Kid-friendly perks: There are teeny shopping baskets so kids can choose their candy without mum’s consent (did we just hear a collective moan from parents across Dubai?). Several candy items also double as toys – think edible jewellery.
Adult-friendly perks: There’s a large section dedicated to gourmet chocolate. Most of the haute items available in the store are exclusive to the UAE.
Number of products: More than 5,500.
First impressions: It’s huge, the selection is well thought out and the decor is fun (there’s a giant plastic lollipop tree!). Plus, there’s a nice mix of sugary, candy options and more upscale, gourmet varieties.
Why come here: The place is colourful, there’s a massive range and customers can even increase their repertoire of sweets (many exciting brands are exclusive to Candylicious). And the main draw? It’s the world’s biggest candy store. What better reason do you need? The Dubai Mall (04 330 8700)
Hershey’s Chocolate World
Floorspace: 390sq m It stocks the most: Hershey’s Kisses (10 different varieties, in fact, from cherry flavoured to almond studded).
Weirdest item: Candy-scented candles. Twizzlers may be fun to eat, but the waxy, over-processed cherry scent doesn’t do much for us.
Yummiest item: Caramel Hershey’s Kisses.
Number of brands stocked: 20 – all under the Hershey’s umbrella.
Kid-friendly perks: Two mascots – one dressed as a Hershey’s bar, the other as a Kiss – occasionally stand out front to greet kids and pose for pictures. There’s also a green screen in the corner where customers can have their pic taken to be superimposed on Hershey’s merchandise (everything from a piggy bank to a chocolate bar). And, of course, there’s loads of kids’ merchandise, from Hershey-themed stuffed animals to toy cars.
Adult-friendly perks: There are a few fuddy-duddy items in store that would only interest grown-ups or die-hard chocoholics, such as collectable tins and baking products. You can also put personalised messages on chocolate bars or giant Kisses (maybe we’ll see a Hershey’s wedding proposal in future?).
Number of products: 400
First impressions: When we first heard that Hershey’s Chocolate World was opening, we imagined it would be a theme park similar to Hershey Park in Hershey, Pennsylvania (yes, it’s a real town). We were disappointed to realise it’s just a huge chocolate shop that only stocks Hershey’s subsidiaries. If you’re really into Reese’s, it’ll do, but we’d like more variety, or at least more entertainment.
Why come here: Young ones should enjoy the giant store full of chocolate and choco-themed teddy bears, but if you’re after quality, you may do better at Candylicious. The Dubai Mall (04 339 8113)