The Best Shopping Malls in Dubai

With high-end boutiques, fine-dining restaurants, and a slew of luxurious attractions (indoor skiing anyone?), these eight luxury establishments give the mall a whole new meaning. 

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Dubai is the second most popular shopping destination in the world after London, and that’s not just due to its easy accessibility from Europe, East Asia, South Asia, and the rest of the Middle East; just as essential may be the city’s over-the-top approach to the retail experience—the same no-holds-barred treatment the locale is known to give its hotel, restaurant, and club scene. 

The entire country of the United Arab Emirates is smaller than Maine, and Dubai itself is only 1,500 square miles, but packed within this glittering boom town are nearly 100 shopping malls, the largest of which draws 80 million visitors per year—double that of Times Square. At first this might seem a bit silly, especially if the word “mall” conjures up images of angst-ridden teenagers roaming around fluorescently lit halls and shabby food courts, but in Dubai you aren’t going to find run-of-the-mill shopping complexes. The city’s opulent temples of consumption are in constant competition to be the biggest, best, or first at something, and with attractions like aquariums, waterways, luxury hotels, find dining restaurants, and snow covered ski slopes, luxury shopping is far from the only draw. Here within, eight wonders of the retail world to satisfy every taste and spending pursuit.

For more on Dubai, see our city guide »