I visited Dubai Mall first time in 2010 and right away got impressed by the luxurious architecture and the huge variety of retail shops that are bigger than houses. Since I moved in Dubai, I have been to Dubai Mall for countless time to the extent that I have memorized the whole map of the mall. Interestingly it is still growing so I have to keep visiting the mall, not to work on the map of-course, but to enjoy the huge variety of the shops and entertainment facilities. The mall has direct access to Burj Khalifa which is the major landmark of Dubai. The mall has a humungous aquarium and an underwater zoo. The mall also has a huge Olympic size ice rink.
I used to work in Emirates Towers until 2019, which is very near to the Dubai Mall. Hence It was my most favorite lunch and hangout destination. I had the times when I suddenly planned for a movie and the first cinema, I could think of was the Reel cinemas in Dubai Mall. You can catch movies shows even after mid-night. This mall is connected with so many memories that I have with my friends. I am a foody, so it serves all what I need, I love shopping, so it serves to my delight. I love to have my coffee in an attractive ambience so again the mall has many options.
There are more than 1200 retail stores and the numbers are still growing. The mall was opened for the public in 2008 with a grand opening. Access is very easy; you can reach by car and the parking is huge with different sections. My favorite parking side is obviously the Cinema Parking Level 7, right next to the cinema, food court and the Sega Republic which has recently been changed into a virtual reality entertainment park. A Dubai metro station is also connected to the mall through the electronics section of the mall. Many people call it the world’s biggest mall, but it is not. The biggest is in China.
Read more about the Amazing Places in United Arab Emirates
Some Interesting Facts about Dubai Mall
- The Size of the mall is equal to 200 football pitches.
- Dubai Mall is the most visited building in the world with more than 80 million visitors which are still increasing.
- There is an interesting Human Waterfall in the mall with many statues. If you keep looking at one of the statues, all others will disappear.
- The mall recorded 61,000 tickets sold for the aquarium in the first 5 days after its opening.
- The Aquarium, which has sharks, was leaked in February 2010 and the mall was immediately evacuated without an incident. The mall re-opened the next day.
Interesting Things to do in Dubai Mall
Shopping is the first thing you do in a mall and Dubai Mall is an ideal place for all your shopping needs. There is a huge variety of more than 1200 retail stores in the mall. There is also a dedicated Fashion Avenue that has the most luxury and famous brands located in a designated area. Aside from Fashion Avenue, there are many other shopping outlets scattered everywhere in the mall. Clothes, shoes, accessories, kids clothing, kids’ accessories, home furnishing, carpets, books, computers and technology gadgets, you name anything, and the mall has it all. Dubai shopping is very famous around the world and specially in the season of the Dubai Shopping Festival, this mall is your ideal shopping destination in Dubai.
Food in Dubai Mall
Talking about my favorite part, the mall has a huge food court that has two entrance sides and has almost all of the famous fast food and regional cuisines inside. There are several other high-end restaurants scattered around the mall. The mall is full of my favorite food outlets and coffee shops. For Chinese my favorite restaurant PF Chang’s is located near to the Dubai Fountain and there is a cookie baking kiosk very near to it called Ben’s Cookies. Le Pain Quotidien, a very nice French restaurant is also near to the Dubai Fountain and right next to the gate is Five Guys, my favorite burger stop. Cheesecake factory is located near the Dubai Aquarium and is also a very amazing restaurant. If you are looking for something traditional, unique and spicy, try the “Tazaj” in the food court. This is a chicken broast retailer and the taste is simply amazing and very different than other fried chicken brands.
Cinema in Dubai Mall
Another place of my great interest is the Cinema in Dubai Mall. The huge 22-screen Reel cinema has been my first choice always whenever I decided to go movies. The ambience and the environment are very comforting especially when you are a huge movie fan. After Dubai Mall, I think I enjoyed the best movie experience in Bangkok in Siam Paragon Mall. I must mention them because that mall is also among my most favorite ones.
