From looking for that perfect outfit to spending a fun-filled day with friends and family, shopping malls are the perfect setting for enjoying each other’s company while shopping for what you want.
Not every shopping mall can give you everything you need, though. That’s why we’ve searched and compiled the best shopping malls in Dubai.
We have also included our criteria for choosing them and answered some FAQs about shopping malls in Dubai.
How much does a person spend in a shopping mall in Dubai?
The amount of money an Emirati spends on a visit to a shopping mall varies on what they need or want to buy, the activities they want to do while they are there, and the prestige of the mall they are visiting.
On average, a single person spends about AED200 for a single visit to a shopping mall in Dubai.
The Best Shopping Malls in Dubai
Before we get right into our top choices for shopping malls in Dubai, here are the criteria we followed as we chose our entries for this list:
1. Dubai Festival Mall
|ADDRESS||Dubai Festival City, Dubai, UAE|
|OPERATING HOURS||Every day: 10 AM–12 MN|
|Mall Concept||★★★★★ (5/5)|
A shopping mall with a world-famous light show isn’t something that you hear about every day, which makes Dubai Festive Mall such a destination for shoppers and tourists alike.
Their two-time Guinness World Record visual and sensory light show experience, IMAGINE, was the perfect way to cap off our visit here.
This light-music show along the bay of Dubai Creek is spellbinding and just such a great way of weaving and telling stories to people of any age.
This shopping mall is located very conveniently too. It’s right next to the Dubai National Airport and the Dubai Creek, making it a sensible first stop for any tourist that’s just arriving in the city.
And once we got into the mall, the ease of access continued inside as well. We’re big fans of the EZ taxis that got us from one point to another within the mall premises in no time.
This came in really handy navigating through their more than 400 outlets of international brands.
Besides that, they also have a handy valet parking and trolly valet service that’s just perfect for when you’re buying furniture and other large-sized items. It comes to your rescue when you’re shopping at the UAE’s first IKEA which can be found here.
However, customer services and guides are not digitized, and the mall still relies on concierge desks to help visitors.
While this old-school approach still has its charm, we think going digital is just a much more efficient and convenient approach for visitors.
As for the entertainment value that this shopping mall gives, we are in love with their Ripe by the Bay section of the mall grounds.
Located by the bay of Dubai Creek, Ripe by the Bay is a one-stop-shop location for locally-made products and homegrown brands along with some musicians, artists, and designers displaying their work.
It also has alfresco dining and family activities—all happening with the Dubai Creek and Dubai skyline as our background.
But what we love the most about Dubai Festival Mall is its symbiotic relationship with Dubai Creek and how a lot of the mall’s features are centered around it.
The mall in and of itself is a family mall through and through while valuing luxury through a more down-to-earth approach by hosting a space for local brands to exhibit their products and services to a wider audience.
All in all, this family-oriented mall boasts over 400 brands on its premises all while giving visitors a reason to keep coming back with their IMAGINE show and Ripe by the Bay.
Their focus on local brands is not only just helpful to the community but also great for tourists to get a peek of what Emiratis can do, and this makes them one of our favorite shopping malls in the city.
Perfect for a family outing
“Went here with my family. We love their winter village. There is also an acrobat performer the time we visit. The laser show with the water fountain is wonderful. They are well organized in the outside area as well, security guards are regularly reminding people to put masks on. The nappy changing room for kids is huge also 👍. Toilets are everywhere 😅” —Joan Conjurado Manalabe, Google Reviews
Pretty damn good options all around
“This was a pretty unexpected and wonderful experience. The mall is really good. Not overcrowded compared to other malls. Pretty damn good options of restaurants. And let’s not forget about what’s happening outside. Cool fountain show. Amazing bubble tea. Cool live music from 7 pm – 10 pm” —Chef Jonny B, Google Reviews
2. The Dubai Mall
|ADDRESS||Financial Center Street, Along Sheikh Zayed Road, Next to Burj Khalifa - Dubai - United Arab Emirates|
|CONTACT DETAILS||+971 800 382246255|
800 DUBAI MALL (800 38224 6255)
|OPERATING HOURS||Monday to Thursday: 10 AM–12 MN|
Friday to Sunday: 10 AM–1 AM
|Mall Concept||★★★★★ (5/5)|
A world-class shopping mall that is a hotspot for both locals and tourists, The Dubai mall is known for some of its entertainment offers that are exceptional.
Perfectly situated right next to the Burj Khalifa, not only is it accessible for residents of the area, but tourists can also purchase tickets to gain access to the world’s tallest building here.
We loved chatting with Asma, the mall’s AI-driven guest services bot. It felt like chatting to an actual person but with a much faster reply rate.
Its answers were very informational and directed us clearly around the mall and to some of its parking services.
We also love that the mall provides complimentary wheelchairs for those who need it, so going around the mall for the day is no problem at all.
And for AED100 per hour, the mall also offers childcare services. This is quite expensive but convenient for parents who are going to have a busy day around the mall.
As for the mall’s variety of its tenants, being in a high-end area with wealthier residents around, you can expect to have all of the luxury brands within your arm’s length.
