12

Q – Quick Guide to Dubai Mall | #AtoZChallenge

Q – Quick guide to Dubai Mall | #AtoZChallenge #BlogchatterA2Z

When visiting Dubai it would be criminal of you if you miss the Dubai Mall. It is the second largest mall by total land area and the world’s most visited shopping destination for a reason. Given its sheer size, it is practically impossible to cover everything in one go hence I decided to give you a quick tour of the mall and guide you to places that you shouldn’t miss.

Everybody visits a mall for shopping and with more than 1000 retail outlets your shopping cravings are well fed off. Through this post will try to highlight those places, which either I haven’t discussed earlier or are of interest.

How to reach

The Dubai Mall has many entrances, as it is located in the heart of Downtown Dubai. One can simply not miss Burj Khalifa in the center of it. If you traveling in a taxi you will be impressed with how organized everything is.

If you are taking a metro then get off at Dubai Mall, but it will still take another 10-15 min to reach the mall. There is also a free shuttle bus from the metro station to the mall.

Some of the places you can choose to visit depending upon your preferences:

Football in the mall

Yes, you heard it right! You and your kids can enjoy football inside the Dubai Mall. Go to the 2nd floor (p7) and head to the football pitch called ‘Goal’. It is a ‘Drop and shop’ concept where you can drop your kids while you go ahead with your disturbance-free shopping. It is ideal for kids of 10-15 years of age.

Caboodle

Caboodle is another ‘Drop and shop’ zone where you can leave your kids under a paid guidance and you can go ahead for hassle-free shopping. It is an indoor play arena with multiple activities for kids including an arts and crafts zone. It is one of the popular places for kids in Dubai Mall along with Kidzania.

Supervised Caboodle entry is AED 70 per hour per child.

Emirates A380 Simulator

For all those who wanted to become a pilot and fly a commercial plane, this is a must try for you. It is an amazingly realistic simulator where you get to experience what it is to take off, fly and land a commercial plane. To add to the authenticity you can take help of assistance during the flight. Head to ‘the Village’ on level G.

Tickets: starts at AED 325 for 30 min.

Hysteria

For all the thrill seekers, Hysteria is a haunted house, but way better than what we usually find in India. With the use of technology, the fear-based attractions are on a different level. There is a retail outlet at the exit where you can but some horror and fear related merchandise.

The ticket starts at AED 35.

VR Park

VR Park has replaced the SEGA Republic, which was a gamer’s paradise. The newly opened VR Park is a virtual reality indoor theme park where you can try your hands at many high-tech virtual reality games. When your beautiful half is busy trying multiple dresses and it might seem like ages to you…head to the VR park for some entertainment.

Prices start at AED 35

Print a 3D candy

I know it’s hard to believe but you can get a 3D printed candy at one of the cutest places in Dubai Mall. It is the world’ first 3D gummy printer, which can print up to 20 different designs – including the Dubai skyline. The candy can last for a year but would you let it last that long!

Drive an F1 Car

If you aren’t able to visit the Ferrari World, don’t worry; you can still try your hand at a Ferrari at the Ferrari store on Level 1, which is adjacent to the waterfall. You’ll find a purpose-built F1 simulator sent straight from Maranello (the Ferrari F1 factory). It uses the same software as Ferrari racers train with. Jump into the seat and go zoom!

Read the other post on Kids where you can find more details about Kidzania and Dubai Ice Rink.

Not everything comes at a price and there are many attractions that don’t require your wallet to shed weight.

Fashion Avenue

It is an ultra-modern fashion precinct housing brands such as Armani, Gucci and Chanel. You can not only shop here but also take a stroll around the vast space of 440,000 sq. ft. and click a picture. Fashion Avenue is one of the best places to take pictures inside the Dubai Mall. Even the restrooms are elegant and exquisite and just go there to experience luxury.

Dubai Aquarium

Located at the entry level right in the center of the mall. One can reach the Aquarium from anywhere in the mall. If you aren’t paying and going inside the aquarium and underwater zoo, you can still gaze at the marine life on display through a massive glass partition. This is one of the best places to take a picture in the mall and usually crowded, so finding a spot might be cumbersome. I would still recommend you to pay the price and watch the king croc, believe me, its totally worth it.

