Things to do in Dubai: to have a good view of the tallest building in the world, Burj Khalifa, and to know what is the biggest mall in the world.

My First Breakfast in Dubai

I woke up with the hotel’s phone ringing at 8 am, a little bit confused and disoriented, and just remembered I was in Dubai.  And, I answered the phone hearing the voice of Erol inviting me for breakfast.  Maybe I was dreaming, then realized that it is the right time to discuss the things to do in Dubai.

And it was real, for, after less than an hour, we were in McDonald’s having our first, decent breakfast.  McDo is just about nearby my hotel.   I got bread, scrambled egg, breakfast sausage and a big cup of coffee and a banana.  Nice one, clearing my head and filling my tummy.  Erol went ahead for his work in Business bay.

The Hotel

I went back to my hotel, looking from the window and assessing this place. I just had this time now because of my late arrival last night for my 1st day in Dubai.

As of my view, Panorama Hotel Deira is somewhat in the center, for I could see Al Ghurair shopping mall on the other side. Also, there were many stores and boutiques, coffee shops and diners.  It seemed a busy street down the road, considering tourists were starting to stroll on this early morning.


As I continued to research, I found that Panorama Hotel Deira is just a few minutes away from Dubai Airport, and that was fine with me.  In addition, there is a beach 2 kilometers away, scanning my thought if I brought my swim trunks.

Certainly, this place is a major business area considering banks and business centers are nearby.  And the gold souq, that is to look forward to.

Relaxing at my bed, I could see that the room is neatly furnished and elegantly decorated.  Basic electronics were provided from the television to ref and telephone, even the bathroom was such a relaxing corner.

Assessing the Things to Do in Dubai

Ibn Battuta Mall Metro Station

My day schedule consisted of going to the malls.  Erol had given me a Silver NOL card (card train) for the Metro.  Metro is their term for their train.

The Dubai Metro is a rapid transit rail network in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.  All trains are fully automated and driverless.

The Nol Card is used by passengers to check-in and check-out at the gates in their destination station. The fare will be automatically deducted based on the number of zones traveled. Passengers will be allowed to check-in when their card has more than the minimum credit required.

Nol card for Dubai trains

 From Union Station (just across my hotel), I took the Metro to Ibn Battuta Mall metro station.

Ibn Battuta Mall

ibn battuta mall

The first mall was IBN Battuta, a mall with its great design of pillars, blue sky and somewhat had a science theme.  I scanned the place and found out that this large mall is not only just a shopping mall but the world’s largest themed shopping mall.  So, that was why I thought that there were themes divided into some of its parts. 

Why did Ibn Battuta Travel

why did ibn batutta travel

The themed mall tickled my senses to explore more and I found out that Ibn Battuta was an adventurer who, at a young age, had explored the world having six different lands journeyed.  As a result, he left a part of himself on each place and gaining more experience on each of them that he greatly needed to battle his adventurous life.

This themed mall is patterned as travel-themed zones to the lands he had traveled and divided the mall into courts with its each inspiring traveled land.  Some of these courts are China Court and Egypt Court.

Ibn Battuta Mall China court

ibn batutta mall china court

A Chinese sea vessel is displayed at the center of China Court with a ceiling that had royal motifs and great columns.  Each of these symbolized the journey and adventure of Ibn Battuta in China, which was a real, eventful one. 

Egypt Court

ibn batutta mall india court

An ancient Egyptian structure stands in the center of the Egypt court, with other wonders linking us to life centuries ago, such as columns and arches with their carved hieroglyphics.  An Egyptian feeling you would carry along while you shop.

Egypt Court brings to life the wonder of its ancient history pharaohs, pyramids, hieroglyphics and temples.

Sandstone walls with carved hieroglyphics, papyrus columns, pointed arches of the central arcade, and majestic lanterns lend the feel of an authentic Egyptian bazaar

Get a feel of vibrant Egypt while you shop.

On each court, I got a view of how adventures spiced up one’s life.  The knowledge you acquire in each place will certainly create an impact on your everyday living. 

Ibn Battuta, the great traveler, had years accumulated doing all his voyage.  And as for myself, because he had shared his experiences in this mall, I had felt entertained and educated with just a little time I stayed.

Ibn Battuta Dubai

Here, the architectural design picked from his journey is neo-classicism where a sample of which can be seen on my article about the Manila Chinese Cemetery.

Also, a deeper explanation is discussed on some designs seen on the themes of the mall in my post about Art Deco.

