Dubai is a shopping paradise – there is no other city in the world that takes shopping as seriously. Dubbed one of the world’s most fashionable cities, it’s no surprise that big international fashion brands covet exposure in Dubai. And as well as being a desirable shopping destination for luxury and emerging brands, Dubai also attracts shoppers from every corner of the Middle East and beyond.
Why? No other place does shopping on such a grandiose scale.
Once just a mere desert, Dubai has grown into somewhat of a haven for fervent shoppers. All-year-round sun and the stunning beaches coupled with a robust economy have created an exceptional mix of capitalistic and tropical vigour in Dubai that can not be matched – to say Dubai’s shopping culture and shopping malls are unique is a colossal understatement.
Shopping in Dubai is an out-of-this-world experience and each Dubai shopping mall has its unique concepts from indoor ski slopes to one of the world’s biggest indoor aquariums – yes, when it comes to shopping, Dubai seemingly has it all. Here are the best shopping malls in Dubai.
The Dubai Mall
Perhaps one of the more touristy malls, The Dubai Mall is well-loved for good reason. Located in the heart of downtown Dubai right next door to the world’s highest building, the Burj Khalifa, this massive mall spans a whopping 5.9 million square feet and is home to well over 1,200 stores, including top designers like Valentino, Gucci, Ralph Lauren, Chanel, and Alexander McQueen. As well as the impressive range of retail stores, The Dubai Mall also has two prominent department stores – Bloomingdale’s and Galeries Lafayette.
And if the shopping at The Dubai Mall is not enough, it is also home to one of the biggest (and most impressive) aquariums in the world, which offers a completely immersive deep-sea experience thanks to its 270-degree walk-through tunnel. The mall’s Olympic-sized Dubai Ice Rink is also a fun way of breaking up a day of shopping, as are Kidzania, a children’s entertainment centre, and a large cinema complex.
While you are there, be sure not to miss one of the most instagrammable spots in the mall – the indoor fountain. To say shopping at The Dubai Mall is an all-day affair is an underestimation.
Mall of the Emirates
Smaller and more accessible than The Dubai Mall, but by no means tiny, the Mall of the Emirates, which is popular with both locals and expats covers 2.4 million square feet. Considered to be the world’s first-ever “shopping resort”, the Mall of the Emirates also hosts flagship stores for some of the world’s desirable designer brands such as Chanel, Kate Spade, DKNY, Burberry, and Missoni, all of which can be found in the Fashion Dome and on the Luxury Wing.
As enjoyable as shopping in the Mall of the Emirates can be, it can be exhausting; luckily there are plenty of other activities to keep the entire family entertained like Magic Planet, a fun-filled family amusement park, and – wait – an indoor ski resort! Where else can you go shopping, snowboard, and hang with penguins?
Mercato Shopping Mall
To get away from the hustle and bustle of the tourist-packed malls and have a relaxing shopping experience, head to one of Dubai’s trendiest areas – Jumeirah Beach Road, where you will find the beautiful Mercato Shopping Mall – another unique Dubai mall concept reminiscent of Italy.
With its heavily influenced Renaissance-style décor, quintessential cobbled streets, the domed glass atrium, picturesque piazzas, and the streams of natural sunlight, it is difficult not to feel like you are in the heart of Europe. Mercato Mall’s charming ambience makes for a pleasant day shopping in Dubai as do the plethora of designer and luxury brand retailers like Sand Dollar Dubai, Diesel, Massimo Dutti, and Armani Jeans. And in true ‘Italian’ style, Mercato Mall also hosts an art market for art aficionados every first Friday and third Saturday of the month.
Mercato Shopping Mall on Jumeirah Beach Road is Dubai’s best-kept secret when it comes to shopping. Despite its smaller stature compared to other major Dubai malls, there are other amenities to keep you busy when you need a break from purchasing the most luxurious resort wear and designer pieces – VOX Cinemas and Fun City play area are just a few of many.
Located on Palm Jumeirah’s trunk and accessible by the Palm monorail, car, or foot, Dubai’s newest mall – Nakheel Mall – does not disappoint. Contemporary and fresh, Nakheel Mall covers five floors and boasts over 300 retail shops, supermarkets, and department stores, including an impressive Waitrose for any British travellers or expats craving a taste of home. As well as a diverse range of stores, there are several entertainment options as well, which include a 14-screen VOX cinema complex, Trampo Extreme trampoline park, and Fabyland, an indoor playground area.
While you are there, treat yourself to some great food. From fine rooftop dining to quirky cafes to family-style restaurants, there is an overwhelming choice. The mall also offers instant access to The Palm and The Palm Tower, which provides guests with unsurpassable panoramic views across the archipelago.
Dubai Marina Mall
Located in one of the most prominent and scenic districts in Dubai, Marina Mall is a popular go-to for expats. With the most spectacular waterfront marina views and cool, laidback vibes, this is one area in Dubai that captures the imagination like no other. There is a distinct resort feel to Dubai Marina Mall thanks to its cute cafes and trendy bistros that line the mall’s promenade. Inside, those vibes continue with the airy and relaxed feel and a great selection of popular High Street stores like Nine West, Cos, Reiss, Tommy Hilfiger, Levi’s, and Miss Selfridge.
Shoppers can also sit back and watch a film in Reel Cinemas or entertain the kids in a functional play area. A stroll down the marina is also a must, and a relaxing boat trip should also be high on your list.
Dubai is a major hub for shopping, and there is no doubt about it – its malls are plentiful and AMAZING, so hopefully, with this abridged version of the best shopping malls in Dubai, you will be able to navigate your way a little easier, happy shopping!
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