Right next to the Burj Khalifa, the supersized Dubai Mall is the absolute mother of all malls, with over 1200 shops spread across four floors and covering a total area of over a million square metres – making it easily the largest mall in the world measured by total area (although other malls contain more shopping space). Just about every retail chain in the city has an outlet here, with flagship names including Galeries Lafayette, Bloomingdale’s, an offshoot of London’s famous Hamleys toy store and a superb branch of the Japanese bookseller Kinokuniya. There are also lashings of upmarket designer stores, mainly concentrated along the section of the mall called Fashion Avenue – a positive encyclopedia of labels, complete with its own catwalk and Armani café – as well as a self-contained Souk, with attractive contemporary Arabian design and a further 220 shops. Look out too for the eye-catching The Waterfall, complete with life-size statues of fibreglass divers, which cascades from the top of the mall down to the bottom, four storeys below.
Other amenities include some 120 cafés and restaurants, divided between various interior food courts and the bustling waterside terrace at the back of the mall overlooking the Dubai Fountain. There are also a couple of five-star hotels, a 22-screen multiplex, the state-of-the-art SEGA Republic theme park, the KidZania “edu-tainment” centre, an Olympic-size ice rink and the Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo.