They’re at it again! If you remember a few months back, we recalled an episode of incredibly successful BBC motoring magazine programme ‘Top Gear’, starring Jeremy Clarkson, Richard ‘Hamster’ Hammond and James ‘Mr. Slow’ May in its most successful iteration, where the trio tore through Basingstoke’s Festival Place Shopping Centre in Hampshire, England in a spectacular Mall race. Well, the Hamster was back at it in brand new television series ‘The Grand Tour’ - basically Top Gear under a different name and, in this particular episode, in a different, even more breathtaking, Shopping Mall.
After a bit of a bru-ha-ha involving Jeremy Clarkson, a Top Gear producer and a slight ‘disagreement’, Clarkson decided to part ways with Top Gear. Richard Hammond and James May also made it clear that they would also not continue without their fearless leader. There was much speculation about what Clarkson’s next move would be, until it was revealed that he would be doing a motoring show on Amazon Video called ‘The Grand Tour’, along with his trusty sidekicks. The show involves a tent-base which moves around the world and is in a unique location for every episode.
Hammond heads to the Dubai Mall - so lucky!
Trouble starts when he can't locate a parking spot...
We get a glimpse into this grand Shopping Mall
The show premiered on November 18th 2016 and is now on its second season, which has only just recently started. The second season has been absolutely fantastic so far - in its most recent episode, titled ‘Up, Down and Round the Farm’, the team discuss the newest cars coming out in 2018, Clarkson discusses French cars with Bill Bailey, a Subaru Impreza is raced around a muddy farmyard and Richard Hammond is in Dubai testing out dune buggies and suburban tanks - yes, that is now apparently a thing.
In the episode, the fifth of the second series, we see Richard Hammond pontificating on the pros and cons of using a tank as a means of transport in a big, modern city. If you are aware of Clarkson and his buddies, you are aware that this is a perfectly valid question for a motoring TV show to ask. Of course he decides on the exciting and magnificent city of Dubai in which to test out the viability of the war machine (spoiler alert: it is NOT viable!). He soon decides that for general city road travel, the tank is no problem, although some of the traffic circles or passing cars he destroys in his test run may disagree with this finding.
People seemed genuinely shocked at the site of a massive tank driving through the Centre
Here we see four of the Mall's five shopping and entertainment levels
The now legendary Dubai Mall marine tank
Then it occurs to the diminutive Hamster - what if I want to do a spot of shopping? The Ripsaw tank is described as the world’s first ‘high-end luxury tank’ after all, so surely the ability to do some upmarket shopping is a must? So he heads to the magnificent Dubai Mall https://thedubaimall.com , one of the biggest and most swanky in the world, to test the tank out. The Mall, opened in 2008, is really one of the gems of the Mall world - it is a mammoth Centre with well over 1200 stores and 200 restaurants. Every corner of the Mall has a different vibe and there is so much to see and do. It is a true Mall pilgrimage site for any true Mallrat.
It is not long before Hammond and his ridiculous tank comes into some trouble - how and where the heck is he going to park this thing? After a bit of driving around (or is it rolling?), he decides that he shall just check out the stores while still in the tank. This leads to problem number two; there are no entrances big enough to allow a tank to enter. The solution? Why, it’s perfectly straightforward - make your own entrance through a wall. Of course, why didn’t I think of that?
One of the more luxurious wings in the Centre
Many premier international brands have flagship stores in the Mall
Hammond looking rather pleased with himself!
After making his ‘grand’ entrance, thankfully not taking out any poor Mall shoppers in the process, Richard takes a leisurely ‘stroll’ around the Centre. He checks out some of the higher end stores and even passes the massive marine tank, stuffed with around 33,000 sea animals and plants, which is part of the legend of the Dubai Mall and a real draw. He unfortunately misses out on the Mall Dino - a massive 8-foot Diplodocus longus skeleton, 90% of which is made up genuine dinosaur bones. He also skips the magnificent Reel Cinema, Emirates A380 first class experience, the massive ice-rink, the Kidzania playpark, the Sega arcade or the Hysteria haunted house experience. Still, have to save some some things to see when he returns to the Mall on foot like a normal human being!
Interestingly, the Dubai segments of this episode were filmed at the same time as the final episode of the first series (‘Past vs Future’), where the tent was situated in the United Arab Emirates’ main city, just under the towering Burj Khalifa. Amazingly though it didn’t occur to the gang to check out one of the world’s greatest Malls while they were there. Luckily, Hammond went on this little adventure while they were there and we get to see the Mall and all of the action in this latest episode.
Richard demonstrating the amazing turning circle of the Ripsaw 'luxury' tank
Dubai Mall is stunning
Hammond heads out, luckily with no casualties recorded!
After a bit of Mall tanking, Hammond decides to call it a day. Being the considerate tank driver that he is, he of course uses the same hole he made upon entry to leave. Now, we are certain that the cast and crew acquired all of the requisite permissions to drive round the Dubai Mall, but seeing what appears to be genuine shocked responses from the general public is absolutely hilarious. We also get to see a brief glimpse into this wondrous Shopping Centre in the Middle East, which is expanding by a further 1,000,000 square feet as we speak. Definitely check it out if you’re ever there!
Like what we do? Please support us - every cent we receive goes into getting to Malls and bringing you ever better content!