Timings: 10 am to 12 am

Rage Bowl Skate Park

It’s a hidden place on Level 2. It is one of the best places to try skating in Dubai. If you finally manage to locate it then you are in for a treat; one can skate there for free.

Meet a Dino

For all the Dino-lovers of all ages, head to the Souk area where in the middle there is full-size skeleton of a 155-million-year-old dinosaur. You will be amazed by the sheer size of the skeleton; just imagine what it would have been in flesh. The most important thing, this dinosaur skeleton is on permanent display and doesn’t require a ticket.

Dubai Fountain

The best place to spend your evening at the Dubai Mall. I am sure you will be tired by now. Head to the lower ground floor and in the opposite direction of the entrance. Take a seat at any of the lavish restaurants beside the lake and watch the Dubai fountain, the world’s largest choreographed fountain system. It is accompanied by a laser show for which the world’s tallest building is used as a canvas. You cannot imagine the scale; you have to experience it to believe it. The sound, the lights, the lasers along with the Fountain makes it for a mesmerizing experience and that too at zero cost.

Shows every 30 min from 6pm to 11pm; Abra rides AED 20 per person.

Where to eat

You can find every possible cuisine in the world at the Dubai Mall. There are a plethora of options at the food court on level 2.

Cake and Coffee addicts – Hummingbird or Magnolia Bakery

Tea – Café Bateel

Salads and grills at Wafi Gourmet

Pasta lovers – Vanellis, it is like the subway of the pasta world where you can decide what goes into your pasta.

TGIF with an amazing view of the fountain and Burj Khalifa.

French cuisine at the ultra-luxe café Angelina or Parisian-style bistro Aubaine.

Candy lovers – head to the world’s largest candy store, Candylicious.

Finish your day with dinner at Souk Al Bahar, an Arabic-style marketplace or enjoy cocktails on the terrace of the Address Boulevard.

I can keep going on and on but then this post will become as big as the Dubai Mall. You can always reach out to me if you have any questions regarding Dubai Mall or Dubai – City of Gold.

For all those who love candies,

For all those who are gaming freaks,

For all those who love fountain shows,

And

For all those who love the Dubai Mall…

It’s not a goodbye,

But it’s a GOOD BYE.

Manas ‘Sameer’ Mukul

This is the 17th post for the #AtoZChallenge #BlogchatterA2Z. My theme in Travel Category is ‘Dubai – the City of Gold’, where I would be covering everything about the city in the course of 26 posts.

Read the Previous post here: Dubai – City of Gold

Please do visit tomorrow for the next post with the letter ‘R’

I am also taking part in the #AtoZChallenge #BlogchatterA2Z using another theme –‘IPL – Indian Parliamentary League’. If you are keen on following key issues pertaining to the upcoming General Elections head over to the Politics Theme and share your feedback.

7

K – Kite & Kids | #AtoZChallenge

K – Kite & Kids

Dubai is famous for its sandy beaches and mesmerizing skyscrapers. Dubai is also famous for its endless theme parks and multiple attractions for kids. I have previously discussed many of the adventure lands; this post will highlight other kids friendly places where they can have a joyous time.

Kite Beach

Yesterday we discussed extensively the Jumeirah district, well Kite beach is an extension of the Jumeirah beach itself. It is situated between the Jumeirah beach and the Jumeirah public beach. One look at kite beach and you will know it is all about kids.

It has a Skate Park, outdoor trampolines, an adventure gym and a dedicated play area for the little ones. Kite beach also offers multiple activities like wakeboarding, stand-up paddle boarding, kite surfing, beach tennis, beach volleyball and kayaking. Its pristine stretch of white sand and a 14 km joggers track is a perfect place for you to enjoy with your kids.

Dubai Dolphinarium

If you are looking for a location to take your kids to, Dubai Dolphinarium is a must visit. It is a 5000 sq mt dolphinarium that is home to bottlenose dolphins and fur seals who are the real stars of the show. They will perform all sorts of fun activities including dancing, singing, jump through hoops, ball play and they will even paint. I found the host of the show very interactive and engaging with the audience.

