Seef Mall extension panorama

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Seef mall extension panorama

Seef mall extension panorama, originally uploaded by malyousif.

They’ve just opened the new extension at the Seef Mall in Manama. This extension cost around $40 million!

I went for a quick visit this morning and I was impressed with the newly created spaces. There are hardly any shops open at the new extension other than a couple of coffee shops, but just walking along naturally lit marble and clean and spacious areas make me want to shop!

This mall, by the way, is 30% owned by Bahraini needy (poor) families. They were granted that ownership shares by the king, because of the number of families involved, they don’t receive much dividends, but for a poor family, any money is good money.

Anyway, see that guy (guard) who is coming out of the main gate? (You might need to see the full sized picture to see him) He wasn’t happy about me taking pictures and walked with determination toward me (whistling and shouting “hello hello”) I completely ignored him and continued to take the pictures. When he came next to me he told me that it wasn’t allowed to take pictures. I politely told him to bugger off. He can’t stop me from taking pictures of a bloody building. The ready excuse that it was an instruction from management came out, to which I told him to gather all his managers and bring them down to take a nice cooling dip in the nice fountain they’ve just built and that I am not ready to respect such a law.

He was utterly confused, but smirked in understanding and left me alone. I can understand if they did not allow teens obviously taking pictures of girls as they might have ulterior motives, but banning people from simple snapping pictures of buildings they admire is a bit, well, dead-headed.

Regardless, I’ll wait a couple of months for the shops to actually open, and then I might go and take permission from them to shoot a vlog inside the new extension.

For the technically inclined; I’ve shot a series of 6 pictures on my Sony Ericsson K810i mobile phone and then stitched them on my MacBook using a program called AutoPano.

  • JL
    6 January 2007

    You’ll find that attempting to stop people taking photos of new buildings is an increasing problem in the Gulf. The usual excuse is that it’s a copyright issue. I feel sorry for the security staff who are not really up to arguing the issue. But even the managers seem to misunderstand the rights they’re trying to impose on others. Please continue the fight – and show more photos…

  • chrisamillion
    6 January 2007

    Doesn’t stopping people taking photos of a public space infringe on freedom of speech and freedom of expression?

    I can understand some areas being out of bounds (for example the refinery), but on the street you should be allowed to take any photos you want (within reason). Although, having said that, I’m always careful about getting in peoples ways or offending people. If someone is uncomfortable with a camera being around then I will put it away!

    Good on your for taking the photos!

  • mahmood
    6 January 2007

    We’ve had this discussion before, and I think we arrived at a conclusion that if the picture is taken in a public space, then it is alright as that public space is essentially public domain, but as long as the motive for taking the picture is not done to infringe on the other people’s own freedoms.

    So mutual respect is very important, and as you said Chris, if people are uncomfortable with their picture being taken, or if they specifically request that their picture is not to be taken, then respect that and move on.

  • mahmood
    6 January 2007

    JL how can anyone stop people from taking pictures of buildings and claim copyright infringement? This just does not make any sense at all. Does that mean that people can’t take pictures of the pyramids or Khamis mosque? What about that announced iPad (iPod inspired) building in Dubai or the financial harbour etc?

    No I think that problems did exist in the malls here where teens and pervs took pictures of girls and made them available through some sort of file exchange or public display and parents/relatives objected to the mall staff. So the mall in their turn just decided to ban anyone and everyone from taking pictures so they can avoid trouble.

    I can’t blame them really as it is the culture and society that needs changing here.

    In defence of the Seef Mall however, I inquired and they said that they do not ban families taking pictures of each other (ie, platonic in nature) but they do object to singles taking pictures.

    Like you too, I pity the guards.

  • tooners
    7 January 2007

    Last year, I had a conference at work and the hubby did a short video for the attendees. Well, we went to some of the malls here and tried taking some pics and filming, and you’d think we were bank robbers or something. We weren’t allowed to do anything until we got permission from the General Manager or some such person at the mall. A’Ali Mall was the worst and their security guards wanted to attack us, but when we got permission, all was ok.

  • Mike
    7 January 2007

    It’s spread to the UK too – I’ve had people stop me taking photos on railway stations due to some vague, nonspecific “security” paranoia, and I’m not the only one. I really don’t think the security goons have any idea just how stupid it makes them look to be going after trainspotters in the name of “security”.

    When my folks spent time in the UAE and in Oman in the 90s it was common sense not to take pictures of ministries, military areas, anything which might make the police twitchy, not that this stopped the daft people who’d take pictures of “Military Area: Access Prohibited! No Photography!” signs and get surprised when they got arrested. But shopping malls were generally considered fair game, particularly if there were no actual people in sight. I do agree that people hanging around by themselves taking pictures of people in shopping malls is damn creepy, but there’s a difference between that and taking a photo of a building.

