Ontario's newest mall called "Vaughn Mills" opened out in suburbia a few years ago and at the time we were all quite excited about it. We hadn't had a new mall in ten plus years, and the pre-eminent mall experience was a toss up between Yorkdale and Eaton Center. We were thrilled with the 200 odd stores in it, a lot of them being outlet style stores of my favourite brands, it just seemed like a bit of heaven. Tsk tsk. I was so young and naive.
I'm afraid coming to the middle east has forever ruined my expectations of what constitutes a mall. The bar has been raised so incredibly high that it's such a let down to visit the old shopping haunts in Toronto. In Bahrain, the City Centre mall has a waterpark, brand spanking new cinemas and 350 stores. The Dubai Mall in Dubai has a full sized skating rink, a giant aquarium, a three storey waterfall, a full cinema, and a thousand plus stores. A THOUSAND. Brands carried in the Kingdom Mall here in Riyadh include places like Tiffany's and Burberry - stuff you would only see on the ritziest parts of Bay & Bloor in Toronto. Most of the malls in Riyadh are attached to full sized grocery stores too! It's effing brilliant! While the mix of stuff you find in the middle east clothing wise is not always to my taste, the malls are really incredible here and they are a huge relief for Western women. I myself am very grateful for having so many to choose from in Riyadh.
And by the way ladies, NOW is the time to shop till you drop. The summer sales are on and I know once you get into a mall and see those 50% off signs, the part of your brain that normally gives you the willpower to show restraint in purchases will completely shut down. Go go go!
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