The more one stays in the United Arab Emeritus, the more it grows on the visitor. In particular Dubai has become a veritable El Dorado, the proverbial city of gold. Its hard to imagine that this mega city was just a fishing village at the turn of the last century. It was a British colony and whatever little progress was made at that time was courtesy the English rule. The people just tended camels and dived into the sea to fetch pearls.

The discovery of oil changed all this. This 'black gold' brought in unheard prosperity. Overnight the Emeritus in general and Dubai in particular was transformed into a great financial centre and tourist and shopping paradise. Not many know that last year Dubai airport was the second busiest airport in the world after New York. It catered to 61 million travellers.

Dubai is also a shoppers paradise and some of the biggest shopping Malls have come up there. The Malls are unique and show an imagination that is hard to duplicate. There are theme malls, travel malls and plain shopping malls. Dubai is a shoppers paradise with goods available without any taxes and duties. In addition there are heavy discounts and makes Dubai a shoppers paradise.

One of the theme malls is a massive shopping mall named after the famed traveller Ibn Batuta. As is well known this great traveller, who lived during the 13th century visited distant lands like Persia, India, China and Egypt. His travels are a source of great information of that period and a storehouse of knowledge. The shopping mall is dedicated to him and is uniquely planned. The mall has sections dedicated to each of the regions Battuta visited. This is the beauty of the mall and separate sections are allotted to places like India, China, Persia, Arabia and smaller places the great traveller visited.

Each of these sections bring out the distinct flavor of that region and also markets goods from that region. I am happy to note that the India pavilion is the biggest and most well stocked section. It is closely followed by China. Ibn Battuta visited Delhi in 13th century and travelled the entire breadth of North India to Dacca.

All the pavilions are a source of delight and bring out the flavour of that region. The Chinese section as a real Chinese sailing boat displayed. One needs an entire day to explore this mall. In addition authentic food of that region is readily available. The food sections of each area are a gourmets delight. I will recommend a visit to this mall to all and sundry. It will be a day well spent. The mall is about 25 km from the city centre and can be reached by taxi or the unmanned metro. One can also take the AC city bus.

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