Court‘s impressive Lion Fountain, inspired by Fountain of Lions in Alhambra draws interest from mall shoppers as well.
Ibn Battuta traveled to the cities of Malaga, Alhama and Granada.
Ibn Battuta traveled to Delhi too where he was employed as a judge by the then Sultan Muhammad Tughluq.
India Court showcases a ginormous dome, inspired by the one in Taj Mahal Mosque, supported by seamless columns.
Another focus of interest in India Court is the Al-Jazari Elephant Clock. Named after one of the greatest Muslim inventors, Al-Jazari, the amusing and giant mechanical clock on a mighty elephant contains wooden carved figures, dragons and phoenixes that come alive and move together in synchronized fashion every hour, recreated from the drawings of Al-Jazari in his book 800 years after!
After working in India, Ibn Battuta was designated to become ambassador to China. He encountered difficulties traveling to China as he was attacked by Hindu rebels and nearly died.
Inspired by temples and palaces in China, the China Court at Ibn Battuta Mall is vividly decorated with red and gold trimmings, patterns of flowers, dragons and phoenixes.
And because Ibn Battuta sailed to China, a large Chinese Junk is featured inside China Court.
China Court houses basically the IMAX theatre and 21 other cinemas. It’s also home for casual dining where I was treated to a Pizza dinner by Ed & Jana!
Meet Edcel & Jana. Two new friends who seem like my long-time best buddies. It’s great meeting them personally unlike communicating only with Ed through his travel blog and via facebook; and best, they made me feel that I am not alone in Dubai.
Edcel of http://www.soloflighted.com and the lovely, Jana.
Maraming salamat sa lahat, Ed & Jana! See you around UAE soon! 🙂
An extraordinary mall that obviously inspires everyone to experience the world.
Two new friends whom I share the same passion with.
One big modern city.
UAE, You are amazing!
I’m ready for infinite blessings and possibilities!
Ibn Battuta Mall | Adjacent to Sheikh Zayed Road, between Interchanges 5 & 6, Dubai, UAE.
*All relevant and historic facts mentioned on this blog post were all sourced from Ibn Battuta’s website : www.ibnbattutamall.com
HOW TO GET THERE? Take Dubai Metro Train and hop off Ibn Battuta Station.
*This is NOT a sponsored post.
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