HOW TO SEE DUBAI MALL – THINGS TO DO + TRAVEL TIPS

TIPS FOR VISITING DUBAI MALL

Dubai Mall: A quick guide gives you an overview of what to expect at the biggest mall in the world.

If you like records, you will love Dubai, and if you love shopping, you will adore the Dubai Mall. As a regular Dubai visitor, I often visit Dubai Mall – even if I am not shopping a lot, but there is just so much to do around it and in it. Find out more about the biggest shopping mall in Dubai. Or well, actually the biggest one in the world.

Dubal Mall at Night
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If you like shopping as well as the hustle and bustle, you will love Dubai Mall. It is not only the biggest mall in the world but also the most visited. But even if you prefer quieter places, the mall is still worth a stop (as there are some of the main Dubai attractions located next to and inside the mall).

Dubai Mall is different from any other mall in the world. Nothing can be compared to it. I do not mean it because of its sheer size. There is always something new at Dubai Mall. New art, new attractions, new events take place.

With more than 1200 stores, an extensive food court, and many beauty salons on four levels, this “guide” gives you a quick overview of the mall. 

Read more: My tips for the best hotels in Dubai – for all budgets

Dubai Mall at night
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BACKGROUND INFO ON DUBAI MALL

The mall opened in 2009 and still growing and plans to expand and become even bigger. It is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. until 11 p.m. or midnight, so you have plenty of time to spend discovering the area. I was surprised it opened more than 11 years ago because it still looks so new, and the whole mall is spotlessly clean.

DUBAI MALL LOCATION

ADDRESS: Financial Center Street, along Sheikh Zayed Road and next to Burj Khalifa in Dubai (United Arab Emirates)

HOW TO GET THERE BY METRO: The nearest metro station is the Burj Khalifa/The Dubai Mall station. It is then another 1km walk (by using the Metro Link Bridge) from there. Alternatively, you can take a bus from The Dubai Mall Station and get out just in front of Dubai Mall.

HOW TO GET THERE BY BUS: There are two buses that service The Dubai Mall: Route 27 from the Deira Gold Souk station and Route 29 from Ghubaiba bus station and stops at the Lower Ground Floor of The Dubai Mall.

HOW TO GET THERE BY CAR: It is impossible to miss – just head towards Burj Khalifa, the highest building in the world.

From Dubai Center: Take the first interchange and proceed through Financial Centre Road (formerly Doha Street), and then you will see the approach road to The Dubai Mall on the right-hand side.

From Abu Dhabi: Take the exit to Financial Centre Road (formerly Doha Street) from the first interchange.

Follow the signs to the carpark. There are more than 14,000 undercover spaces available (free parking).

HOW TO GET THERE BY SHUTTLE BUSES: If you stay in a bigger hotel in Dubai, there might be a shuttle bus to and from Dubai Mall. Ask the hotel and use the free offer.

HOW TO GET THERE BY TAXI/UBER: Every taxi/Uber driver will be very familiar with bringing you to Dubai Mall safely.

HOW TO GET THERE BY SIGHTSEEING BUSES: All hop-on and hop-off buses stop here.

OPENING HOURS AT DUBAI MALL

For shops, these are the opening hours.

SUN MON TUES WED THU FRI SAT
10:00 AM 10:00 AM 10:00 AM 10:00 AM 10:00 AM 10:00 AM 10:00 AM
11:00 PM 11:00 PM 11:00 PM 11:00 PM 12:00 AM 12:00 AM 12:00 AM

These are the opening hours for restaurants and the food court.

SUN MON TUES WED THU FRI SAT
10:00 AM 10:00 AM 10:00 AM 10:00 AM 10:00 AM 10:00 AM 10:00 AM
12:00 AM 12:00 AM 12:00 AM 12:00 AM 01:00 AM 01:00 AM 01:00 AM

DUBAI MALL FACTS 

  • Completed in 2009
  • The largest mall in the world by total land area and the 26th-largest shopping mall in the world by gross leasable area
  • The total retail floor area of 502,000 square meters
  • More than 80 million visitors annually
  • More than 1,300 retail outlets, including two anchor department stores – Galeries Lafayette and Bloomingdale’s
  • More than 200 food and beverage outlet

What attractions in Dubai Mall
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Services at Dubai Mall

It doesn’t really feel like a regular mall – not only because of the size but everything that comes with it. Listing all services could take forever. So, I list a few.

  • Information points, touchmaps, and leaflets for orientation throughout the mall
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Rent strollers, wheelchairs, power banks (free of charge), or use the concierge service (e.g., leave your shopping bags, etc. but not free).
  • Complimentary shoeshine service for men
  • Complimentary buggy service
  • Prayer´s room
  • Clean and free (as a German, this is not standard for me) toilets (check the ones at Fashion Avenue out)

There are many more services you can rent/book etc.

BEST TIME TO VISIT DUBAI MALL

My best tip is: DO NOT visit the mall on a Friday. It is stuffed and very unpleasant to navigate through the crowds. If you take one thing from this post, then this should be it. Friday is the official Sunday in the Islamic world and then people just go to malls.