  • mishmish
    7 January 2007

    I am impressed that 30% is owned by needy Bahraini families – good move !

    Nice to see there’s still some space for cars, though I am sure it won’t be long before that changes. Last time I went to Seef on a Thursday lunchtime I freaked with the number of cars and almost got run over when I eventually found a space in the parking garage…that’s were they need guards, as some people seem to think it’s fun to race down the ramps and around corners.

  • Maverick
    9 January 2007

    Same thing happend to me in Bahrain Mall. No videography even of families…..people are extremely snesitive here.

  • Neilufar
    9 January 2007

    Yes Maverick, they are sensitive, wonder why?! because they have no confidence in themselves, and one very striking thing is, that ever since i’ve moved to the UK not more than a year ago, by coincedense, i fell upon some very shamefull things that people that i knew and trusted back in Bahrain are doing. Without detailing matters, i know its far from the subject of discussion but im wondering always, why do people who are supposed to have real belief in god lead a different lifestyle in darkness.

  • alfanan
    10 January 2007

    This is a nice, clean panoramic picture. I use Double Take, pretty neat picture stitcher app.

  • Palmyra Mattner
    12 March 2007

    Do u know when Seef mall was built? 🙂
    because i need it for my geography essay.

  • Unknown Sender
    18 March 2007

    Palymra: It was built in 1997 I’m sure! I need to finish my Geography project too! 😆

  • Barry
    22 April 2007

    I can understand Military installations (there’s a motor pool here where the sign prohibits taking photos of the vehicles, and your camera can be confiscated, but that makes sense due to security issues). However, at a public place, to prohibit photos is absurd. I wonder what is the real reason? It reminds me of what happened a few years ago with a local company and their supposed “trademark”.

    In Pebble Beach (a community full of rich people who live in their own bubble), which is owned by one company, there is a cypress which they decided one day that if anyone paints or sells a photograph of it, they were “infringing” upon trademark, even if they didn’t set foot upon their land. It became such a heated topic that everyone around here hated Pebble Beach for it, and stopped patronizing their restaurants and resorts (they have some great restaurants there). About 40 local artists did a parody of the tree in protest.

    Here’s a copy of an email about the whole situation:

    I live and photograph out here in Lone Cypress land. I photographed the Lone Cypress in 1989 for use in our regional books. I use it as the cover of one of our books.

    We were threatened legal action by Pebble Beach who used some big name law firm in Washington DC to send me “we’re going to clean you out because you are infringing our trademark.”

    I immediately learned everything I could about trademark and did a trademark search on the Lone Cypress and all derivations. Nada! And in there ad’s, they use “Lone Cypress ® ” which, of course, is illegal. You cannot claim a “registered” trademark when you actually don’t have one. None were applied for, and their original application was “abandoned.”

    I gave the threats over to the ASMP legal council who did all of my answering for me. Basically the ASMP told Pebble Beach to “go pound sand.” Whether or not PB was actually going to take it to court was based on the R&R HOF case. Had Chuck Gentile lost, PB would probably have pursued it. But Chuck won and PB went away. And PB has since been purchased back from the Japanese by Clint Eastwood and friends. It is now a more friendly place.

    During the time when all artists were hassled, the local folks (Monterey Peninsula) hated PB and did not patronize them. This is bad publicity. Bad publicity spreads fast. I think Clint and friends know this.

    I remember pretty much everyone around here thought that was the stupidest thing ever and how could they copyright a tree?

  • mahmood
    22 April 2007

    Too much power in the hands of fools is a dangerous thing. It is also dangerous putting too much power into the hands of intelligent people without explaining to them the limits at which they can use to enforce that power.

    This is what is happening here; the management didn’t want the hassle of families or girls complaining that their pictures are being taken by yobs weilding the latest version of mobile phones, so they – in their infinite wisdom – chose to take the law and the constitution in their own hands and banned all photography on their premises!

    Stand up to them though, or even better, take the time to explain that you are not there to take pictures of girls specifically and you’ll probably be left alone.

    I remember a security guard stopping me from videotaping my son having a milkshake at one of their outlets! I went to the office and explained to them what I was doing and they understood and left me alone.

    The same thing here, but this time I just told the guard to basically bugger off!

  • Palmyra Mattner
    13 June 2007

    😆 Thank you for replying to my comment..i just saw it today….THANKYOU!!! 😆 😆 😛

  • Palmyra Mattner
    13 June 2007

    Why is there an american flag next to my name?…sry..thats kind of random.. :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

The Dome of Ma’atem Al-Ajam – Bahrain