Things to Do in Dubai – Dubai Mall
Forget for a moment that this is a mall, because the Dubai Mall is so much more. It’s an entertainment hub. So for all you mall haters, Dubai Mall will probably sway your opinion on shopping experiences for the better. The largest mall in the world houses over 1,200 retailers. That’s heaven for some, but for those who find it hell, they may find solace in just chilling on a bench overlooking the amazing Dubai Fountain or if it’s your turn to entertain the kids you’ll be itching to gaze at the wonders in the Dubai Aquarium or thrill-seek at the Sega Republic Indoor Theme Park. Dubai Mall has definitely done its homework in appealing to more than just the shopaholics.
Housing well known labels from mid to top range, Dubai Mall offers an amazing variety of collections from around the world, be it the high street range or haute couture. To keep the kids amused, a replica of the famous British toy store, Hamleys has parked a spot at Dubai Mall as well as the famous American department store Bloomingdales. For all you foodies, you will be spoilt from fast food to delicacies to suit almost every palette. Pretty much any global food brand is here, so it’s all about how far you are prepared to walk for you meal.
If you are in Dubai for a fleeting visit and tempted to buy some gold, Dubai Mall has its own Gold Souk, saving you a visit to the famous one in Deira. You’ll find most of the famous chain stores like Marhaba and Damas and don’t feel you can’t bargain because you are in a mall – no piece is a fixed price! On the topic of authentic gifts, if time is short on your hands and you are in need of some ethnic gifts. Head across the Dubai Fountain, over the bridge into the Souk Al Bahar, where you’ll find a modern take on a souk filled with stall like shops selling everything from shawls, authentic homeware, dates and lots more.
But as we said – Dubai Mall is more than just for shopping:
Dubai Fountain No trip to Dubai Mall is complete without stopping at a bench to view the amazing performance of the world’s largest musical fountain, with the iconic Burj Khalifa as the backdrop – and it’s free! The water jets spray up to 500 ft in the air and the light beams used in the display can be seen up to 20 miles away and is said to be visible from space. Performances are on every 30 minutes from 1800 – 2200/2300 weekday/weekend. There are also shows at 1300 and 1330 daily. There is ample space to stand and get an awesome view, but if you want to have a meal to remember, book at one of the fountain side restaurants such as Wafi Gourmet, Carluccios amongst others. The opposite side of the fountain is the Souk al Bahar where you’ll find a host of outdoor restaurants with stunning views of the Burj Khalifa offering great photo opportunities.
Burj Khalifa – ‘At the Top’ viewing experience – If your time is limited in Dubai, going on top of the Burj Khalifa has to be on your top list of things to do. The views are spectacular and the giddy may even overcome their fear of heights! You can book tickets days in advance to get the timing slot of your choice or if you are only there for a day you can buy an immediate entry ticket. All tickets can be bought in person from Dubai Mall or online.
Dubai Aquarium – If you have kids you’ll give yourself at least 2 hours of sanity if you take them to the Dubai Mall Aquarium. Better still pack them off with Dad while Mum can enjoy a good gallivant round the shops. The Dubai Aquarium has one of the largest tanks in the world and has already achieved the Guinness World Record for largest viewing panel, another one to tick off the list! Dubai Aquarium has over 33,000 living animals amongst which 400 are sharks and rays combined. Alongside this there is the Underwater Zoo in which you can view an array of sea life from a suspension bridge or tree canopy. Entrance starts from 50 AED.
Sega Republic, Dubai – No UAE mall is complete without its own amusement arcade, but Sega Republic has got to be the mother of all amusement arcades with over 250 games spread over five zones. Ideal for all age groups – even adults. Entry prices start at 140 AED.
Dubai Dino – yes Dubai has it’s own dinosaur housed in the mall. Granted, it was bought from US, but it’s quite a sight mid shop. At 155 million years old, it’d probably as Jurassic as you will get in Dubai. It’s 80 foot long and 30 ft high, so you’re not going to miss it – but see how many photos are being taken in one minute. It’s snap heaven for some!
Kidzania – For the younger kids, picking a career in a virtual world where you need to earn a living makes for a great couple of hours for the kids. Kids loving work? If only they knew.
Dubai Ice Rink – A great way to cool off from the summer heat is to get the blades on and head for Dubai’s largest ice skating rink. Whether you are a skilled skater or a novice, the Olympic sized Ice Rink holds different themes every evening to hone your skills or just to have fun. When not in use, the Dubai Ice Rink can seat up to 2000 for functions. Prices start from 50 AED for a 2 hour session including skate hire.
Candylicious – Dubai Mall also houses the largest sweetshop in the world. Candy Time! Based opposite from the Aquarium, and 10,000 sq ft of sugar coated sweet stuff sounds like heaven and ADHD in a box. Think Charlie and the Chocolate factory for real, without Willy Wonka and the ooompa loompas!
And if all the above don’t tickle your fancy and you like the simple things in life, the Dubai Mall has over 150 cafés, fast food outlets and fine dining restaurants and to finish off an evening choose from one of 22 screens at Dubai’s largest cinema venue – Reel.
Points of note:
Dubai Mall is huge – if you have limited time, make sure you are focussed on what you need to do.
Don’t be afraid to ask one of the concierges at every other intersection. They have amazing knowledge of the shops and how to get to each one from where you are.
Dubai Mall tends to draw you in. If you manage to stay away on your first trip to Dubai, let us know and we can sell the secret.
When – Daily, 10am to 10pm, 10am to midnight
How Long – You’ll spend at least a day here
Location – Dubai Mall
Cost – Can be dangerously high, depending on temptation levels
Booking – See separate charges above.
More info – See the official site at thedubaimall.com