Dubai’s retail therapy centres are not your average shopping mall. With grandiose architecture and myriad entertainment avenues, it would be quite easy to spend an entire holiday flitting in and out of malls and departmental stores. With around 96 shopping destinations spread out across the Emirati metropolis, you’re bound to find a photo-worthy mall within driving or even walking distance of your hotel. We’ve shortlisted some wonderful shopping malls in Dubai that stand out from the rest due to their thematic interiors, dazzling aquariums, or sheer choice of luxury boutiques.
Where: Financial Centre Road, Downtown Dubai
The central location of Dubai Mall makes it easily accessible from most hotels, although the best choices would be Address Boulevard, Armani Hotel Dubai, and Conrad Dubai. It is the largest mall in the world, and features an ice-skating rink of Olympic proportions, and more than 1000 luxury brands for your shopping satisfaction. The mall is easy to navigate as there are sections dedicated to specific categories, such as the Shoe District. And you can always head to Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo for something other than retail therapy.
Mall of the Emirates
Where: Interchange 4, Sheikh Zayed Road
For a shopping trip followed by lunch or dinner, there can be no better destination than Mall of the Emirates, with Ritz Carlton Dubai within driving distance. Din Tai Fung serves arguably the best dumplings in Dubai, and Common Grounds is famed for its healthy yet lip-smacking dishes. If you are not attracted by Debenhams and Marks & Spencer, you could always head to Ski Dubai, watch a movie at VOX Cinemas, or take the kids to Magic Planet, an indoor amusement centre.
Ibn Battuta Mall
Where: Sheikh Zayed Road
You may have heard of Ibn Battuta, the Moroccan scholar who travelled extensively in the medieval times. Set amidst verdant tea gardens, Ibn Battuta Mall brings to life some of the countries he visited such as India, China, Egypt, Persia, Tunisia, and Andalusia. Even if you don’t plan on much shopping, come here simply to gawk at the lofty ceiling depicting a blue sky, intricate mosaic tiles, and a massive golden elephant. It is the world’s biggest theme shopping mall.
Dubai Marina Mall
Where: Sheikh Zayed Road, Marina
Across the shore from One&Only The Palm, lies Dubai Marina Mall, known for its casual atmosphere and array of alfresco restaurants at the pier. A dream come true for the ladies, this is the ultimate destination for haute couture and beauty services. Although not as large as some of its other counterparts, Dubai Marina Mall features a variety of stores catering to children.
Souk Al Bahar
Where: Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Blvd
Souks are traditional Arabian markets but this one is a cross between a mall and a souk. Just 2 km from Armani Hotel Dubai and a stone’s throw away from Palace Downtown, Soul Al Bahar is set the in the midst of Downtown Dubai, and charms visitors with its waterfront restaurants and quaint souvenir stores. If you’ve been hunting for beautiful carpets and antiques, you’ll definitely find them here. Also enjoy stunning views of Dubai Fountain and the Burj Khalifa from the walkway.
Where: Khalid Bin Al Waleed Road
Located in the central Bur Dubai, BurJuman offers an attractive mix of top-notch global brands, numerous dining options, and the renowned Vox Cinemas. One of the oldest malls in Dubai, it also hosts the Magic Planet children’s entertainment centre.
Dubai Outlet Mall
Where: Dubai Al-Ain Road (Route 66)
Only at Dubai Outlet Mall will you find discounts on upscale fashion, perfume, and electronics brands all year round. On Mondays, several stores offer further discounts on already slashed prices. There are also many play areas for children, and several food courts and restaurants.
Where: Jumeirah Beach Road
Mercato means ‘market’ in Italian, in keeping with the mall’s theme of Renaissance-era Italy. Designed on the lines of a Mediterranean town, the mall is a visual delight. Address Boulevard and Ritz Carlton Dubai are both close by, and you can taste exceptional hot chocolate at Alison Nelson’s Chocolate Bar, as also delectable pastries at Cakery Epicerie.