You can also get up-close and personal with the Dolphins and seals and get yourself clicked while playing and swimming with them. This, of course, comes at an extra cost. Watch out for the splash of water if you are occupying the front rows.

You can also watch a bird show which showcases about 20 exquisite rare species from across the globe. The huge Brazilian eagle is the showstopper of the show.

Open Hours: Monday to Saturday – 10:00 AM-7:00 PM, Sunday – Closed.

Dubai Glow Gardens

If you want to teach your kids and make them aware of the environment, then this is the place to be in. There is a special edutainment zone where kids can have interactive fun. Their tagline is ‘It’s a wonderful world’ and it literally transports you through many wonders of the world through its 10 dedicated zones – Ice Park, Dinosaur Park, Art Park, Glow Park, Flower wally, Colorful World, Happiness Street, My Dubai, Glowing Safari and Happy Forest.

Timing: Daily, 4:00 PM to 12:00 AM. Tickets – 65 AED.

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Bounce Dubai

It is the biggest indoor trampoline park in Dubai with more than 100 interconnected trampolines. It is a popular adventure destination for kids, athletes, and the general public alike. They are certainly living up to their mission of ‘inspire movement, creative expression and human connection’. Take your kids to this wonderful location and watch them bounce with excitement.

Kidzania

Remember how we used to do role-plays of doctors, firemen, and a police officer when we were kids, KidZania is exactly that. It is an activity-packed interactive indoor city where kids learn and grow while playing and having fun. There are more than 80 role-plays on offer. It is situated inside the Dubai Mall.

Ice Rink

While you are still inside the Dubai Mall there is another attraction that the kids will love. The adults too become kids for a day, when they try their hands at ice-skating at this Olympic sized ice-rink. It recently launched a full coaching program that teaches basics as well as advanced skating techniques. There is a dancing session with disco lights and tunes, which the older kids will definitely enjoy.

LegoLand Dubai

Playing with Legos is one of the cherished memories of every child. Legoland is an adventure theme park, brought to you by the most popular toy manufacturers in the world, which takes you in the world of Legos. There are over 40 thrilling rides including Lego Factory, Lego City, Lego Kingdoms, Lego Miniland, and Lego Technic Twisters. It is a part of Dubai Parks and Resorts, where you can also visit Motiongate Dubai and Bollywood Park.

Timings: Operates daily from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM.

Tickets: Starts at 145 to 285 AED

Ski Dubai

Snow in the middle of the desert? Don’t worry! Dubai has it covered. Located in the Mall of the Emirates, it is spread over a 3,000 square meter area and with temperatures being maintained -2° C – it is covered in snow all the year round. One can enjoy a plethora of chilling activities like snowboarding, tobogganing, skiing and watch penguins.

Note: kids below the age of 3 years are not allowed to visit Ski Dubai.

Jumble – the Urban Maze

It is the world’s first urban indoor maze where kids over the age of 12 can visit and tickle their brains by solving brainteasers. It not only tests your mental skills but physical skills as well. It elevates the concept of escape rooms that are spread over 3,500 sqm space, with twists and turns.

Tickets start from 175 AED and the maze is open daily.

Multiple Parks and waterparks

There are various public parks spread all across Dubai where the entire family can go and have a fun-filled picnic. There are multiple waterparks also in Dubai that will be discussed at length in the subsequent posts.

For all those who love kites,

For all those who love parks,

For all those who like snow,

And

For all those who love kids…

It’s not a goodbye,

But it’s a GOOD BYE.

Manas ‘Sameer’ Mukul

This is the 11th post for the #AtoZChallenge #BlogchatterA2Z. My theme in Travel Category is ‘Dubai – the City of Gold’, where I would be covering everything about the city in the course of 26 posts.

Read the Previous post here: Dubai – City of Gold

Please do visit tomorrow for the next post with the letter ‘L’

I am also taking part in the #AtoZChallenge #BlogchatterA2Z using another theme –‘IPL – Indian Parliamentary League’. If you are keen on following key issues pertaining to the upcoming General Elections head over to the Politics Theme and share your feedback.

9

I – IMG Worlds of Adventure | #AtoZChallenge

I – IMG Words of Adventure | #AtoZChallenge #BlogchatterA2Z

A couple of days back, it was adventure coupled with fast rides at Ferrari world, then we headed to adventure in nature at Hatta. Today I will take you to a place where it is escapade of a new kind. It is an adventure with cartoon and Marvel characters. If you have been to this place you would have guessed it by now. I am talking about the ‘IMG World of Adventure.’

IMG World of Adventure is an indoor amusement park and is Dubai’s first mega themed entertainment destination. It is the world’s largest temperature-controlled indoor themed entertainment destination, with an area in excess of 1.5 million square feet, which welcomes more than 20,000 guests a day.

The park is divided into five ‘epic zones’. Two of the five zones represent global brands Cartoon Network and Marvel, while IMG Boulevard and the Lost Valley – Dinosaur Adventure zones are original concepts created by the IMG Group. Novo Cinema is the fifth section of IMG Worlds of Adventure, which has a 12 – screen Novo Cinema complex.

The adventure world includes rollercoasters; thrill rides, and other attractions based on popular Cartoon Network characters, iconic Marvel Super Heroes and animatronic dinosaurs along with a wide variety of themed retail stores and dining venues.

Adventure Zones

Marvel

The main rides and attractions are:

Avengers Battle of Ultron – Join the avengers team as they take on the evil villain Ultron.

Hulk Epsilon Base 3D – One-of-a-kind, state-of-the-art stereoscopic cinema dome to see Marvel’s Hulk, the Incredible Avenger, in stunning 3D in an immersive 360-degree experience.

Spider-Man Doc Ock’s Revenge – Battle Spider-Man’s nemesis Doctor Octopus in a ride you won’t want to end.

Thor Thunder Spin – You will be pinned to your seat by the laws of gravity as Marvel’s Thor, attempts to rescue you from the clutches of Loki.

Avengers Flight of the Quinjets – you will own a two-seat Quinjet and take flight with other Quinjets in a fun race.

Dining options include – Tony’s Skydeck, Chang’s Golden Dragon, Mama Scano’s Of Yancy Street and Downtown Shawarma.

There are multiple retail options to suit your shopping needs – Marvel universe, Empire News and Comics, Avengers Exchange, Epsilon Command, Daily Bugle Company Store and Marvel Vault.

The Lost Valley

Main attractions:

The Velociraptor – It is a rollercoaster through the prehistoric jungles. Not for the faint-hearted.

Forbidden Territory – A fun ride through time, where you can witness some of the most amazing and terrifying creatures.

Predator – Another rollercoaster with exhilarating loops and rolls.

Dino Carousel – It’s a dino-themed merry-go-round. Perfect fun for kids.

Adventure Fortress – its an adventure playground that includes ladders, tunnels, slides, bridges, nets and climbing challenges.

You want to experience what it was dining with the dinosaurs – Try these restaurants – Spice Valley, Carnivore Hut brought to you by Wingstop (America’s Number 1 Chicken Wing concept) and 360 Express.

Wanna take a dinosaur’s egg or a printed T-shirt as a souvenir – shop at these retail outlets – The Explorer’s Supply and Raptor Outpost.

Cartoon Network

The Zone is based on cartoon characters from Cartoon Network. It contains the world’s first 5D Ben 10 cinema and the largest Ben 10 store in the world.

Major rides and attractions include:

The Powerpuff Girls – Mojo Jojo’s Robot Rampage.

Ben 10: 5D Hero Time – Experience Ben’s world in this epic multi-sensory adventure.

Adventure Time – The Ride of OOO with Finn & Jake-monorail – Visit the varied and vibrant kingdoms and encounter the Ice King through this fun ride.

The Amazing Ride of Gumball-a dark ride – It’s a laser shooting attraction where you zap the objects that have come to life and are threatening to take over the town.

LazyTown – It is an interactive attraction full of climbing, adventure and other fun and exciting experiences. You will have to pay extra AED 25 if you want to enjoy Pirates adventure along with it.

