A unique new mall has opened as part of the upcoming massive theme park project in Jebel Ali.
The Outlet Village is unlike any other shopping district in the region, designed as it is to feel like San Gimignano, an adorable hilltop town in the countryside of Tuscany whose historic centre was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1990.
But the exposed brickwork, piazza-like squares, water features and little metal trinkets that line the mismatched Gothic stonework aren't just a glossy coat on top of your usual mall experience. Oh no, this little pizza slice of Italy is 'digital free'; that means no invasive advertising hoardings, no escalators or lifts, and certainly no indoor aquariums or ice-skating rinks.
Simply ambling through, visitors will note a myriad of sophisticated detailing, including fountains and wishing wells, window shutters with lavender pot plants and wallpapers of the rolling Tuscan hills. It even has a real olive tree.
Dedicated to high-end and luxury fashion, it is home to over 100 retail brands, including homeware, sportswear and department stores all on the same level and sheltered under a conical glass roof. Each will offer year-long discounts, with some of them going up to 70 percent off the original retail price.
So what's to buy? Expect the likes of Lanvin, Coach, Michael Kors, Giuseppe Zanotti, Calvin Klein Men, Hugo Boss, Ted Baker, Tommy Hilfiger, Sandro, Maje, Diesel Kids, The Kooples. You will also be able to find a bargain at the sportswear and equipment stores, such as Nike, Stadium, Adidas, New Balance and Under Armour (all due to open by the end 2016). Multi-brand stores like Etoile will regularly stock past-season collections from Fendi, Tom Ford, Jimmy Choo, Valentino, Tory Burch, Givenchy, Dolce & Gabbana and Kenzo.
There will also be a revolving concept of pocket shops in the village where brands can hold shop for a set number of weeks, before renting out the hole-in-the-wall space to another brand.
And for those who need to refuel, there are a variety of dining and rehydrating options for tired shoppers. Operation Falafel, The Brass, Urban Seafood are open to take orders now, with Tasha’s, Project Pie, Awani and Godiva Café expected to open their shutters very soon.
Set between Dubai and Abu Dhabi on the E11 - and now easily accessible following the opening of a new flyover on the capital-bound side, this shopping outlet is expecting to welcome 30 million visitors in its debut year. Luxury coaches will run to and from hotels and top tourist destinations in Dubai, including The Beach in JBR.