The Dubai Mall
Slip on your walking shoes for a visit to The Dubai Mall, the world’s largest mall by surface area. With over 1200 stores and counting, there’s nothing you could wish to buy that you won’t find here. From designer boutiques on Fashion Avenue to French department store Galeries Lafayette and glittering jewels in The Souk – the Dubai Mall is every shopaholic’s fantasy.
Dubai Mall is not just a destination for shopping but has entertainment covered too. You’ll come across shark fins and stingrays in the giant public tank of the Dubai Aquarium, as well as passing dazzling waterfalls and chilly ice rinks as you make your way around the multiple levels.
Then if all that walking and shopping is getting too much you can flag down a mall taxi (Ferrari shaped, of course) to whiz you and your shopping bags back to the car park.
For those that like to be as close to the shops as possible you can sleep at the mall by checking into the luxurious The Address Dubai Mall Hotel. The mall is also attached to the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, which is home to the Armani Hotel and the world’s highest outdoor observatory.
Don’t forget to exit the mall at some point to watch the Dubai Fountain – the largest choreographed fountain in the world. Created by the same team who designed the Bellagio Fountains in Vegas, the Dubai Fountain dances to a mix of Arabic and pop music including the tunes of Lionel Richie!
Souk Al Bahar
Adjacent to the Dubai Fountain is Souk Al Bahar, an Arabic-style shopping mall where you’ll find carpet, textile and antique products. This is a fantastic place to shop for high-quality pashmina shawls, beaded kaftans and silk gowns. The prices are higher than what you’d find in a local souk but then so is the quality. You can haggle though and may be offered a better deal on marked prices without even trying.
Souk Al Bahar also has a great waterfront eatery, Serafina, where you can dine on Italian cuisine while you watch the Dubai Fountain and ever-changing lights of the Burj Khalifa.
Mall Of The Emirates
Image source: Flikr/Fabio Achilli
The Mall Of The Emirates is famous for being home to the Middle East’s first indoor ski resort. Ski Dubai features a 400m ski run, ski lift, snowboard slopes, zip line and penguin encounter, which are visible (much to your brain’s confusion) from the shopping centre.
You can also get a great Flat White on Level 2 at Common Grounds, an acclaimed Aussie coffee shop by the same duo who run top Dubai cafes Tom & Serg and The Sum Of Us.
Gold and Spice Souk
For a more old-school shopping experience in Dubai head to the souks in Deira, the oldest part of Dubai, which you can get to via a short ride across the Dubai Creek on a traditional abra.
At the Spice Souk you can soak up the scent of the herbs used in traditional Arabic cuisine and at the Gold Souk you can marvel at the elaborate jewels in all the shop windows. Gold is sold by weight in the souk (at a fixed market rate) but the separate fee for the workmanship is negotiable so you can pick up a great deal if you’re good at bargaining.
The alleyways surrounding the souks are also good for picking up souvenirs but be aware that some stores are trade only so not open to the general public. For an insider’s guide to the souks and more information on the history of Deira, you can book a Traditional Dubai City Tour with Arabian Adventures.
The newest mall to open in Dubai is City Walk, a European-style outdoor mall featuring international boutiques, terrace dining and interactive street art and large scale murals by the team at Dubai Walls. Dubai Walls are a collection of 16 of the world’s best street artists from 5 continents, including Australia’s own talent Rone.
Another shopping hotspot in this area is BOXPARK Dubai, a collection of funky containers filled with food and fashion boutiques just like Boxpark Shoreditch in London. At BOXPARK Dubai you can cool down after all the shopping with a traditional Italian gelato at Grom or exotic ice cream concoction at Dri Dri.
Ready to shop up a storm in Dubai? Get the best deals for your flight, hotel and car hire with Skyscanner Australia. For more adventures on-the-go, download our mobile apps!
Jayne Gorman is a Sydney-based travel blogger who has visited 59 countries and counting! Stay up to date with her shopping and sweet treat filled travels via her blog Girl Tweets World and on Instagram @jayneytravels.