Tuesday, June 29, 2010

You call that a mall?

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!


alluringjosh said...

nice post. shame on me i haven't been to any malls here in Riyadh, but i might come payday. yehheyy! any suggestion where i can buy cheap but w/quality long sleeves, shirts, etc? how's localizer? btw, u should have included some photos of malls in dubai.but i guess u were too fascinated about it that taking pictures is the least u could do. hehe

Anonymous said...

Edmonton's got a monopoly on the crazy huge mall business in Canada I'm afraid :P

Om Lujain© said...

lool... I was telling my husband the same thing a while back.. when I go back to Toronto.. Malls are just not up to par! I mean they are bloody tiny... and don't have the right stores... :) You should check out panorama mall (its new).. it will have trader vics and will also have the 2nd LV in Riyadh.. ahh... there is no shopping like the Gulf.. and Dubai Mall.. Have you been to the book store there? I was dragged out by my sister.. I just wanted to live there :D

Orchidthief said...

hi josh! men's stuff is harder to find than ladies wear, I dunno why, so I don't really have tips for you :( As a mall, localizer is pretty sucky and the shirts are very expensive for what you get. I have pics of the Dubai mall but I was feeling rather lazy when I wrote this post ;)

b-p have you been to that huge mall out in Edmonton? I remember it being big but looking pretty old. It did have a roller coaster inside it... still no match in my opinion for the awesomeness of malls out here.

And om lujain this panorama mall you speak of - is it open yet?! I saw the website and the pictures look amazing! On our last trip to Dubai I practically lived at that mall. I think we must have missed the bookstore! Wahh!! That place is just so enormous you can't cover it properly even in two or three visits.

Abdel-Rahman said...

Hey there! As a fellow Riyadh dweller I really enjoy reading your blog...keep it up!

You mentioned somewhere you missed ribs, I highly recommend Tony Romas in Olaya(beef ribs of course)...great food and excellent service.

Oh, I study at UofT so I love your toronto references as well :D


Orchidthief said...

marhaban abdel. glad you like the blog... I haven't even been to Tony Roma's once since I've been here, so thanks for the tip. I will go and conquer the beef ribs there.

Anonymous said...

I went to the West Edmonton mall back when I was a kid and it was amazing. It had the largest indoor roller coaster in the world (according to Guinness), Dolphin shows (in full view of luxury clothing shops!) and even a full working submarine ride through an Aquarium that threads through the entire mall complete with tour guides!

It may be a little old now but I had to go to Dubai to even approach that awesome mall.

Orchidthief said...

b-p we obviously didn't take full advantage of the Edmonton mall when we were there. I think we were all busy bickering about something. too bad we missed the Dolphin shows!!!