Marina Mall Abu Dhabi

The Marina Mall is the second largest shopping centre in Abu Dhabi, and is a perfect example of the emerging Middle Eastern – specifically, United Arab Emirates – trend for large scale mall developments that are filled with luxury stores and boutiques. Though not as well known as the larger Abu Dhabi Mall, the Marina Mall Abu Dhabi is still a fun and exciting place to visit – particularly if you have a penchant for shopping.

Over recent years, the Marina Mall Abu Dhabi has undergone a massive expansion and renovation project – no doubt inspired by the worldwide success of the nearby Abu Dhabi Malls and the Dubai Mall in the neighbouring emirate. At present, some 1.2 million visitors set foot in the Marina Mall every year, which is no doubt set to increase when the new features are unveiled.

The new features are – there is no other way to describe it – breathtaking in their daring. In most Western countries, a mall is merely a place where numerous shops are housed for ease and convenience; not so in the United Arab Emirates. On top of its existing 300 stores and numerous bars and restaurants, the Marina Mall Abu Dhabi is in the process of building an array of activities that will bring even shopping haters within its walls. Included in the redevelopments are a revolving restaurant and an indoor ski slope; these are due to open to the public late in 2009, though the main construction phase is already complete.

This optimistic features join other leisure activities within the mall. Even before the redevelopment began, one could enjoy the latest films in the nine screen CineStar cinema, eat in one of the many renowned restaurants to play to your heart’s content in the fantastic games arcade.

The stores of the Marina Mall Abu Dhabi are predominantly high end designer, with names such as Chanel, Versace and Yves Saint Laurent all occupying large spaces. However, the mall does cater to all tastes and budgets, and until the company liquidation in late 2008, one could even find a branch of UK cheap and cheerful store Woolworths at the mall. There is also an Ikea, and even show rooms for car manufacturers Ferrari and Mercedes-Benz.

The Marina Mall Abu Dhabi is located in the Corniche area of the city, which is renowned as a venue for the high specification hotels and tourist traps. For most people staying in Abu Dhabi, the mall itself will be in easy reach; it is certainly closer than the larger Abu Dhabi Mall. The mall overlooks the Arabian Gulf, and is surrounded by the breathtaking architecture used for some of the five star hotels nearby. For those who may find it more difficult to reach due to location of their accommodation, there is a handy taxi stand right outside the main entrance to the mall.

Although United Arab Emirates is the host nation, the Marina Mall Abu Dhabi has been designed to look and feel like a Western mall. Most staff will speak English or French, and some are even natives enjoying time out from their Western lives. The mall is easy to navigate, and thanks to the soon to be open sky tower and revolving restaurant, it is extremely light and bright inside. There are plenty of seating areas throughout the mall, as well as wonderful eateries which cater to a variety of tastes and budgets.

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