However, this means that there is a shortage of budget-friendly options, so it’s definitely not your regular one-stop shopping mall.
When we got bored of window shopping around, we enjoyed some of their entertainment facilities, which were just amazing.
There is the Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo, which is home to over 140 species of underwater animals, that has amazing feeding presentations with sharks, rays, and crocs.
Their Reel Cinemas are amazingly designed, and one of the most luxurious cinemas we’ve ever visited. The THX-certified speakers provide the best immersive audio experience for the movie we watched.
There are many other offerings The Dubai Mall has, so we definitely recommend that you plan your day ahead when you visit this place.
As for its mall concept, it’s noticeable that The Dubai Mall aims to elevate the usual shopping mall experience and become a landmark and gateway to many other experiences in the vicinity.
The luxury brands that line the mall and the high-end activities are all in line in terms of being a landmark for Dubai—a city known for its grandeur.
A must-visit mall
“A must if you are in Dubai or if you want to visit. Lots of fun places to see and take beautiful pictures. Here you will have a close look at the tallest building in the world (Burj Khalifa). You can come with your loved ones and take some memorable pictures. Very big mall, make sure you wear your boots or sneakers because you have a long walk to do!! Have fun 😘😘😘” —Chisom Onuecheta, Google Reviews
A truly beautiful mall
“The Dubai Mall is the world’s largest mall and truly beautiful. The mall has a display of all luxurious brands. It’s a long walk from one end of the mall to the other. It’s next to the Dubai fountain, Burj Khalifa and more….So if you are visiting the Dubai mall, make it a day trip to go around all these places and enjoy the fountain show in the evening.” —Asif A. Rehman, Google Reviews
3. The Souk Madinat Jumeirah
|ADDRESS||King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud St - Al Sufouh 1 - Dubai - United Arab Emirates|
|CONTACT DETAILS||800RETAIL (800738245)|
|OPERATING HOURS||Every day: 8 AM–2:30 AM|
|Mall Concept||★★★★★ (5/5)|
Done in the centuries-old tradition of an Arabian Bazaar, the Souk Madinat Jumeirah charms visitors from all over the world with its authenticity.
This traditional souk is situated right beside The Palm Jumeirah within the old parts of Dubai.
Despite being a bazaar, it was actually designed for it to be wheelchair friendly with its ramps and elevators within the premises.
However, being a bazaar also means that digital solutions to maps, guides, and customer services are unavailable, so get ready for a lot of exploring and spontaneity during your shopping here.
Besides beautifully adorned stalls, the Souk Madinat Jumeirah also has a decent range of restaurants that serve international cuisines, drinks, and coffee—all of this against the backdrop of old Dubai.
As for shopping, we were really limited to locally-made products, thus the selection is narrow albeit definitely unique and of the highest quality.
While the variety is limited, it really is a hotspot for buying things that you can’t find anywhere else such as ornate lanterns, wooden statues, and locally-made jewels.
As for entertainment, there really isn’t any that’s for the intention of entertaining visitors. However, we think that the real entertainment comes from wandering from one stall to another and discovering so many new items and trinkets.
It may not be the most awe-inspiring type of entertainment, but we appreciate the understated and unique experience of visiting a souk, nonetheless.
All in all, the main appeal of the Souk Madinat Jumeirah is in its authenticity, which can be hard to come by in a large metropolis such as Dubai.
Going here was such an immersive experience for us, and we found ourselves drawn into the fun of finding our way through the crowds and stalls.
One of the best places to visit
“One of the most unique places in Dubai, everybody can visit this place and you can enjoy the glimpse view of iconic Burj al Arab from here! They built this place in old Dubai ✅. One of the best places to visit.” —Jabir Jaabi, Google Reviews
Great place for catching up with friends!
“An excellent market to look for souvenirs and a wonderful restaurant area by the canal that is the Venice of Dubai. There are plenty of restaurants serving some fantastic food and drinks. The Meat Co, Trader Vic’s to name a couple. Great place to catch up with friends.” —SSK Kazi, Google Reviews
4. Mall of the Emirates
|ADDRESS||Sheikh Zayed Rd - Al Barsha - Al Barsha 1 - Dubai - United Arab Emirates|
|CONTACT DETAILS||800 MOE MALL (663 6255)|
|OPERATING HOURS||Every day: 10 AM–1 AM|
|Mall Concept||★★★☆☆ (3/5)|
Located in the heart of Downtown Dubai and in between Burj Al Arab and The Palm Jumeirah, Mall of the Emirates combines affordability and luxury, sometimes to its own detriment.
Before we get into why we think so, we want to acknowledge some of their services that make shopping here such a convenient experience.
They have the Speak to a Brand service that allows customers to get fast and effortless guidance from brand experts from decorating homes to buying a laptop for work.
We also love their Personal Stylist services where a professional stylist actually helped us shop for bespoke outfits. We actually got some great clothing and some tips while doing this.
They also have complimentary wheelchairs found at every entrance of the mall, and visitors can just drop these off on the way out.
