Standing right next to the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, is the Dubai Mall, the world’s largest retail complex – and a place which makes every other shopping destination in the city look slightly undernourished.
There are over 1200 shops here, including the flagship Bloomingdales and Galleries Lafayettes department stores, “Fashion Avenue”, home to the biggest collection of upmarket designer outlets in the city, and the gorgeous Level Shoe District, a stunning piece of eye-candy interior design housing top footwear brands. The mall also comes complete with its own Gold Souk (home to another hundred-odd shops), plus branches of pretty much every other retail business which trades in the city.
Shops aside, the mall is also home to a string of other child-friendly attractions including the Dubai Ice Rink, Sega Republic, KidZania and the Dubai Aquarium, whose spectacular viewing panel – basically a ten-metre-high fish tank filled with all manner of colourful marine life – provides a suitably dramatic entrance to the mall. It’s also worth hunting out the “Dubai Dino” (in the Gold Souk area), the superbly well-preserved 150-million-year old skeleton of a Diplodocus longus, discovered in Wyoming in 2008.