World’s Largest Mall with Zeb the Duck and Chanel the Bear

Dubai Mall is the largest mall, by area, in the world and we are here.   Over 1,200 shops, over 120 restaurant and cafes and 22 cinema screens wait for us.  But, not only us.   This mall needs humans to control the traffic here.

Traffic control at mall entrance

But, we want to see what will greet us when we go inside.   This wall of wall is gorgeous, and all this water in the desert.

Waterfall Atrium

We are in Waterfall Atrium.   Just look at those divers.   Here is the Quicksilver store.   We have these stores at home, but we have never seen a surfing video of surfers near the entrance of Quicksilver.

Surfing video outside Quicksilver store

We, and most American shoppers, love Bloomingdales.

Bloomingdales of Dubai

Many Dubai shoppers also love Bloomies.  In 2010 Bloomingdales opened their first store outside of the United States, here in the Dubai Mall.   This store is huge with three levels of shopping.  We love Bloomingdales, but we did not come to the largest mall in the world to shop at stores we have at home.   We, Zeb and Chanel, want to see Dubai Fountain.

Dubai Fountain

The lagoon here is really big.   There are a few fountains and we heard that the fountains dance to music, like they do at the Bellagio in Las Vegas.   But this is bigger.   Looking for a place to have dinner and view the water show, we cross the bridge over the lagoon and enter Souk al Bahar.

Souk al Bahar

Up to the second floor, expecting a better view, we discovered Abd el wahab, a Lebanese restaurant.

Abd el wahab Our Lebanese restaurant

Let’s have dinner here.   There is a balcony with a magnificent view of the dancing water show.   We watched three different shows with different types of music.

Water show Dubai Fountain

There is a show every 30 minutes.  The building behind the Dubai Fountain is Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world.

Burj Khalifa behind Dubai Fountain

But we will show more of that another day.  After dinner we return to the mall.

Inside Dubai Mall

Beautiful inside, isn’t it?  Did you know that this mall has an Olympic size ice skating rink?   I, Zeb the Duck, and Chanel the Bear, love to watch ice skaters.

Zeb and Chanel watch skaters at Dubai Mall

They seem to move gracefully, as they glide over the ice.   But, there is more to see.   A huge aquarium is also inside Dubai Mall.

Many fish in aquarium

We did not even go inside the aquarium, this is what we saw from the mall.

Our friend in the aquarium

It is nice that humans, ducks and bears can see so much of the aquarium while shopping and wandering around the mall.   They don’t have to take the time to go inside the aquarium.

View inside aquarium

We can see the stores and reflections of lights through the aquarium.  But we heard that inside is spectacular, so if you have time, check it out.   Oh, if we had not just eaten, we would want to go here, to the Rainforest Cafe.

Rainforest Cafe

We love the Rainforest Cafe and the one in Denver is closed.   But we enjoyed our Lebanese restaurant, and we came to Dubai to have new experiences.   We are happy humans, duck and bear.   When in Dubai, we hope you take time for a visit to Dubai Mall.   It is a great place.

Crossing Dubai Creek and Exploring Dubai’s Souks

We will ride in a dhow across Dubai Creek and then visit the souks.   We think that means shopping and maybe a little snacking.   Let’s find the dhows, the traditional boats used to cross the creek.

This is where we get a dhow

Those tourists are crossing Dubai Creek and will dock near the souks.

Tourists crossing Dubai Creek on Dhow

We are on the dhow.   Mom has to be careful that I don’t fall into Dubai Creek.

From dhow, looking back

This is not the time to go swimming.   Arriving on the other side of Dubai Creek, we are greeted with wonderful souks.

Souk stall near dhow dock

Doesn’t this look like a perfect place to browse?   It was great for us.  And there is so much more.

Traditional souk with great lamps

We love this place.  And the spices.

Spice souk

The aroma was enticing and exciting.   We did some browsing and buying here.   Mom doesn’t cook much, so she didn’t get spices, but we purchased and enjoyed small pieces of chocolate candy made with camel milk.   Yum!  Also dates with almonds coated with this same chocolate. And camel milk soap.   They made unusual gifts for friends.  Mom drinks lots of tea, so she purchased a blend of loose tea that the owner recommended.   We liked it!  The dried mangos were great snacks also.  The aisles of the souk are rather narrow with stalls or booths on each side.

Inside traditional souk

There are so many things to see here.

So much available

Wandering, we saw these colorful dresses.   Don’t they seem cheerful.

Bright dresses

They may be for special occasions as we never saw the women wear bright colors.   Now, the souk we have all been waiting to see.   The gold souk.  Here in the window of Kanz store, is the world’s largest gold ring.

