When visiting Dubai, leave your too cool for school attitude at your hometown’s airport and enjoy Dubai’s beautifully ridiculous malls for what they are: temples of diversity and people watching with a little commerce here and there thrown in.

Clearly desalination is hard at work in what its buildings and management proclaim to be the largest shopping mall in the world. Whether you are looking for the world’s most coveted brands or something quick at H&M, this massive shopping center and showcase for the success of the United Arab Emirates has something for everyone.

And a lot of everyones traipse through Dubai Mall, especially because of the renowned Dubai Shopping Festival, which wraps up on Sunday. Visitors can take pleasure in shoppers and gawkers around the world marveling at the Dubai Ice Rink, The Waterfall, and the adjacent 30 acre Burj Khalifa Lake, home to The Fountain, a spectacle that makes the Bellagio’s water show in Las Vegas look like a kiddie pool. Meanwhile the spectrum of people surrounding you, from the Middle East and beyond, offer a palette of nationalities that make London, Hong Kong and New York pale in comparison as provincial villages.

Desalination, of course, is what makes all this possible. The launch of Dubai’s first desalination plant in 1993 has made Dubai’s emergence a breathtaking reality. And with water priced at almost nothing coupled with the massive quantities of energy required to cleanse water from the Arabian Gulf, current rumblings about water stewardship and sustainability have a ways to go before smarter use of this precious resource becomes the norm.

See you at the Sustainable Leaders Forum in Dubai on February 15, where I will moderate a panel of speakers in the afternoon. Register here.

The Dubai Ice Rink

The Dubai Ice Rink

Burj Khalifa Lake, where the The Dubai Fountain gurgles and sparkles at night

Burj Khalifa Lake, where the The Dubai Fountain gurgles and sparkles at night

The Waterfall, Dubai Mall

The Waterfall, Dubai Mall

About The Author

Leon Kaye

Leon Kaye is the founder and editor of GreenGoPost.com. Based in California, he is a business writer and consultant. His work is has also appeared on Triple Pundit , The Guardian's Sustainable Business site and has appeared on Inhabitat and Earth911. His focus is making the business case for sustainability and corporate social responsibility. He's pictured here in Qatar, one of the Middle East countries in which he takes a keen interest because of its transformation into a post-oil economy. Other areas of interest include sustainable development in The Balkans, Brazil and Korea. He was a new media journalism fellow at the International Reporting Project, for which he covered child survival in India during February 2013. Contact him at leon@greengopost.com. You can also reach out via Twitter (@LeonKaye) and Instagram (GreenGoPost). As of October 2013, he now lives and works in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.