Shopping malls in Dubai

It won't take long for expats to realise that malls in Dubai have revolutionised the retail experience. These shopping meccas don't settle for the stock-standard stores and food courts typically on offer – rather, they take on the roles of entertainer, curator and cultural director all at once. Expats will find movie theatres, ski slopes, ice skating rinks and libraries on premises alongside their favourite restaurants and international brand names.

Most malls in Dubai are open until 10pm or later and all have air-conditioning, which makes for a great escape from the extreme summer heat. Smoking is banned in all of Dubai's malls.

Shopping malls in Dubai

Dubai Mall

At the Dubai Mall, the city's largest mall, it seems bigger is better. The fountain on site can rival that of the Bellagio, and the venue has the largest single tank aquarium in the world, a SEGA Republic and an ice rink.

Ibn Battuta Mall

The Ibn Battuta Mall is divided into sections designed to resemble the countries travelled by legendary traveller Ibn Battuta and is home to the UAE's only IMAX screen.

Wafi City Mall

Wafi City Mall has a Pharaonic theme to it and has a wonderful souk downstairs called Khan Murjan where expats can pick up souvenirs and local handicrafts.

Mall of the Emirates

Mall of the Emirates is home to Ski Dubai where one can enjoy the experience of skiing on snow slopes even when the temperature outside is approaching 122°F (50°C). Dubai Community Theatre and Arts Centre (DUCTAC) is also on the premises with a wonderful library and theatre.

Souk Madinat-Jumeirah

The Souk Madinat Jumeirah is, technically speaking, a mall, but is designed in the style of a souk – semi-open and semi-air conditioned. One can take an abra ride here in sanitised conditions. The Madinat Theatre located there normally has very high-quality international companies performing.

Global Village

Global Village is an outdoor shopping and entertainment destination that is usually only open in the evenings for three months a year (November to February) with stalls and products from across the globe.


Karama is a shopping zone mid-way between a traditional souk and a low-price mall. It’s a good place for daily shopping or bargain clothes. Expats should polish their bargaining skills before heading to this area.

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