Today I spent the better part of the day at The Dubai Mall. Now I’m a pretty experienced shopper, and have been to malls and shopping centres all over the world. I’ve seen some big ones, and some with one attraction. But I have to say I’ve never seen a mall quite like The Dubai Mall.
To start with, it’s attached to the Burj Khalifa At the Top observation deck. That’s the tallest building ‘on the planet’, as our guide described it to us. We took the lift up to the 124th floor to see the spectacular views.
I particularly loved the view of my hotel, the Palace Downtown Dubai, as I had been trying to figure out the layout from my earth bound perspective, and suddenly looking down there it all was, map like in appearance.
Now I’m all about shopping at a mall, but if you have kids (and kids at heart) in your family, you have the option of taking them to SEGA Republic which is an indoor entertainment theme park with roller coasters and bumper cars, as well as lots of other things to play with.
Then there is KidZania, which is an adult world shrunk down to kid size, where they can play at adult jobs such as being a paramedic, working in a TV station or even being a fire fighter and putting out the fire in a burning building.
Want more? How about an Ice Skating rink? Or check out the spectacular fountain inside the mall.
Still not enough for you? Then go to the Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo where you can walk through a tunnel and have fish, sharks and rays swim above your head.
Then you can head up to see the piranhas (remember don’t touch), the otters who love to water slide, or even see if you can find Nemo, Dory and their friends.
Think you might get bored with all that or natural history is more your style? Well, The Dubai Mall has a 155 million year old Diplodocus Longus skeleton on display (recovered from Wyoming in the USA).
And then there is the shopping. Well, I think you can probably buy just about everything you could ever imagine here, from golden slippers to golden chandeliers.
With 1200 stores from high end to high street labels abound from around the globe (Galleries Lafayette, Bloomingdales, Marks and Spencer, Dior and Dolce and Gabana).
Get a photo of yourself with the golden Lamborghini in the Lamborghini store.
If you need a break from all the excitement inside the mall, just step outside into the sunshine onto the lake foreshore and enjoy the frequent dancing fountain show, where the water weaves and dances in the air in time to music.
The Dubai Mall is truly no ordinary mall.