The Sunset Mall Image Credit: Abdel-Krim Kallouche/XPRESS

DUBAI Dubai may well be all about its magnificent malls – the ones that sprawl acres and rise meters above the ground. But tucked away in the not-so-noisy neighbourhoods is a new line of community plazas that is redefining the city’s shop and dine culture. XPRESS visits five such places that may not boast record-breaking features but are fast carving out a niche clientele.

Sunset Mall

Nestled in Dubai’s up-market Jumeirah 3 overlooking the Arabian Sea, Sunset Mall houses some of Dubai’s top fashion brands and boutique offices across two floors. Covered with glass exteriors on three sides with one side left open for stunning sea-views, there may not be a better place in Dubai to enjoy a mojito while watching the sun go down than in one of its restaurants. There’s ample parking.

Wasl Vita

Wasl Vita Mall that opened last year opposite the BOXPARK is another Jumeirah mall that’s quickly becoming a popular haunt for its exquisite line-up of restaurants and luxury retail. Replete with a Carrefour Express and select restaurant chains like The Coffee Club, Australia’s largest home-grown café group with over 340 outlets globally and Burgerhood, the country’s first Emirati concept burger chain, Wasl Vita is more than a neighbourhood shopping plaza.

There’s also ample free underground parking at the mall with a distinct all-white Californian architecture.

The Galleria Mall

Just around the corner and a stone’s throw away from Wasl Vita Mall on Al Wasl Road is the Galleria Mall Dubai.

From the outside it may comes across more as a small boutique mall but step inside and you will see it’s got it all – from a rooftop cinema offering occasional free screenings to fashion stores, cafes and restaurants themed on pretty much every popular cuisine including Japanese and South African.

Plenty of free parking, the mall has an Adventure Zone HQ to keep kids busy for mums busy shopping.

J3 Mall

Located in the heart of the affluent Al Manara, this funky green coloured J3 Mall serves as the perfect community centre for the residents of Umm Suqueim and Jumeirah offering them a unique blend of shopping and dining options right at their door step.

With an exchange house, a pharmacy, a fitness gym and a hypermarket, this mall - with over 50 outlets spread over two floors and a leasable space of more than 60,000 square feet – has brought everyday convenience to the neighbourhood.

Al Barsha Mall

A look at the parking (capacity for 1,000 cars) of the Al Barsha Mall on a weekday afternoon will tell you how busy this community mall remains all the time.

Rising high in the quiet environs of Al Barsha 2, the expansive mall houses as many as 80 stores covering a diverse variety of retailers and diners.

With a Union Cooperative hypermarket, a large play area for children, a food court, a gym and several banks in tow a there’s every thing you can ask for at this mall. Several government offices are also expected to come up at the mall in the near future.