Burj Khalifa: The Tallest Building in the World
Dubai Mall is right next to the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world. The building is so huge you have to test your camera angles to capture a selfie with it. There is a direct access to Burj Khalifa from inside the mall. It is recommended to book your reservation in advance if you want to visit Burj Khalifa, otherwise you might have to pay much higher price at the entrance. The building was used in the movie Mission Impossible starring Tom Cruise. The movie was good, and the sandstorm scene was awesome too. From top of Burj Khalifa, you can view the Dubai Skyline, the views of the city and the Arabian desert are amazing.
Right next to the Burj Khalifa, the huge Dubai Fountain is the world’s largest choreographed fountain system. This fountain is located outside the mall and you have to exit the mall from the gate near the Five Guys restaurant. The fountain displays a show every 30 minutes, so you will have plenty of time and chances to see the amazing dancing water. The music changes every time, so it will be a different dancing rhythm every time. The fountain timings are from 7pm to 11 pm. You can also view the water choreography from different restaurants in the mall that are facing the fountain.
If you are not in a restaurant, be prepared to see a humungous crowd at this place, if you are not already at the right place sometime before the water show starts, you might not get a good view. My favorite spot for viewing the fountain is near the Souk al Bahar near the seafood restaurants. There is a curve on the pathway which makes you feel like you are nearest to the fountain and you get the full view of everything.
DUBAI MALL AQUARIUM & UNDERWATER ZOO
Now, lets go back inside the mall and talk about the Dubai Mall Aquarium and Underwater Zoo. The aquarium has the world’s largest acrylic panel and has more than 33,000 marine animals on display. The aquarium is located in the middle section on the ground level. There will be a lot of crowd hanging out there near the aquarium panel for selfies or to simply watch the soothing aquarium. The ambience and lighting have also been set properly to enhance the aquarium effects. On top you will see stars sparkling in the design of the roof.
The que of visitors going inside is not very long, you can purchase a ticket and can enter the aquarium staring with a 280-degree tunnel that has marine animals everywhere including hundreds of sharks and rays. The aquarium holds around 10 million litres of water. The aquarium also has the largest collection of Sand Tiger sharks in the world. You will be amazed to see a huge crocodile called King Croc. There is some interesting information about how it was brought here in the Dubai Aquarium. There are plenty of other animals including penguins, turtles, amphibians and fish.
DUBAI Mall ICE RINK
Dubai mall also has a wonderful ice rink where you can practice your ice-skating skills or simply watch other skating like professionals. You can also take skating lessons as there are instructors available. The Dubai Ice Rink hosts many events and a lot of visitors watch them with pleasure either from inside or standing around it from ground to the top floor.
KIDZANIA Dubai Mall
This is an ideal place for kids who love to play interactive games. If you have kids, you can leave them here to play while you enjoy the shopping in peace. Kidzania is a very popular attraction and has 7,000 square meter full-scale replica of a real city. The kids can enjoy role plays where they can act as adults and choose careers and make critical decisions. They can learn to work together as team and enjoy around 60 real-life activities in the venues of the small city.
The roleplays include fireman, doctor, police officer, chef, beauticians and journalist. The games let them work and teach them how to earn kidzanian money by offering their services. This is an ideal place for kids from 4 to 6 years of age which enhances their creative and analytical abilities.
EMIRATES A380 SIMULATOR
There is an Emirates A380 simulator near the kidzania where you can experience to take off, fly and land a plane in any of the 12 busy airports of the world.
VR PARK DUBAI MALL
Virtual Reality park which has replaced the old Sega republic is the new hype in Dubai Mall for kids and entertainment seekers. The VR park offers a nice variety of augmented reality experiences to gamers who love the high-tech virtual reality experience. There are rides and fun activities from the categories of sports, leisure, adventure and horror etc.
HYSTERIA Dubai Mall
Perfectly designed as a horror movie, Hysteria in Dubai Mall is an attraction for adrenaline junkies and thrill seekers. This place is not for faint hearted as the scares are very cleverly designed to give you goosebumps and will get the screams out of you. There is also a small store from where you can buy collectables from horror movies.
DINO DUBAI MALL
There is a 150 million years old dinosaur skeleton at a display in the Souk area of Dubai Mall. This is a great attraction for visitors who have interest in pre-historic creatures. The skeleton has a long neck and a long-whipped tail and belongs to the late Jurassic period Diplodocus Longus species.