Max Ibn Battuta Mall Dubai

max ibn batutta mall dubai

Still on this mall, I had lunch at Max’s with 2 chicken, bread, fries and ice tea for AED 25, about $6.81.  Yes, they had bread and fries but I opted for rice instead of the fries in one serving, a great choice. 

From IBN Battuta, I hopped on a shuttle bringing me to the Metro, so I can move to Dubai Mall.


The currency of Dubai is the dirham (AED or Arab Emirate Dirham). The conversion of 1 AED to the US dollar is about .27. So, 1 AED = $.27. Or $1 = 3.67 AED.

The Dubai Mall, the biggest mall in the world?

Dubai Mall is the second-largest mall in the world by total land area.  It has a luxury hotels, cinemas, shops, cafes, parking areas, to name a few.

Human fountain

It is too big that I had leg cramps, which made me decide to sit around more.  Maybe, this leg cramps was caused by my lack of water intake.

Dubai Mall fountain

A bottle of water here is too expensive for me, AED 5, about $1.36.  But, still, I did consume two. It is better to buy the stores near the parking area, it is somewhat cheaper compared to the mall’s price.

I enjoyed their indoor human waterfall, so tall and fascinating.  I was drawn to its very intricate human sculptures artistically diving with the flow of the water.  As a result, I just relax on a seat and past the time just laying eyes on this waterfall. 

There is a big similarity between a natural waterfall like the one I just recently visited, Cambugahay Falls, and a man-made like this. They both give the relaxation a body needs.

Dancing Fountain

Outside the Dubai mall brings you to the Dubai Fountain, one of the largest choreographed fountains in the world, illuminate by thousand lights and projectors, dancing waters that shoot meters up in the air together with its great music, ranging from classical to Arabic and other kinds of music.  I had a chance to watch its show.

The fountain is animated with performances set to light and music. It is visible from every point on the lake promenade and from many neighboring structures.

Performances take place at 1:00 pm and at 1:30 pm as well as every 30 minutes from 6 pm to 10 pm on weekdays, and from 6 pm to 11 pm on weekends (weekends being Thursday, Friday, and Saturday).

I watched the Dancing Fountain presentation for about 10 minutes, mesmerized and entertained. Certainly, you will really get hooked not noticing the time passing by.

Burj Khalifa, the Tallest Building in Dubai

how tall is the burj khalifa

Beside the dancing fountain attraction is the tallest building in the world, Burj Khalifa.  I got a great view of it.

How Tall is the Burj Khalifa?

burj khalifa in dubai

Burj Khalifa is known as the tallest building in the world, with a height of 2,722 feet that gain Dubai international recognition, positive feedbacks and receiving many awards. 


Dubai Mall Aquarium

Aquarium in Dubai Mall

After I watched the Dubai Fountain and seeing Burj Khalifa, I went back to the mall to have a look at their Aquarium and Under Water Zoo surprisingly enjoyed the sights of stingrays and sharks.

Dinosaur Relics

dinosaur skeleton in dubai mall

Then, Erol met me here, still in Dubai Mall, after his work.  We went to the relics of a dinosaur finding it fascinating and educational. 

It is said that it is more than 150 million years old of the dinosaur’s skeleton.  It stands almost eight meters tall. 

To clarify, these prehistoric dinosaur remains are from the late Jurassic period and belonged to the Diplocodus Longus group.  It has a long neck and with a whipping tail, making it 24 meters long. 

It is the first skeleton mounted in an upright position. Its fossil bones are 90 percent original, giving an onlooker a real great on-hand experience. 

Mini Gold Souk

I then went to the mini version Gold Souk to have a view of their jewelry.  Gold Souk is a traditional gold market in Dubai.  There are many retailers who deal with gold, silver and diamonds.

Dinner Time

Erol treated me to a dinner in Al Ghurair Mall fast food near my hotel. I had spicy chicken, spicy beef, half-rice, half-noodles and a spring roll, costing AED32, about $8.71. That is to say, I am very much satisfied. 

We, then, proceed to Paul Coffee Shop that is just on the ground floor of Al Ghurair.

paul coffee in dubai

At about 9:30, Eric called inviting us to his flat.  We went there, of course, for food, laughter and more stories. I still felt yesterday’s welcome in Boracay Night Club. It seems we were continuing the celebration.

We were all excited about tomorrow’s activities – the La Mer Beach and Desert Safari Adventure. There would also be the Dubai Canal Cruise and a visit to Abu Dhabi and the Grand Mosque.

So, do not miss the happenings. See you all tomorrow!



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