Not surprisingly given its size, even a casual shopping visit to the Dubai Mall can be an exhausting experience – expect to walk several kilometres at minimum, even if you’re just looking for the nearest toilet. Maps of the mall are available from various information desks – useful to plan your visit and save endless backtracking.
Despite its size, the mall also suffers from massive crowds, especially at weekends and during holidays, when it’s best avoided. Crowds and noise also blight many of the mall’s eating outlets. There are a lot of attractive cafés here, but sadly they often get totally overrun and borderline manic – as well as being subject to a constant barrage of remorselessly piped muzak.
If you want a break from the masses, the coffee shops on the top (2nd) floor such as Caribou Coffee and Rubicon’s Coffee are often significantly quieter than those downstairs, and there’s also a pleasant little café in Kinokuniya, offering bird’s-eye views of the Dubai Fountain below, and often surprisingly peaceful when other places are rammed.