So, Salalah officially has a mall. A decent shopping mall with good lighting and a nice layout. Interior in some parts is like MGM in Muscat. I'm not a huge fan of shopping malls (claustrophobia), but I did enjoy my 8 a.m. coffee last week when it was practically empty:
My thoughts on the mall:
1) I love the layout. The mall is built around a huge courtyard with fountains and a lovely seating area with plenty of tables and chairs that are packed in the evenings.
2) Around the courtyard are several entrances to the mall including a direct entrance to Home Centre and City Cinema
3) WE HAVE A CINEMA!!
4) WE HAVE HOME CENTRE! Farewell gaudy hideous Salalah furniture. Hello, decent stuff.
5) Food court is pretty small right now.. there's a McDonald's, an ice cream shop or two, Subway, and I think Harvey's . Haven't been yet so can't confirm.
6) Cafes... ahhhh. Unlike malls in Muscat, the cafes at Salalah Gardens Mall are all lined up next to and opposite one another. There's Costa, Papparoti, Crystal Coffee, and Nestle Toll House (not available in Muscat!). I've been to Nestle twice. They have awesome cookies and bars, soft serve frozen yoghurt in various flavours, and really good decaf coffee.
7) Restaurants: until now there's Pizza Inn (not recommended until they stock up on ingredients and train their waiters on serving) and Dalas Steak House (a little local eatery owned by someone obsessed with cowboys who can't spell Dallas).
8) Shops: plenty and some international brands that aren't even available in Muscat like Nose and Carpisa. Lots of shoe shops, watch shops, jewellery, makeup, Capital Stores, Smart Diet, abaya shop, fashion stores, pharmacy, hmmmm.
9) Services: several bankshave opened up branches at the mall and Omantel also has a branch. I'm not sure whether Nawras does too.
11) Fun Land or Fun City for the kids.
12) Salalah Gardens Residences (the hotel above the mall)
13) One thing about this mall that I love is that there are plenty of benches inside the mall. I think it's the only mall in Oman with benches in the mall to take a break from shopping.
Overall it's a pretty decent selection for Salalah and there's more to come. I love the idea of the open courtyard in the middle of the mall with seating and fountains/trees. It's perfect for Salalah because we do have lovely weather.
So, it has earned Dhofari Gucci's stamp of approval. I don't see myself going there regularly but I'm glad Salalah has a mall. It's nice for the women and children who don't have places to go to. On my second visit to the mall I was pleasantly surprised to see Dhofari women sitting in the cafes. I thought they'd chicken away from that or their 'male relatives' wouldn't allow it. Apparently not.
Have you been to the mall? What do you think?