Ibn Battuta Mall

Retail therapy on an impressively weird scale

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Nowhere does shopping malls better than Dubai, a city which has reinvented retail and raised it almost to the status of an art-form. Several of the city’s malls are major sights in their own right, none more so than the eye-popping Ibn Battuta Mall, a kilometre-long colossus is inspired by the journeys of legendary Moroccan traveller Ibn Battuta – the Arab world’s answer to Marco Polo.

The mall is divided into seven sections, each themed after one of the places visited by Battuta during his wanderings, ranging from Tunisia (a traditional Arabian town at twilight), via Persia (a spectacular domed courtyard, styled after an Iranian mosque) through to China (a lifesize dhow), with forays into Morocco, India, Egypt and Andalucia en route.

It’s wonderfully fanciful, extravagant, and just a little bit silly, although some interesting displays on medieval Arabian science, navigation and astronomy dotted between the shops provide rewarding educational asides, making it probably the only mall in the world where you can simultaneously bone up on Islamic culture whilst shopping for new shoes and frocks.

Categories: Shop: Malls, Outlets |
Tags: Local Favorites |

At A Glance

Sheikh Zayed Rd (Ibn Batutta metro)
04 362 1900
Daily 10am-10pm, Thurs-Sat until midnight

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