Designer stores everywhere! You name it; it is here!
One of the interesting things that I noticed early after arriving in the UAE is the vibrant ‘mall culture’. The days are usually long and in the summer quite hot, as such, you do not find many people out and about. However, once it gets a bit cooler in the evenings, both locals and expatriates flock to the malls to enjoy the evening out for leisure or to take care of errands.
In Abu Dhabi, there are numerous sprawling malls; some within close proximity to each other. Inside, the floors are usually clean and shiny and there is tasteful décor everywhere. Going to the mall has become integrated into our own lifestyle since we got here.
I particularly enjoy seeing the local women in their elegant black abayas. They move with such grace and some of the designs on the abayas are stunning. The local men wear a white robe, which is called a kandura. They usually wear a head piece (guthra), which is secured by a black rope-like band (igal). You find yourself embracing aspects of this new culture. This includes the grandeur and the ambiance of the many malls located throughout the emirate of Abu Dhabi.
The UAE is a Muslim country. As a result of this, expatriate women are encouraged to dress modestly in public. It is recommended that ladies have their shoulders and knees covered when entering the mall. This is different from home, but I don’t mind it. Initially it took a little getting accustomed to.
There are so many things for families to do in the malls! There are numerous stores for shopping, indoor play areas for kids and many places to eat!
One of our favorite places to eat is the Shake Shack in Bawadi Mall. The meat tastes like it melts in your mouth with each bite. The service there is good and it is affordable. This is one of the places that just sticks out in mind, but there are many more.
It may seem like an odd description but there are times when I find the malls to be somewhat serene. They are usually quite clean too, especially in the restroom areas.
Our experiences here, so far have been quite rewarding! For us, the UAE is definitely a home away from home.
About PreSha Barnes
PreSha Barnes has been an educator for the past seven (7) years and will be embarking on her journey with her family to the UAE in August, 2014. She enjoys teaching but what really makes her tick is writing and sharing her work with others.