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Dubai's one-stop shopping destinations

Maximise your fun at these family-friendly one-stop shopping spots
Dubai’s rise to become a world-famous shopping hotspot all happened for a reason: this is a city that knows how to dazzle. And with glamorous new retail hubs springing up constantly, you’re spoilt for choice as destinations pack in a mixture of attractions, dining and a selection of stores to keep visitors enthralled. We explore some of Dubai’s finest areas that contain something for everyone, guaranteeing a memorable day out for all.
1

The Dubai Mall

Supersized shopping

The Dubai Mall

Supersized shopping

Best for: Sheer scale and a labyrinth of options

No matter the span of ages or tastes in your family, The Dubai Mall has it covered. The world’s largest mall is packed with more than 1,200 retail outlets and plenty of spots to rest up and grab a coffee or a meal. Fashion Avenue houses more than 80 stores, with international boutiques from the likes of Gucci, Ralph Lauren, Chanel and Valentino. Alternatively, take your little ones to see a movie at Reel Cinemas or get your skates on at the Dubai Ice Rink. Educational fun is also plentiful, with KidZania allowing children to check out what it’s like to be a firefighter or a journalist, and the Dubai Aquarium housing all manner of fascinating ocean creatures. If you’d like to shop uninterrupted, KidZania has a fun nursery and Caboodle also provides top-notch day care.
Location
  Financial Centre Road, Downtown Dubai
  800 382 246255

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2

City Walk

European style

City Walk

European style

Best for: Modern motifs and boutique styles

As its name suggests, City Walk is an ideal place to go for a wander. Meet with friends or bring your loved ones along to the trendy metropolitan district, and spend a few hours exploring the European-style streets filled with designer stores from Michael Kors to Karl Lagerfeld. Give Dad a surprise treat with an executive pampering session at men’s spa 1847 or take Mum to N.Bar for a mani-pedi. Sample the finest Peruvian flavours at Lima, a concept descended from one of the world’s best restaurants, then indulge your sweet tooth at Belgian chocolatier Godiva. Family fun can be found at the spectacular gaming destination Hub Zero, or parents can take the kids to see more than 3,000 plants and animals – including resident sloth Mr Barker – at indoor rainforest, The Green Planet. For day care, check out Caboodle or Great Minds Nursery next to City Walk. There’s a play area, too, if your young ones need to blow off some steam.
Location
  Al Wasl and Al Safa Road junction
  +971 4 317 3999
3

Festival City Mall

Waterside retail

Festival City Mall

Waterside retail

Best for: Big brands and electric entertainment

Housing Dubai’s only Ikea, as well as other home furnishing superstores including Marks & Spencer and Zara Home, Dubai Festival City Mall is a magnet for those looking to spruce up their abodes with a more personal touch. Yet the retail destination offers so much more – not least a Toys R Us store that will surely put a smile on any tot’s face. The recently expanded mall also boasts strong fashion credentials, with Arabic luxury brand Louzan sitting alongside assorted boutiques from the likes of Lacoste, Armani Exchange and Fred Perry, as well as the Robinsons department store. The mall’s ‘Stay & Play’ service lets parents leave their young ones in a fun and safe environment while they shop, while family entertainment comes in the form of Fabyland arcade, a Novo Cinemas outlet and the record-breaking light, water and fire show ‘Imagine’. For a more peaceful day, take a trip aboard a traditional dhow or grab a bite to eat by the water.
Location
  Dubai Festival City
  +971 800 332
4

BoxPark

Outside the box

BoxPark

Outside the box

Best for: Creative chic shopping

This daring retail concept popped up in 2015, adding an innovative slant to Dubai’s shopping scene. BoxPark’s shipping container architecture will immediately catch the eye of anyone travelling along Al Wasl Road, and is a great alternative to traditional malls with its diverse collection of shops in an undeniably funky setting. Household names such as Nike and Swatch rub shoulders with more unusual outlets such as Typo, which specialises in stationery and quirky gift ideas. There’s also Finnish design brand Marimekko and pop culture paradise The Zoo, which sells all the leftfield trinkets you never knew you needed. Tuck into meaty bites at Big Smoke Burger or grab a scoop (or three) of gelato at Grom. BoxPark also offers the convenience of a more typical shopping experience with services such as baby-changing rooms, free parking and mobile phone charging boxes all onsite.
Location
  Al Wasl Road, Jumeirah
  +971 4 317 3999

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5

La Mer

Beach vibes

La Mer

Beach vibes

Best for: Seaside shopping

Try on the latest threads, bounce around an inflatable playground then relax with a sumptuous meal by the pristine waters of the Arabian Gulf. All of this is possible at La Mer, Jumeirah 1’s brand-new beachfront neighbourhood. Burn off some energy at Hawa Hawa, a Japanese concept comprising a series of white trampoline dunes for a lively, exhausting and safe spot of fun. Young people will love it – and grown-ups may find it hard to resist too. Shops and restaurants include Via Rodeo, iSea, Bareburger and Apron & Hammers, with new outlets plus beach leisure facilities popping up shortly. There are also baby-changing facilities for parents with small children, plus mobile phone charging boxes. A captivating urban getaway, La Mer is sure to unveil a different side of Dubai to visitors, leaving them refreshed and reinvigorated after the perfect family day out.
Location
  Jumeirah 1, between Pearl Jumeira and Jumeira Bay
  +971 4 317 3999