World’s largest gold ring

Next to the ring, in the window is the certificate from Guinness World Records.   This ring, Najmat Taiba (Star of Taiba), has 5.17 kg precious stones sitting on 58.686 kg of 21 carat gold.   The total weight of the world’s largest ring is 63.856 kg.   And do you know that the ring is still there.   Our moms did not try to purchase and bring it home.  The gold souk is newer than the other souks.   This souk is several blocks long, on a pedestrian street.   Much of the walkway is covered, again for comfort in the hot summer months.

Newer gold souk is covered to provide much needed shade

This window shows so many gold bracelets and gold chains.

Gold bracelets and gold chains

Aren’t they beautiful?   We, Zeb the Duck and Chanel the Bear, have never seen gold necklaces like these.

Gold necklaces

They are beautiful.   Could they be used for protection from arrows or spears?

Gold necklaces, bracelets and ring bracelet combinations

We are fascinated by these necklaces.   And, here is a necklace of pearls and gold.

Necklace of gold and pearls

This is a great opportunity for a duck, a bear and human moms to see gold necklaces like they have never seen before.   Isn’t Dubai great?   Again, all this shopping and looking makes us a little tired, a little warm, and a little hungry.   Following directions from people on the street, look where we went.  We were searching for a local ice cream store, but this is where we were directed.  And we love this, too.

Shopping still makes us hungry. We love Baskin Robbins!!

We may never be able to eat at Baskin Robbins again without thinking of Dubai.   While eating, the humans talked about their purchases.   They each bought about the same things at the spice store.  My mom also shopped at the gold souk.   We got a solid gold bracelet for Soapy Smith Duck’s mom, and a necklace of multiple gold chains for my mom.   Chanel’s mom later bought gold bracelets for her granddaughters, and one for herself, from a store in our hotel.   But no gold for Zeb and no gold for Chanel.

Happy Father’s Day 2017

Today, June 18, 2017 is Father’s Day in the United States.   On this day, the third Sunday of June, we honor our fathers, all men that are fathers and all men that help in any way with children.   Father’s Day had been celebrated for several years, but was not a National Holiday until 1972.   Many were afraid of attempts to commercialize the day.   However, in 1972 President Richard Nixon signed into law the official National Holiday of Father’s Day, to be celebrated every year on the third Sunday of June.

Happy Father’s Day

We, the Colorado Traveling Ducks, wish you all a very Happy Father’s Day.

Happy National Eat Your Vegetables Day

Today, June 17 is National Eat Your Vegetables Day.   We ducks remind you humans that eating vegetables is important for good health.   We also remind you that they taste good, also.

National Eat Your Vegetables Day

But, we know humans like desserts, so it is good for everybody that today, June 17, is also National Apple Strudel Day.   Apple Strudel is a wonderfully delicious German dessert with apples.

National Apple Strudel Day

We love it.   We will eat some today, after our vegetables.   We, the Colorado Traveling Ducks, hope you all enjoy some vegetables and some Apple Strudel today.   Yum!  As usual we obtain our national holiday information from http://www.NationalDayCalendar.com

The Dubai Museum

Let’s go to the oldest building in Dubai.   Al Fahidi Fort was built in 1787 and in 1971 became the main museum in Dubai.

Dubai Museum

As we approached Dubai Museum, a stop to admire this traditional boat was appreciated.

Traditional boat

As proof that this was a fort used to guard the landward approaches to the town from the raids of neighboring tribes, we spotted a canon and cannonballs.

Canon with canon balls

Before entering the museum we wandered around the courtyard.   This well intrigued us.

Well in courtyard of museum

Isn’t is impressive?  Time for us to enter Dubai Museum.

Going inside

After descending the spiral stairs we find ourselves on a path viewing dioramas of life in Dubai, before oil.   Today the museum is very crowded, so Chanel and I must stay in our traveling bags.   This man builds and fixes things.

He worked with these tools

See his tools at the front of the picture?   This man is teaching and the students are reading.   They all sit on the floor.

Studying and teaching

A very necessary person in any society, the tailor is busy at his sewing machine.

The tailor

These are traditional costumes.  We love the bright color of her dress.   And, of course, the gold around her neck.

Traditional customs

Continuing on the path we encounter these men building a boat, or a dhow.

Building a boat

Before oil, pearls were a major economic force.   The pearl diver is searching underwater.   This was a very difficult and dangerous job.   You may notice that the diver is not wearing oxygen tanks.

Diving for pearls

Nets are always needed and always need repairing.

Making nets

Here we see how the inside of a Bedouin tent looked.

Inside of Bedouin tent

We saw skeletons from the archaeological site in Al Qusais area that goes back to 3000 B.C.   The items in this room are from archaeological finds of Al Qusais.

Skeleton

Although the museum was very crowded, we enjoyed seeing how life in Dubai was before the discovery of oil.   Our moms did not want to go into the gift shop, but we did see what was offered from this view.

Gift shop

They said we will have time for shopping another day.   Maybe we will visit some of the other souks we heard about.   That would be fun also.

Dubai’s Picturesque Heritage Area of Bastakia with Zeb and Chanel

Pearl boats sailed from Dubai, divers submerged and searched for the elusive pearls.   The people of the pearl industry lived here in the Baslakiya quarter.   Zeb the Duck and Chanel the Bear visited this picturesque heritage area.

Heritage area of Bastakia

This area of Dubai was established in the late 1800’s, by pearl traders and well-to-do textile traders from Bastak, Iran.   There are also many galleries and restaurants in this area, but we were eating elsewhere today.   This was just a stop to explore and see old Dubai, before oil and all the oil wealth changed things.   Here were learned what the inside of a Bedouin tent probably looked like.

Simulation of interior of Bedouin tent

The Bedouin people are nomadic, so they need to be able to move easily.   We like this tent area.   We can even imagine camels nearby.  Originally the walls were built with coral.   Later they were covered with plaster.

Walls were made of coral

Here some of the plaster has been removed and we can see the coral.   We like the coral.   It does get very hot here, in the desert during the summer.   This, a wind tower, was the original air conditioning.

Wind tower–original air conditioning

The tower was open on all 4 sides.  The wind came in and was forced downward.   Often the open areas were covered with wet cloth.   The wet air cooled the living space.   This seems rather similar to some coolers, used in the United States for cooling in areas of low humidity.   The buildings were tall and the walkways or alleys were narrow.

Narrow alley walkways

This provides shade during the heat of the day.   When we were there, in February, the temperatures in the 70’s and low 80’s were comfortable.   According to our iphones, the temperatures are consistently in the 100’s now.   Shade was be needed.   Look at these old, heavy and very ornate doors.

Heavy ornate doors

Aren’t they wonderful?   We spotted this door, partly open.

Open door

We would never go inside or even peek into someone’s home, but this shows that the homes consist of long, narrow rooms.   Wandering through Bastakia, looking down the narrow alleys, we see modern Dubai.

Looking through the old to see the new

What a contrast!   We found this mural by Ruben Sanchez.

Mural by Ruben Sanchez

Nearby we spotted these words, Respect, Dignity and Giving.

Good motto

That seems to be a theme and ideal around the world.   Here is the coin museum.

Coins Museum

It was closed, but this old building became the coin museum in 2004.   It houses over 470 rare coins.   It is believed that some of the coins are from the time of Mohammad.   Chanel and I liked this resting place, so we decided to rest.

Peaceful area to rest

This is lovely and peaceful.   You will notice that Dubai Creek, a main waterway through the city is right here, by Bastakia.

Dubai Creek is right here.

Our guide, Tariq, says it is time to get back on the bus and see something else in Dubai.   I wonder we will go next.

 

Zeb and Chanel Go Shopping in Dubai

Back on the bus.   We hurry as we don’t want to be left behind.   But it is hard to leave the beach–even when hazy.   Oh, we are going shopping now?   OK   Let’s go.   Entering Souk Madinat Jumeirah.

Entering Souk Madinat Jumeirah

This looks new and pretty fancy.   Near the entrance arch, we can see Burj Arab.

Burj Arab, still hazy

We just left that beach.   Inside the souk, we see many things that we do not see at the Denver, Colorado malls.   These are great shoes.

Fancy shoes

Our moms look, but no new shoes coming with us.   This is my new friend.

I love meeting new friends

He is selling more things we do not often see at home.   Mom and I go to antique shops at home and we think this store looks very interesting.

Sindbad Antiques

But, after walking around more of this area, we realize we are out of time.   The bus is taking us to our hotel, The Hyatt Regency.

Hyatt Regency Hotel

We are near Dubai Creek in the Deira area of Dubai.   That is a revolving restaurant at the top of our Hyatt.   Chanel the Bear, and I, Zeb the Duck, took our moms there one evening.

We ate here. Loved it!

The food was great, the views suburb and we had a lovely evening.   But, our human moms forgot to take pictures of us.   What to do with those humans?  Entering the Hyatt Regency we loved all the red roses.

I love red roses

The lobby is decorated with many fresh flowers and thousands of small lights.

Festive lobby

It seemed so festive for a small bear and a rubber duck.   I love spiral staircases.

Spiral staircase and a boat. I love it!

And I especially loved this ship.

Our hotel has a shopping arcade, and do you know what else?   We have an ice skating rink in our hotel.

Ice skating rink in our hotel. And a snack bar.

Our hotel has a roof top pool.

Roof top pool

The roof top restaurant would be a perfect place for Chanel and I to have lunch.   However, the humans were too busy trying to see many things in Dubai.   Nice to know that they are ready if we want dinner and it gets a little cool.

It does get cool in the desert.

This hotel, and all of Dubai, seem to be ready for anything.

Always prepared

Aren’t these flowers and large pots beautiful?

Pretty

We really like the Hyatt Regency and Dubai is fascinating.