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Shopping in Dubai

It's no secret that Dubai loves to shop – this UAE city has over 70 malls, with plenty more on the way. And we're not just talking your average corner mall – shopping centres here are all about luxury and doing everything on a massive scale, usually with an entertainment centre, theatre and even an indoor ski resort mixed in to the action.


Dubai's shopping scene has racked up a lot of titles – largest mall in the world, most visited mall in the world, biggest themed mall in the world. And that's just the beginning. Believe us when we say that with this list of bests, we've really only scratched the surface.


Malls

The Dubai Mall

The Dubai Mall is more of an empire than a traditional shopping mall, though it of course has its fair share of shops. It's the biggest mall in the world by area and the world's most visited shopping destination, packed to the gills with luxury brands like Chanel, Dior, Armani and Louis Vuitton. But that's not all. Also within its cavernous walls are an ice rink, an arcade and mini adventure park and a cinema, not to mention more than 100 restaurants and cafes.

Mall of the Emirates

The Mall of the Emirates has its fair share of shops and luxury brands – try more than 600 retail spots in all – but it's the entertainment scene that really stands out. This super centre is privy to Ski Dubai, the first indoor ski resort and snow park in the Middle East. Also inside is a community theatre centre and an indoor family entertainment centre known as Magic Planet, complete with a bowling alley, arcade and carousel.

Ibn Battuta Mall

This lavishly decorated mall is named for the explorer Ibn Battuta. The mall is broken into six courts, each themed after his explorations – there's a court for Egypt, India, China, Andalusia, Tunisia and Persia, making the Ibn Battuta Mall the biggest themed mall in the world. Amid the colourful tiles, massive elephant statues and arched doorways you'll find familiar name brands, restaurants and, of course, an entertainment complex.

Outlet malls


Dubai Outlet Mall

Where there's opulence, there's a way to get it for half price – cue the Dubai Outlet Mall, a major shopping arena touting hundreds of top brands offering some serious discounts. You can expect everything from brands like Adidas to Porsche, Tommy Hilfiger and Steve Madden.

The Outlet Village

Step into the Outlet Village and you'll feel a little like you've gone back to medieval times. That's because its interior is paved with dark stone in a design that's modelled after a tiny hilltop town in Tuscany. Inside are discounted designer names like Ted Baker and DKNY, plus department stores carrying everything in between.

Markets

Souk Madinat

So this isn't your traditional Middle Eastern souk, but it's so beautifully designed that we had to include it. Within its lanes and stands are boutiques and souvenir shops, luxury brands and more than 20 restaurants boasting cuisine from around the world. There's also a healthy nightlife scene with a theatre and a selection of lounge bars whose vibes range from karaoke to salsa heavy.

Gold Souk

Ah yes, a traditional souk experience – with a little bling, of course. Dubai's Gold Souk is one of the most popular markets in the city, specialising in yes, you guessed it, jewellery. There are more than 300 retailers here selling just about every kind of trinket, one-of-a-kind statement piece or super indulgent souvenir you can think of. It's even estimated that 10 tonnes of gold is present within the lanes at any given time.

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