Have fun while dining with your beloved cartoons at – CN Feast, Mr. Smoothy Richard’s Around the World Café and Finn & Jake’s – Everything Burrito.

Take back your favorite cartoon characters from these outlets – Cartoon Network Classics, Cartoon Network Store, The Amazing World of Gumball – The Store, Lazy Store and Ben 10 – Universe.

IMG Boulevard

IMG Boulevard is the exciting zone of the park, where you can have thrilling experiences along with enjoying vast retail outlets and a wide selection of dining options.

The main attraction here is The Haunted Hotel. It is a frightening experience where you negotiate a maze of corridors and changing scenery, encountering all sorts of scary characters against a chilling backdrop. Hold your nerve as you try to find the exit.

Warning – This attraction is only open to guests aged 15 and older.

Other main dining and shopping options include – Popcorn Factory, Boulevard Gourmet, Samosa House, Flavors of Arabia, The Coffeehouse, Haunted Hotel Store, World of Candy and IMG Emporium.

Note: Each of these rides has separate restrictions, especially if you are unaccompanied. Please check them before you take part in any ride or attraction.

Tickets and Timings:

Just like the Ferrari world, the tickets include unlimited access to all the rides and attractions.

  • Park admission: AED 285
  • Junior admission (under 1.2m in height): AED 255
  • Senior Citizens: AED 175
  • Guest with Disabilities:
  • Above 1.2m in height: AED168
  • Under 1.2m in height: AED115

IMG Worlds of Adventure brings imagination to life 365 days of the year.

Sun-Wed: 11 am to 10 pm.

Thu–Sat: 11 am to 11 pm.

Getting there

IMG Worlds of Adventure is located on E311 (Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Road – near Arabian Ranches, next to Global Village). It is situated in the City of Arabia, along Sheikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Road.

The best option is to take a taxi or drive yourself.

There is so much on offer in IMG World of Adventure that each zone requires a dedicated post in itself. You can go there and spend an entire day and still you might not be able to cover everything. Go and have fun!

For all those who love adventure,

For all those who love cartoons,

For all those who are Marvel fans,

And

For all those who love IMG World of Adventure…

It’s not a goodbye,

But it’s a GOOD BYE.

Manas ‘Sameer’ Mukul

This is the 9th post for the #AtoZChallenge #BlogchatterA2Z. My theme in Travel Category is ‘Dubai – the City of Gold’, where I would be covering everything about the city in the course of 26 posts.

Read the Previous post here: Dubai – City of Gold

Please do visit tomorrow for the next post with the letter ‘J’

I am also taking part in the #AtoZChallenge #BlogchatterA2Z using another theme –‘IPL – Indian Parliamentary League’. If you are keen on following key issues pertaining to the upcoming General Elections head over to the Politics Theme and share your feedback.

18

H – HATTA | #AtoZChallenge

H – Hatta | #AtoZChallenge #BlogchatterA2Z

Hatta is an inland exclave of Dubai, high in the Hajar Mountains. It is an ideal weekend getaway for nature lovers, mountain bikers and adventure freaks. It is about 130 km from Dubai and about a 90 min drive away. It is an awesome blend of cultural heritage with meditating mountains along with picturesque hiking trails – outdoor adventure heaven.

History

Previously known as Hajarain, till 1906, Hatta became a part of Dubai during the reign of Hasher Bin Maktoum after the Omani Sultan Turki bin Said transferred the territory, finding him unable to defend it against the Na’im of Buraimi, who had settled neighboring Masfout (today a part of the emirate of Ajman).

It was the summer habitation of the earlier Dubai based families because of its cooler climate away from heat and humidity. Its economy is based on tourism and water resources.

Things to do in Hatta

Hatta Heritage Village: Restored in 2001, it showcases many artifacts, things of dwellings and furnishings depicting lives of the era gone by. It is Dubai’s oldest village – take a walk through the ancient watchtowers, forts and mosques. A library is also there where you can read about the history of Emirates and their cultural heritage and past.

