The Best of the Dubai Mall
The world’s largest mall is far more than just a retail paradise.
By: Lucy Taylor
It’s a fabulous day out for the whole family, although exploring this vast air-conditioned edifice can really take it out of you. Our advice? Wear flat shoes, and hit our pick of the bunch first!
Foodies should make a beeline for Lafayette Gourmet on the second floor, home to international delicacies from Japanese sushi to ripe, oozing French cheeses, as well as a stellar buffet of raw Yemeni honey, hailed as some of the best in the world.
It’s located in the Level Shoe District, a shining white zone covering 96,000 square feet, designed specifically to showcase beautiful shoes. All the big names are here: high-fashion staples such as Chanel, Louboutin and Tod’s, interspersed with funky fresh brands like Car Shoe and Onitsuka Tiger. Pop back to The Cobbler every now and then to keep your purchases in pristine condition.
Local retailer Damas started its jewelry and watch business back in 1907. Today, its stores showcase a number of international brands, but look out for the locally inspired collections, which cover everything from simple gold calligraphic pendants to seriously opulent wedding jewelry -- the ultimate in Arabic bling!
There are hundreds of options, from the massive second-floor food court to the independent outlets. But for proper Arabic fare with flair, look no further than Al Hallab. This Lebanese restaurant has built its reputation on freshness and authenticity. Make sure you sample the fabulous fatoush -- a staple salad combining chopped lettuce, onions, tomato and cucumber with cilantro, mint, parsley and pomegranate balsamic -- as well as sambousek, beautiful little savory pastries filled with either meat, cheese or spinach.
The icing on the cake is the fabulous view of Dubai Fountain. Designed by the team behind Fountains of Bellagio in Las Vegas, Dubai’s version is (naturally) the biggest in the world, and it runs tightly choreographed shows where dancing plumes of water spray 150 meters into the air every half-hour, from 6pm through to 11pm.
The Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo
It’s well worth buying a ticket for the actual Underwater Zoo, as well, which is home to otters, penguins and the scaly giant, King Croc, who measures more than 5 meters.
If you want to do more than just look, interactive experiences are available, including glass-bottom boat rides across the tank, a cage snorkeling experience, or, for the more adventurous, a shark dive package.
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