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.

Book through Rough Guides’ trusted travel partners

Dubai features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

6 things every family must do in Dubai

6 things every family must do in Dubai

Dubai is the most spectacular playground on Earth. The desire to make everything bigger and brighter and better has created a city of superlatives – and for w…

15 Jun 2017 • Keith Drew insert_drive_file Article
Burj Khalifa: is the world’s tallest building worth the hype?

Burj Khalifa: is the world’s tallest building worth the hype?

One of Dubai’s main attractions and currently the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa draws in hundreds of people daily to marvel at the views from i…

31 Jan 2017 • Lottie Gross insert_drive_file Article
Away from the skyscrapers: how to find the “other” Dubai

Away from the skyscrapers: how to find the “other” Dubai

It’s big, brash and lays claim to so many world records it might even have the world record for the number of world records. But beyond the superlatives, skys…

22 Nov 2016 • Lottie Gross insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right