Dubai's Desperate Housewife

Trials and traumas of a full-time mum in Dubai

Mazaya Centre – on the tourist map

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When my mum was here, we did a lot of touristy things. One of them, scraping the barrel somewhat given it was the third week of mum’s 15th visit to the UAE, was to take a ride on the Trolley Bus that goes around Dubai Mall.

A novelty in Dubai, the trolley bus is open-sided with wooden bench seats. Great in Dubai's morning traffic.

I barely need to tell you that the ride was more for DS than it was for my mum, but she was game to play along. And it was quite sweet, I suppose, inhaling the fumes of Dubai’s morning traffic seated on the wooden benches of the open-sided bus as it dodged speeding cars and trucks.

An experience, at least.

Anyway, as we were the only passengers, the conductor decided to point out all the landmarks to us. Every hotel was described in awed tones as “FIVE-star”, so the speech went something like this:

“Old Town. Nice view Burj Khalifa. The Address Hotel – FIVE-star hotel [eyes round with wonder]… Souk Al Bahar… The Palace – FIVE-star hotel [round eyes]… Dubai Mall – World’s BIGGEST mall…. Nice view Burj Khalifa – World’s tallest building… The Pavilion –nice place… Burj Khalifa… Mazaya Centre – shopping mall…”

Um? Mazaya Centre? Is that still standing? I looked in the direction he pointed and, blow me down, he was right – if you peeped through a construction site, over a fence and across the other side of Sheikh Zayed Road’s 14 lanes, you could just make out the Madonna-bra cones of the Mazaya Centre’s roof.

By Dubai standards, this mall is a dinosaur, and not even a T-Rex at that. Even in its heyday, back in Dubai’s Jurassic period when Spinneys was still inside it, it was dingy, dark and smelly. How it’s not been demolished is a mystery; why it’s being pointed out on a tour of Downtown Dubai I’ve no idea.

But, back to the tour:

“Armani Hotel – first 15 floors of Burj Khalifa: FIVE-star hotel. Al Murooj Rotana [peers under the flyover] – FIVE-star hotel. And now back at Dubai Mall.”

Now that’s what I call a FIVE-star mall.

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