However, we think their weak point in this area is that while they have a digital concierge, it’s still being operated by personnel, so the reply rate can fluctuate depending on how busy the mall can get.
As for the mall’s variety, we love that they have a wide range of brands, especially in fashion.
From casual fast fashion like H&M and Forever 21 as well as luxury brands like Balmain and Michael Kors, you’ll never run out of clothing options here.
Food selections are also quite diverse with both fast food and fine dining restaurants operating alongside each other.
Their entertainment amenities are some of the more unique ones we’ve seen.
They have the Magic Planet, which is the Middle East’s largest indoor arcade and gaming center. We easily spent hours here just looking around and trying out games.
They have our favorite mall amenity among all that we mentioned in this list, and that’s Ski Dubai.
We just think it’s such a unique experience especially when you’re in the middle of Dubai. We definitely recommend that you must at least try it out once.
It’s amazing to know that a luxurious winter sport, such as skiing, is accessible to a normal person living in Dubai.
But we think that’s also where the problem is with this mall. Just like fine dining restaurants working right beside fast-food chains and fast fashion being neighbors with luxury brands, the Mall of the Emirates tries too hard to please everybody.
The mall busies itself with balancing both luxury and affordability that it ends up blurring its intentions and the overall concept of the mall.
As we try to think of what the mall does that sets itself apart, we’ve come to the conclusion that only its Ski Dubai and Magic Planet are the two that really give this mall an edge over the others.
Despite that, it’s a great mall all around for daily shopping because it does offer a great range of options for everyone.
We also can’t deny that we had great fun at its entertainment amenities.
An award-winning mall
“Mall of the Emirates offers a fantastic shopping experience and is worth visiting. In November 2005, it was named the World’s Leading New Shopping Mall at the World Travel Awards in London. In 2017, Forbes named Mall of the Emirates as one of the top five shopping malls in Dubai. It houses SKI DUBAI the snow world which has fantastic snow rides. It houses many big brand shops and it is a must-visit place in Dubai.” —JEETENDRA MAKHIJA, Google Reviews
I can easily spend the whole day here
“The mall is quite big and has so many stores, Cafes, and Restaurants. It also has a big grocery store with lots of basic amenities you can need in your hotel room. It’s a nice place to also do window shopping and also shop properly. You can legit spend the whole day there and you wouldn’t even know. It’s close to the metro station and taxi rank as well. Nice experience in all.” —Afeez Dosunmu, Google Reviews
5. Dubai Marina Mall
|ADDRESS||Sheikh Zayed Rd - Dubai Marina - Dubai - United Arab Emirates|
|CONTACT DETAILS||+ 971 4 436 1020|
|OPERATING HOURS||Sunday to Wednesday: 10 AM–10 PM|
Thursday to Saturday: 10 AM–11 PM
|Mall Concept||★★★★☆ (4/5)|
Located right outside of The Palm Jumeirah, right in the heart of the Marina, and connected to The Address Dubai, Dubai Marina Mall is one of the best regular shopping malls we’ve ever visited.
The location isn’t the only thing that’s convenient about it, either. They have wheelchair services, valet parking, baby pushchair services, and even limousine services.
This mall covers all its bases to provide great ease of access for all of its visitors.
They also have a wide variety of shopping options with 140 shopping outlets. They also have great dining options from fast-food chains to vegan eateries and cafes.
But while they have a wide variety of shops, they have fewer dining options with only 21 restaurants and eateries—which we found to be quite unusual for a mall as big as this.
However, our biggest disappointment with this mall is the lack of entertainment amenities. There really wasn’t anything for us to do besides shopping and dining.
The mall events they had are all for sales, and it just made us think that our mall experience here was just bland and almost forgettable.
However, we do think that Dubai Marina Mall intends to be just a regular mall. It is aware of its presence as a prime shopping hotspot for residents and visitors of the Marina.
They carefully balance casualness and sophistication, all while giving a relaxing atmosphere that visitors won’t get sick of if they visit them every day for regular shopping.
The Dubai Marina Mall proves that being a quintessential day-to-day destination does not need all the bells and whistles to become a great shopping mall.
Everything is perfect in Dubai Marina Mall
“In the Dubai Marina you can enjoy your walk wandering the skyscrapers having to choose from many restaurants and cafes as well as there is a very large shopping center at the entrance of the Marina.
Everything is spotless with warning signs everywhere and it seems that there is a good organization and high facilities to the guests.” —Elizabeth Veliou, Google Reviews
It has everything you need
“I love this mall. It’s small but has everything you need. I don’t like the unnecessarily big malls. It’s got all of your shopping destinations. Be it H&M or anything. It also has a variety of good restaurants like Five Guys and Zafraan. There is a food court that has KFC, McDonald’s, Pizza hut, and more. It’s got a small theatre as well. Got a good view of the Marina Walk from the backside of the mall.” —Omkar Mote, Google Reviews
FAQs about Shopping Malls in Dubai
We hope this helped you in looking for a shopping mall to visit with your friends and family. Also, if you’re looking for other guides and lists about shopping in Dubai, then check out these articles: