Socializing and doing things together with family and friends is a huge value in the Middle East, so shopping malls are actually a big thing here. Last month our friends took me and Elmarie to one of the malls here. This is actually one of the smaller ones, and it was early on a Friday before the crowds, but you get the idea.
People here enjoy good food, fashionable clothes, movies, and enjoying themselves. Sometimes I feel that the people here know how to enjoy time just hanging out over a meal far better than I do. Perhaps that is one of the unexpected “gifts” that comes from living through difficult and uncertain times–you learn to enjoy the meals and the moments.