Bigger certainly means better at Mall Of The Emirates, which on Monday unveiled their huge expansion for the first time.
Built on top of the current mall, the entire third floor consists of (shopping) bag loads of new retail and dining spots, as well as what we’re calling “the most futuristic cinema in the world”.
Dribs and drabs of information has slowly been filtered out about what we might find inside the new space. And now Time Out Dubai can officially reveal details of everything from All Saints to Common Grounds … but the worst-kept secret in the region remains officially under wraps (don’t worry, just as soon as an opening date for the world’s biggest Apple Store is confirmed, we’ll let you know).
With 1,300 added shaded parking spaces for guests, there's a new valet service by the Fashion Dome and Galleria that will serve shopping hoping to treat themselves at Prada, Burberry, Fendi, Tom Ford, Dolce & Gabbana or Salvadore Ferragamo.
It cost Dhs1billion to create the area they're calling Evolution 2015, and it's the size of eight professional football fields. Inside you'll find 40 retail outlets, 12 of which are fashion stores - say hello to Seafolly and Juicy Couture. Then there are 12 new dining options including an offering named Texas de Brazil.
But what are the outlets you MUST visit at MOE? Here’s our top pick:
Serving up fresh Neapolitan pizzas, this bright pizzeria could be a tip spot for a post movie slice. The restaurant is decorated with a stylish and elegant monochrome and terrace style seating that opens up to the mall. and if you don’t fancy pizza, get a place of Dubai’s favourite cheese, burrata with seasonal veg.
Din Tai Fung
You won’t get a warmer welcome than at this Taiwanese dim sum restaurant, staff here pretty much sing ‘good morning and welcome’ to you. This branch is the first in the Middle East though the franchise has branches in cuisine concept where diners can order freshly made dim sum and main courses. The specialist chefs in an open kitchen resemble scientists – kitted out head-to-toe in white with masks over their mouths and caps – as they work behind the glass hand crafting the dumplings to perfection. The Hong Kong restaurant has a Michelin star so expect top notch food at affordable prices.
The trendy UK fashion brand has launched its first outlet in the Middle East. Alongside Chic Autumn 2015 looks, the 6,000 square foot shop also hosts the brand’s first ever standalone non-apparel concept a comprehensive handbag line, The Capital Collection. Other than that, the usual rails of edgy leather jackets, soft jersey dresses in grey, black and white, against concrete grey walls and urban styling. Like the London stores, the shop window is bedecked with vintage sewing machines.
Located at the back of the top floor, but worth seeking out, is the latest venture from the guys. Still pouring out fresh coffee, and great looking cakes and pastries, Common.Grounds has maintained the feeling of a stand-alone café within the mall. We might miss the in-house bakers and roasters that Tom& Serg and The Sum of Us have, but all the baked goods are supplied here by The Sum of Us and breakfast is served until a very civilised 4pm.
The leading sports brand offers a range of sports equipment, sportswear, swimwear, footwear, as well as watches and sunglasses. We imagine it will be packed full of people all the time simply after knowing David Beckham has set foot in here. Combining sports with street fashion, this store stocks clothes and footwear for running, cross training but also just looking hella-cool in. Check out the racks of Adidas by Stella McCartney, as well as Adidas Originals. The leopard print Adidas Torsions stopped us in our tracks.
Silvena Rowe teased the opening of the burger and lobster joint on Instagram on Sunday revealing that it would be opening from 3pm on Monday. Colourfully decorated with a scarlet pink ceiling, we’ve already spied our eye on what she’s calling the “best burger in town” – with homemade shoestring fries. Also expect soft shell crab and wagyu steak, hotdogs, shakshuka and plus cool cakes. Yum. Distinctive in character and cuisine, Chef Silvena, has brought her ethos of beautiful and healthy food to the third floor of the mall. We had a chat with her at the launch of the extension and she explained why this change in location. “We fought really hard to get this space,” said the vibrant chef. “I’m really happy with it. I wanted to bring our concept of good healthy food to a mall, it’s great to be here.”
In case you don’t already know, the London brand has become popular all over the world since 1993. Awash with ditsy floral prints, this is the biggest Cath Kidston store in Dubai. The homewares section is particularly twee. Head to the back of the store to check out the wall of pastel-coloured floral mugs, oven mitts and even dressing gowns.
With stores all around the globe, this is the workout gear and accessories brand’s first in the UAE. But more than just a yoga apparel place selling mats and yoga pants, Lululemon Athletica’s store is designed to be a community hub, with free yoga and CrossFit classes on Friday and Saturday mornings in-store, and no, you don’t need to have bought half the shop first, just turn up and get involved. The store's front has a unique falcon wing design to represent the heritage of the UAE, and the brand has forged collaborations with local fitness and yoga ambassadors who will run the in-store fitness sessions.
Luxury kids combo
Imagine a collection of designer brands (Armani, D&G, Ralph Lauren, etc) all for tiny people. It’s here. The designer stores for little divas are all in a row, and parents that want to bedeck their kids in Burberry checks can indulge here. Another cool store for stylish kids is Katakeet Boutique, they have has some pretty styles for boys and girls but with a quirky touch.
The new VOX at Mall Of The Emirates breaks records everywhere, starting at the most basic level, with its 24 screens, the most in the Middle East. The whole complex, which replaces the original outlet on Level 2 of the mall, is decked out like a stylish theatre auditorium with large old-style cinema hoardings above the door and the most advanced billboards on the inside. It is built on four main pillars - 4DX, IMAX with Laser, KIDS (Two screens), and ThEATre by Rhodes (Four screens).
Following the footsteps of the JBR branch, this one will offer Hellenic dishes plus a new pastries section. Due to open in mid-October.
The first store in Dubai will open here before the end of the year – although Abercrombie family member Hollister has existed here since 2014 – the Southern California store which hires models as shop assistants, is also planning on opening in The Dubai Mall soon.
Dean + Deluca
The New York brand already has a branch in Souk Al Bahar and this rustic grocery store is earmarked for opening by the end of October.