Friday, March 21, 2014

Dubai Mall, Souk Al Bahar and Iftar Dinner: Breaking the Ramadan Fast


The Dubai Mall
Website: The Dubai Mall

Technically the Dubai Mall is only the largest mall in the world in terms of area. If you look at it based on ‘leasable gross area’ meaning the total area in terms of occupied space by a shop, then the top 5 are in China and the Philippines with China hugging the first 2 slots and the rest by the Philippines. I don’t know how accurate this is but here is the Wikipedia list if you are interested: List of largest shopping malls in the world

Visiting Dubai is not of course complete without checking out one of its many fancy schmancy malls. The most popular and largest is the Dubai Mall. So I planned the meeting with Miss Luster here and we managed to visit the Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo. The mall is very luxurious catering to everything what we can possibly think of and buy. It is also cold inside. Like most malls, especially in Asia, you need a light cardigan or shawl over your shoulders to go malling otherwise you will freeze.

After the visit to the aquarium and zoo, we went around the mall looking for a place to eat. The fast will be over soon.


The cafe is closed for the Ramadan and will be open later in the early evening for the Iftaar breaking of the fast. Many restaurants have their own Iftaar promo.


One of the luxurious sections of the mall.


I am not a fan of dates because I find them too sweet and sticky. I prefer dried figs over dates. Bateel is a luxury gourmet brand from Saudi Arabia. I had these dates and a bottle of sparkling from them when I had the sky afternoon tea at the Burj Al Arab.


Souk Al Bahar
Website: Souk Al Bahar

We went outside to the adjacent shopping mall designed in Arabic style called Souk Al Bahar but we did not fancy any of the restaurants in there. It felt so dark inside? So the search continued.


Souk al Bahar is just across Dubai Mall.


I am not a mall and shopping type of person and will easily get bored inside a mall.


Miss Luster and moi, ex-colleagues 12 years ago.


The foot bridge between Souk al Bahar and Dubai Mall.


One of the entrances to Dubai Mall.

Iftar – Breaking the Ramadan Fast at Zaytoni
Website: Zaytoni Dubai Mall

It’s Ramadan so we have to wait until sundown which is usually anticipated with a prayer call. The call to prayer ushers in the breaking of the Ramadan fast. This is what they call IFTAR, which is literally speaking BREAKFAST, ergo breaking of the fast.

While waiting we took a table outside Zaytoni, a Lebanese-Armenian cuisine restaurant inside the Dubai Mall. I actually wanted to go to those lavish Iftar feasts at hotels and posh restaurants but we did not have enough time. I am leaving that night and I need to be at the airport at around 10PM but I need to go to my hotel first. In addition, I wanted to see the dancing fountain at the foot of the Burj Khalifa so we picked the nearest restaurant from it.



Call to prayer and breaking of the fast. After this everyone can party! Er, I mean everyone can eat =)

SO WE HAVE TO WAIT (up to the last minute!) UNTIL IT IS ALL SYSTEMS GO AND WE CAN EAT IN PUBLIC. That is life in Arabia during Ramadan.


Our dinner spread. Not in picture are the chicken wings that came later. This is measly compared to others who really make a feast out of the Iftar.


I like those warm puffed pita breads.


Some spiced minced meat inside, Lebanese style.


Spiced chicken wings with creme fraiche.


The food was fine. Nothing spectacular but it was good enough. I would say 3.9 stars out of 5.

Travel Period: July 2013
Destination: Dubai, UAE

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Happy Travels! Enjoy Life =)

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