Mountain Biking: An initiative backed by the Dubai Municipality, the Hatta Mountain Bike Trail Centre, offers multiple trail options catering to beginners as well as advanced bikers. It has a total fleet of 60 bikes for hire and a 52-km trail with 4 challenging levels. No better way to enjoy the cooler climate and meandering trails of the mountains than biking. Hop on to one!

Hiking through Hatta: If are not a fan of mountain biking, don’t worry. You can still enjoy the wadis treks of Hatta. Surrounded by the Hajar Mountains, take a hike through the troughs and ravines and you might actually come across a pool. There is a famous spot behind the Hatta Dam where you can capture some wildlife and amazing landscapes.

 

By Alexandermcnabb – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=72771700

Kayaking in Hatta Dam: The dam is about a 15 min drive from Hatta Wadi Hub. Hatta Kayak operates the kayaking in the Hatta Lake where you can rent pedal boats and kayaks. Immerse in the surreal beauty of the Hatta while gliding for a 50 min experience. You can also opt for a pedal boat option for a peaceful calmer experience.

Dip in Hatta Rock Pools: If you aren’t still satisfied you can take a dip in the green Hatta Rock Pools. It’s a buzzing spot for many swimmers enjoying the emerald water in the valleys of Hatta.

A dose of Adventure: For all the adventure junkies the Hatta Wadi Hub is the place to be. Though not all the attractions are operational, still there is plenty on offer. The range of activities includes mountain biking to downhill carting, a human slingshot, axe throwing, archery, adventure rope courses, zip lines, and a lot more. One can also go for a mountain safari in an SUV.

Drop in at Hatta Drop-in: If you still have an appetite for more, drop in at Hatta Drop-in, a close by location to Hatta Wadi Hub. It is the first water jump park in Aisa with crazy slides. If you are in zorbing don’t miss the transparent orbs here.

Glamping is the way to go: The perfect to absorb in nature is by living in it and what better way than glamping. Hatta gives you a great opportunity to let go of the regular stay in hotels instead try out the trailer hotel, Hatta Sedr Trailers. It is located on the banks of Hatta Dam and is the region’s first ‘Trailer Hotel’. Damani Lodges and Hatta Caravan Park are the other two options to enjoy nature with luxury. The Hatta Park Hotel is a resort for the past 35 years with views of the Hajar Mountains.

Picnic at Hatta Hill Park: Hatta Hill Park is a wonderful picnic location. You can take your kids there to the Children’s playing field. Nothing beats feasting on a delicious barbeque with the mountains and Hatta Village in the background.

Getting there:

Cheap public transport is available in the form of buses from both Dubai and Abu Dhabi. The best way is to drive noting that you will need to take the long way around Oman to avoid the border crossing which is currently closed. The best route from Dubai is from E102 (Sharjah-Kalba Road) via E611 (Emirates Road).

Note and Tips:

While driving to Hatta, a certain section passes through Oman. Though there aren’t any security and visa checks, your car and accidental insurance might not be valid there.

Keep warmer clothing, Hatta is cooler than Dubai and the nights get chillier.

Take proper kit and protection gear for adventure sports and mountain biking.

Take precautions while swimming in the Hatta pools as the water fluctuates.

Keep passports and documents handy, just in case you are questioned at borders.

A trip to Hatta is the perfect calming and soothing experience you need away from all the maddening hustle and bustle of Dubai. Go and have loads of fun!

For all those who enjoy adventure sports,

For all those who are into hiking,

For all those who love nature,

And

For all those who love Hatta…

It’s not a goodbye,

But it’s a GOOD BYE.

Manas ‘Sameer’ Mukul

This is the 8th post for the #AtoZChallenge #BlogchatterA2Z. My theme in Travel Category is ‘Dubai – the City of Gold’, where I would be covering everything about the city in the course of 26 posts.

Read the Previous post here: Dubai – City of Gold

Please do visit tomorrow for the next post with the letter ‘I’

I am also taking part in the #AtoZChallenge #BlogchatterA2Z using another theme –‘IPL – Indian Parliamentary League’. If you are keen on following key issues pertaining to the upcoming General Elections head over to the Politics Theme and share your feedback.