Friday, January 16, 2009

Culture and Commercialism

According to Wikipedia: "Ibn Batuta often experienced culture shock in regions he visited where local customs did not fit his straight-laced background. Among Turks and Mongols recently converted to Islam, he was astonished at the freedom that women had, and he felt that dress customs in the Maldives, and some sub-Saharan regions in Africa, were too revealing. He tended to be somewhat irritating to locals, and eventually to be sent on his way after a time from such regions, with gifts that seemed applicable to his social status." They forgot to mention he had over 300 wives from all the countries that he visited... :p

The Arab traveller and adventurer Ibn Battuta was a man of great vision and strong Islamic values. He set off to journey the world at the age of 20 and soon became acknowledged as a scholar and a man of great wisdom. Today Ibn Battuta Mall is the first shopping complex inspired by an individual’s life nearly six centuries after he embarked on his renowned journey.

Each region Ibn Battuta explored – Andalusia, Tunisia, Egypt, Persia, India and China – is reflected in the architecture and theme of the mall’s six courts. These courts strongly project the historical and cultural richness of this Arabian icon’s life, serving as inspiration to all those who visit.

The mall possesses a unique multi-cultural atmosphere and a real sense of ease, thanks to the concept of retail zoning, whereby the zones are divided into four sections: Family & Convenience; Major Department Stores; Up-Market Brands & Lifestyles; and Entertainment & Leisure. With the knowledge that customers enjoy shopping in thematic environments whilst doing errands, sampling culinary delights and relaxing in general, we hope our customers will enjoy an inspiring and extraordinary experience at Ibn Battuta Mall.

Personally, I thought it was slightly overrated but kudos to the architects for dreaming it up.

China Court


Cool gazebo-type structure


Still Persia

Ibn Batuta's Spice Cabinet?

Ibn Batuta's flying machine (a bit like Leonardo Da Vinci's)



Tunisian street... notice the lights and the painted sky (this is all indoors)


Balloon ride- a little wobbly


  1. nope... i tried uploading and then scaling, guess it didn't work too well.