Posted by: englishdubai | December 24, 2008

Not even a mouse

I am spending the Christmas period in Dubai for my first time since my arrival. Usually the Christmas build up would include me running around like mad buying presents then meeting up with friends for celebrations. 

This year is all together more relaxed. My mom has come over to spend the week and enjoyed a pleasant afternoon strolling along the JBR Walk and taking in some Al fresco lunch. Something that couldn’t be done in the UK right now and making me feel distinctly un-Christmassy. Here was the JBR walk today:


The walk continues to surprise me. In the evening the cafes are packed and the road alongside it appears to have become the new Al Diyafa street cruising strip. Even this afternoon I am sure I saw the same Ferrari come pass three times. While the weather is good it seems to have sped up the opening of shops and restaurants. Two of my favourites beings Saks Fifth avenue for men and Virgin Mega-store. Pretty good when I feel the need for new cuff links or a DVD however bad for my wallet.

Just in case there was not enough shopping options at the Walk a couple of days ago the Dubai Marina Mall opened. I couldn’t resist the urge to go and have a look around and here it is:

There are also plenty of excellent shots at

My first impressions were good – easy to park and walking around the mall was easy with the complex labyrinth issue that plagues Ibn Battuta and Dubai Mall. While it is much smaller than those behemoths it will do me just fine, when the shops open. I could barely count a dozen stores actually open and no where to eat (Cinnabon does not count in my book). Still – the shops that are coming look to be wide ranging and with the promise of a Cinema, a Waitrose and Gourmet Tower with views over the bay coming early in 2009, I for one will be a very happy Marina resident. 

I do wonder with all the credit crunch in world today how a combined total of over 500 shops and restaurants (when all open) will actually survive. The  Marina currently only has a population of about 36,000. Only time will tell – but I will certainly be supporting the local stores.

Tomorrow, I will spending a quiet day tomorrow enjoying some Christmas brunch at one of the better hotels in Dubai and no doubt falling asleep in front of an over rated movie in the afternoon. No change there then.

To all my readers – I wish you a peaceful festive break and a prosperous new year.


Edit: Part of this post appeared in the Gulf News


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