Here’s which mall to go to for what, when, and why. Still with us? Good. Read on…
1 Festival Centre, Dubai Festival City This is one of our favourite one-stop shops, if you’ll pardon the pun. There’s Ikea and Hyperpanda for the big buys, Marks & Spencers to keep the homesick Brits entertained, a great range of high street mens and womenswear, including the ubiquitous Forever 21 for the girls and Paul Smith for the boys, as well as a host of designers stores from Marc Jacobs to Paul & Joe. On top of this, Festival City is home to a host of restaurants, with indoor and outdoor seating, as well as a cinema, oh, and an entertainment area. Yup, it’s got it all.
2 Ibn Battuta Mall This mall is one of Dubai’s quietest, making it a pleasant place to shop and very handy for anyone living at The Marina or Discovery Gardens way. There are all the high street favourites, from H&M to Debenhams, as well as more boutique-style stops like Ginger & Lace. It’s also got its own More Café which is a definite plus in our opinion.
3 Lamcy Plaza Lamcy’s a handy spot to stop for ladies in search of a bargain outfit or a new pair of shoes. It’s not a designer spot, but if budget’s on your mind, it’s the one to try. There’s also a brilliant shop on the top floor full of Japanese-style supermarket treats. This is the place to go to pick up a ‘Secret Santa’ or a fun birthday present. Think all manner of comedy beauty products, from giant plastic blackhead removers to huge shower hats, as well as an enviable range of household clutter.
4 Mall of the Emirates There’s a reason why Mall of the Emirate’s is Dubai’s most popular shopping spot, it really does have everything. From designer treats at Harvey Nichols, and every other high end boutique you could imagine, to department stores like Debenhams and high street favourites like Zara and H&M. There’s also a great range of sports shops, and of course Ski Dubai.Plus, it’s attached to The Kempinski so if you fancy dinner and a glass of vino after shopping, you’re sorted.
5 Mercato Mall Just as Ibn Battuta has adopted the international look, Mercato has disguised itself as a kind of Italian manor house. This means it’s a pretty low-key and relaxing spot to shop and, while the choice of stores isn’t amazing, there are enough options (Massimo Dutti, Topshop, Ralph Lauren) to keep you entertained for a couple of hours. There’s also a whopping Virgin Megastore, and a cinema.
6 The Dubai Mall Well, it’s the world’s biggest mall for starters, so you’re not short of choice at this spot. There are also the added extras, like an aquarium and an ice skating rink. Just watch out for the crazy traffic on a weekend and you’ll love it.
7 Wafi Mall Wafi’s a bit of a weird one. You’ve got a few of the high street favourites like Marks & Spencers, and a handful of designer boutiques, but there aren’t enough shops to make it worth a special visit. What it does have on its side, is the easy access to the Wafi Rooftop’s restaurants and bars so if a quick shop then dinner is on the cards, this is the place for you.
8 Marina Mall As with Dubai Mall, Marina Mall isn’t quite finished yet, so it’s a bit of a work in progress. Once all of the shops are open this looks set to be a popular spot with enough stores to keep marina residents and passing trade entertained.
9 Village Mall If you’re a fan of fashion boutiques, this is your mall. It’s also a lovely place to stroll to if you’re in the Jumeira 1 area on a nice day. Inside you’ve got the super trendy S*uce as well as the local favourite Ayesha Depala. One for the ladies who lunch, but not somewhere to spend more than a pleasant hour.
Tel: 04 344 9514
Open: 10am-10pm and Fri 2pm-10pm
10 Deira City Centre This is Dubai’s favourite old-school mall. It’s got everything you could want from bargain and high street to a smattering of designer spots. The only problem with DCC is getting in and out if you don’t drive. The taxi situation is awful so be prepared for a long wait in the queue when you’re ready to leave.