Dubai is home to the second-largest mall in the world. It boasts 1,200 stores, an aquarium and a virtual reality park. There’s also an Olympic ice skating rink and hundreds of restaurants. Over 80 million people have visited the Dubai mall shops over the past four years. It is the largest Dubai shopping mall in the world.

After spending an entire day exploring the Dubai shopping mall amenities, I understand why Dubai residents consider it a valuable and attractive place. However, I am still unable to understand why tourists would want to visit.

Dubai does not do small things. The world’s tallest building is located in a desert city. It also has palm-shaped artificial islands that stretch along the coast. There’s also the largest indoor theme park in the world and the first rotating skyscraper. The malls are not to be missed.

Know more about the malls

Dubai is home to approximately 65 malls, and there are ten more. Dubai mall shops are considered an essential part of Dubai by many. The Dubai Mall shopping is the most iconic in Dubai. The Dubai Mall was opened in November 2001.

It is hard to call it a mall. The Dubai shopping mall houses more than 1,200 shops. It also has its neighbourhoods, including a high-fashion district similar to Fifth Avenue and “The Village”, an open-air street with hundreds of restaurants, movie theatres, a luxury hotel, and an Olympic-sized ice skating rink, virtual reality park, and an aquarium.

Emaar, Dubai Shopping Mall’s developer, stated recently that it had received over 80 million visitors annually for the past four years and is the largest mall globally. Dubai is currently fourth in the list of most visited cities worldwide, with 16.7 million people visiting each year. In addition, U.S. News and World Report ranked The Dubai Mall as No. 1. This number will only increase.

Burj Khalifa

The Burj Khalifa ‘the world’s tallest building’ Dubai Mall is part of the complex. However, Dubai residents I spoke with said that despite the many shopping options, the high number of Dubai mall shopping is not because of the excessive heat of Dubai. Therefore, Dubai shop malls are large, open spaces that can be controlled by climate and used as community centres. They also serve as public squares for residents of Dubai.

It is a fantastic place to visit if you love to experience a country’s “authentic culture”. There are many shopping centres and Dubai mall shopping everywhere you go. For example, the Mall of the Emirates has its icy indoor skiing slopes and the fake-Venetian Mercato Mall. There is also the Ibn Mattuta Mall that was inspired by the adventures of the Moroccan Berber explorer.

Dubai is home to 65 malls, and there are 10 more in the pipeline. One of those currently being built in Dubai Square, set to become the world’s largest mall when it’s completed.

All of this begs the question: Why?

Nada Badran, a Jordanian living in Dubai for most of her adult life, seemed to read my thoughts as we walked through Deira. It isn’t easy to stay outside during Dubai’s long summer, which runs from mid-April to October. 

Shopping malls are a great escape. However, the malls of Dubai serve more than a function as a shopping centre. The malls are like community centres where entertainment and social events happen,” Ali Shamsi, a financial trader and entrepreneur in Dubai, wrote on Quora in March. “It’s too hot to do outdoor activities in the summer.”

Although most malls in Dubai have shops that are familiar to American and European travellers – everything from Bloomingdales, Adidas, Gucci to Gucci – their focus is more like miniature indoor cities rather than shopping centres. The mall is a social space, not just a shopping space,” Justin Thomas, an associate professor of psychology at Zayed University, wrote for The National in 2014.

Why Dubai Mall?

The Dubai Mall is the most famous of Dubai’s malls. However, “The Village” is an open-air “street” that features chic cafes, restaurants and clothing boutiques. Dubai’s malls are not just about the heat. Mastercard’s Global Destination Cities Index is the fourth most visited city globally, with 16.7 million expected visitors this year.

Out of the 15.8 million tourists who visited Dubai in 2013, 2.1 million were from India.  All these cultures share one thing in common and many Middle Eastern cultures: shopping is considered a leisure activity. As a result, many people don’t have easy access to luxury goods and travel halfway around the globe to shop at luxury shops or malls. Dubai is well-positioned to capitalize on this.

However, Emaar Malls, the developer of The Dubai Mall, stated recently that it had received over 80 million visitors per year for the past four years. This makes it the most visited mall in the world. 

Isn’t it exciting? If you have not explored yet, then get ready and explore the malls. It’s time to do some shopping. 

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