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Dubai mall wonders and shopping venues

A world of delight awaits you in shopping centres that don't always get a mention in the tourist info guides.

  • Dragon Mart
    Dragon MartImage Credit: Gulf News Archive
  • Dragon Mart
    Mercato MallImage Credit: Gulf News Archive

You’ve seen the ski slope at Mall of The Emirates. You’ve hunted for bargains at Deira City Centre and you’ve padded the length and breadth of Dubai Mall and have the blisters to prove it. Where next?

There’s more to shopping in Dubai than megamalls packed with outlandish attractions.Step off the beaten tourist track and visit some of these lesser known shopping centres. You might find just what you are looking for.

Oud Metha
Wafi is a great tourist destination. Not only is it packed with some of the more off-the-wall stores in the city, but the Egyptian-themed complex is also home to a great selection of restaurants as well as a spa, Cleopatra’s.Boutique clothing stores include Salam, that stocks collections by Chloé, Christian Lacroix and Dolce & Gabbana.

Visit Ginger & Lace, a kitsch-cool shop featuring brands such as Betsey Johnson and Zufi Alexander. There is also an underground souq, Khan Murjan,where you can buy  traditional Arabic goods from specialised shops. Jewellery, spices, soaps and carved furniture are just some of the items on sale at the souq.

Jumeirah Road, Jumeirah 1
Village Mall is the perfect pit stop between lazing on the beach and stopping at a nearby café for a slice of carrot cake. Some of the city’s cult boutiques are found here. Ayesha Depala is where Dubai’s socialites can be found, searching for their next launch party jaw-dropping dress;

Luxe Couture is full of the latest sophisticated, urban clothing handpicked from around the world and S*uce is full of colour and fun. If you have the time,visit Shakespeare’s Café. Its chintzy décor and spectacular dessertsmake it a great place to relax after rummaging through the boutiques.

Shaikh Zayed Road
The recently reopened Oasis Centre has four levels of retail space catering to families.Conveniently situated on Shaikh Zayed Road it’s full of familiar brands such New Look, Shoe Mart, Carrefour and local budget fashion brand Splash.If you don’t relish the thought of spending the whole day in a mall, Oasis Centre is in the perfect location for a quick shopping stop-off.

Shaikh Zayed Road
Though it’s perhaps not the most exciting shopping mall in the city, Time Square is home to one of Dubai’s best kept secrets, the Middle East’s first Ice Lounge. Customers are given a cosy jacket, gloves and shoes before they enter the sub-zero temperatures of the lounge. Tuck into soup, hot chocolate, sandwiches or sushi before heading back out to browsethe fashion and lifestyle shops in the mall.

Oud Metha
With a focus on bargains, Lamcy Plaza is packed with budget brands and high street names. It’s always a hive of activity and is home to well-known brands such as Damas, Monsoon, Paris Gallery, Nine West,Bossini and Nayomi.

International City
A popular favourite of residents, Dragon Mart is situated on the outskirts of Dubai. The imposing dragon-inspired building is an enormous 1.2km-long mall filled with Chineseinspired shops and stalls.

Selling everything from trinkets and electronics to foodstuffs,it is the largest Chinese trading hub outside of China’smainland. It makes for a quirky tourist destination, and we’ll guarantee that you won’t get around it all in a day—nor leave the shopping centre empty-handed. 

Though you will have spotted Emirates Towers while whizzing up and down Shaikh Zayed Road, you may not have visited the uber-luxe mall inside. Full of an exclusive selection of high-end shops, it’s aimed at the high-rolling office workers based in the floors above. You’ll find shops including Coach, Pucci, Balenciaga and multi-brand designer stores, Boutique 1 and Ounass. There isn’t much in the way of high-street brands, but during the sales, there are some spectacular bargains to be had.

Jumeirah Road
Mercato is a local favourite, situated in a particularly relaxed area of the city, opposite Jumeirah Open Beach. It’s themed like a Renaissance village and has a pleasant, laidback vibe to it. The shop selection is relatively small, but it’s easy to while away an hour or two perusing Topshop, Aldo and Virgin Megastore. There’s also a multiplex and plenty of dining options, making it a great low-key alternative to some of the city’s more hectic shopping venues.

If you’re in the Marina area, this is a quiet venue for a quick shopping fix. Karen Millen, New Look, Reiss and Accessorize are some of the mall’s fashion stores, while Waitrose – one of only two in the city – is a star attraction.