Stretching for the best part of a kilometre along the south side of Al Wasl Road, the quirky new Boxpark is one of Dubai’s most original and enjoyable recent openings, and puts most other contemporary retail design in the city to abject shame – only The Beach at JBR by the same developers (Meraas) comes close. Opened in 2015, the development was modelled after the original Boxpark in London’s Shoreditch – a “pop-up mall” housed in a cluster of refurbished shipping containers – although the Dubai version is considerably more colourful, polished and, as you might expect, upmarket. As in London, shipping containers form an integral part of the design, jutting out at intervals from between a long line of rather Bauhaus-looking cubist structures, all stacked up beside or on top of one other in an enjoyably haphazard jumble, like a long pile of postmodern shoeboxes. Assorted artworks ranging from metal palm trees to purple penguins add to the fun, and the whole strip is colourfully illuminated after dark. It’s also a rewarding place to eat and shop, with dozens of funky boutiques, cafés and restaurants and lots of brands you won’t find anywhere else in the city.

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