Travel is not only about what you can enjoy from the past, but what you can experience in the present and look forward to in the future as well. In this case Dubai is certainly a world leader in city planning, urban luxury and over the top quality of life. One of the most indulgent experiences in this impressive Emirate is certainly the shopping. It fits right in with the scores of mind blowing hotels, skyscrapers, resorts and experiences. Malls are like air conditioned cities that can take several hours just to walk around, let alone browse and shop. In an effort to lay out some of the details to this experience, we will give a sampling of what one can expect to find in Dubai’s myriads of shopping centers. Many of the Lebanese restaurants here are great options for fine and affordable dining.
Opened in 2008, this is still the largest reigning mall in the world by total area (12.1 million sq. ft.). Here one can find around 1200 stores, 160 food outlets, an ice-skating rink, a massive aquarium and indoor theme parks. There are plenty of beautiful sculptures, manifestations of ancient and modern Arabic art and floor spaces are wide, built of polished white stone and the place is flooded with light. Stores range from luxury brands from all over the world, there is a conglomeration here of every brand one can imagine. The mall is divided into precincts in order to facilitate easier shopping by type of products being sought. The High end Fashion Ave is a must see and the Gold Souk is an excellent experience of local Emirati goods and culture.
Mall of the Emirates
This is the second largest mall in Dubai and one that draws a lot of attention for its famous Ski Dubai indoor ski resort. It is attached to an excellent five star Kempinski Hotel as well right in the heart of what is known as New Dubai and easily accessible from the metro. The Mall features an impressive 520 store spread of international brands and over 85 cafes and restaurants in a stunningly ornate food court. The mall is lavishly decorated with stone, wood and gold that makes a shopping experience memorable.
Ibn Battuta Mall
This mall is set in the Jebel Ali district of Dubai and is designed more in a historic architectural frame. It reflects the journeys of Ibn Battuta a great scholar and traveler. Thus the six major courts reflect places he visited like Tunisia, Egypt and Andalusia. The Persian court and the China court are among the most stunning with their décor and attention to detail. As can be found elsewhere there is a great spread of international brands, a cinemaplex, live events and great places to eat.
Dubai Festival Center
Set along historic Dubai Creek, Festival Centre is all about prestigious retailers, international gourmet and world-class entertainment all in an urban retreat called Festival City. It has 600 shops, 100 restaurants, cinemas and bowling. Here shoppers can experience the best in fashion, jewellery, home accessories, toys and gifts all in a breathtaking space that captures luxury design and incorporates the beauty of the surrounding cityscape as well.
Mall of the World
This mall has just been announced to be built in Dubai. Thus it is not even under construction yet. It will have a capacity of 80 million visitors a year and it will become the largest mall in the world. It is part of an entirely new section of the city which will boast over 100 hotels while its park will be 30 percent bigger than Hyde Park of London.