Strolling at Dubai Mall & Mall of the Emirates | UAE

A Discourse On Social Spaces

Shopping malls are not just physical structures, at least that’s what I as a photographer would like to believe.

Artistically speaking, in the case of Dubai Mall & Mall of the Emirates both exude the feeling of social spaces; I haven’t paid much attention to my art class that much, but we did study about how spaces are able to define statuses and relationships. When an individual is enclosed to a space, he measures his social standing relative to the space he is in. The bigger the space, the higher the affluence. The smaller it gets, the lower the social power.

And there pops the question by K. Walters, “So everyone feels bigger and better in these malls?”

On the contrary, spaces are not just structures, spaces are also influenced by the people around (i.e. human body), so the more people in a bigger space, the smaller the individual feels.

K. Walters adds that the positive effects of feeling nicer in a space like these malls was a (mere) marketing ploy to encourage people to spend. But if we feel smaller and less important why do we go there… or maybe it’s not that.. Are they trying to imitate the expanse of nature and the awe we may feel when in a space like that?

I might be wrong, but the more a person is belittled by his social space, the more inclined he is (i.e. pressured) to assert his position so he/she would want to spend more, to re-affirm what or who he/she is.

One wonders whether the negative impulse here would be as strong as the positive (implied in the thinking earlier), but it’s an interesting point – how do you get people to malls, and then encourage them to part with their $$ esp in the days as we have now of a mall on each corner (or thereabouts!)

But it was the space thing that interested me more, i have to say!

The windows, the escalators & elevators, positions of the shops relative to the entrances and exits, toilets… (don’t even get me started with the interiors as that’s a whole different topic) were all strategically located to make a mall goer feel a certain way… all these stimulus of course would cause various reaction depending on an individual’s social status.

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7 thoughts on “Strolling at Dubai Mall & Mall of the Emirates | UAE

      • I read your “Don’t Believe the Hype – Dubai”… I do agree that Dubai does not offer anything authentic in terms of Arabian culture apart from there man made structures; Dubai is just a busy cosmopolitan. I think you would love Oman (see my related photos about Oman). I am Destination Management Exec., and frankly, I do believe that Oman is the only Arab country that can offer the authentic Arabic experience.

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      • Yes we have heard some great things – my wife really wants to visit. Its nothing against Dubai it just didnt click with me – I think its more a rich playground or complete relaxation city… not for the likes of us explorers.. happy we went though as now know. I’ll check out your images tomorrow – but thank you very much for the feedback and advice – mush appreciated

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  1. Artistically speaking, Dubai Mall & Mall of the Emirates both exude the feeling of social spaces; I haven’t paid much attention to my art class that much, but we did study about how spaces are able to define statuses and relationships. When an individual is enclosed to a space, he measures his social standing relative to the space he is in. The bigger the space, the higher the affluence. The smaller it gets, the lower the social power.

    Like

  2. Kristin Walters wrote- “Hmm…I was thinking that the positive effects of feeling nicer in a space like these malls was a marketing ploy to encourage people to spend. But if we feel smaller and less important why do we go there… or maybe it’s not that.. Are they trying to imitate the expanse of nature and the awe we may feel when in a space like that?”

    Like

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