If you enjoy busy malls and want to watch people, come here in the evening during the week. It gets busier in the evening because it is so much more than just a shopping mall.

If you prefer to explore Dubai Mall without the crowds come early – around 10 am it really is quiet.

RULES AT DUBAI MALL

Though many wear whatever they want, Dubai Mall has a dress code “Shoulder and knees should be covered.” However, since Dubai relies heavily on tourism, it seems they turned a blind eye on people, ignoring the rules (I still try to respect rules)

The Dubai Mall Courtesy Policy also does not allow pets or weapons and asks people to keep intimate moments for their homes’ privacy. Also, skateboarding is not allowed, and smoking is also forbidden.

Read more: Find out about fun things to do in Dubai 

Flag of the UAE, Dubai
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THINGS TO DO IN DUBAI MALL

Shopping is one main activity in Dubai Mall, but there are many more attractions. Here I am sharing some of the best Dubai Mall attractions.

SHOPPING AT DUBAI MALL 

There is almost any shop outlet you can imagine at Dubai Mall. Everything from book stores and fashion to home furnishing stores, supermarkets, beauty salons, and souks. 

While there are multiple high-fashion labels, you will also find more affordable brands too.

Fashion Avenue is probably the most photogenic area in the mall – it is so pretty and exquisite that I recommend heading there, even if you are not into high-end luxury products – especially the restrooms are nice and probably one of the most elegant you will find in a big mall.

If you are a shopaholic, you could spend weeks or months shopping in Dubai Mall. I have become much more mindful of what I shop and bring home, so I have never done much shopping here and still enjoy Dubai Mall.

Dining Tips at Dubai Mall

The food court is extensive. Apart from the typical fast-food restaurants, you will also find fine dining restaurants, coffee shops, bakeries, and international restaurants. 

Italian, Indian, Chinese, Arabian…..all kinds of cuisines are at Dubai Mall, so you will be pleased to find something for everyone’s palate and budget with the many bars, coffee shops, restaurants, and takeaways. You can easily pay 5€ for one scoop of gelato or 8€ for a large scoop.

If you look for budget-friendly food, check out the Food Court at Level 2.

As a vegetarian/vegan, I can happily say there are many choices for us.

BEAUTY SALONS AT DUBAI MALL

I might not spend money on unnecessary items, but I love some relaxing beauty treatments. And Dubai Mall is heaven.

One of my favorite places at Dubai Mall is on the lower ground. After an exhausting day, the best thing you can do is spoiling yourself with a spa or a beauty treatment. I decided to visit Sisters Beauty Lounge (they have several other stores all over Dubai and Abu Dhabi) on the lower ground lever next to the Center Management. It is a bit hidden but worth checking out.

But there are many more beauty parlors in Dubai Mall.

VISIT BURJ KHALIFA

The tallest building in the world is not directly located in Dubai Mall but just next to it. To get to the “Top of Burj Khalifa,” you need to use the entrance via Dubai Mall.

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 I highly recommend booking tickets a few days in advance (especially during peak season) and then enjoy the views from up there. Check out ticket prices here.

How to Get There: Once you are in Dubai Mall, you will see signs that will lead you there.

WATCH THE WATER FOUNTAIN SHOW

A must-do activity in Dubai is to watch the water fountain show. It takes place several times a day just in front of Dubai Mall.

Water Fountain Show in front of Dubai Mall @shutterstock
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@shutterstock

It is a free show and lasts a few minutes. Especially in the evening, it gets hectic. So, make sure to be there early to secure a good spot.

How to Get There: Once you are in Dubai Mall, you will see signs that will lead you there.

SEE THE DUBAI AQUARIUM

Okay, I am kind of reluctant to mention Dubai Aquarium here.

Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo is home to thousands of animals – including 400 sharks and rays live in a 10 million liter tank. You can find it on the Ground Level, and you do not even have to pay for it to see most of the tank. 

Dubai Mall Aquarium from above Arzo Travels
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It is a free activity – I have visited twice because my ho-on and hop-off tickets had tickets included. I do not think it is worth the money. You do not see much more *new than what you can see from a distance. My 5-year old nephew loved it, but I do not recommend actually visiting unless you want to take the popular picture inside the tunnel.

I do not even want to open the can of worms about keeping sharks in tanks…

SEE THE DINOSAUR

On the ground floor of Dubai Mall, you will also find the Dubai Dino. It is supposed to be sold soon, but at the moment, you can still see a 115-million-year-old dinosaur skeleton. Yes, it is very random to see a dino in a mall. But actually, it is fascinating to see the 24.4-meter-long, 7-meter-high skeleton of a Diplodocus.

Dubai Mall Dino Arzo Travels
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 By the way, that dino has a head…I am not sure why I did not get it into the picture.

DUBAI ICE RINK

If you are into ice skating, you might want to check out the Ice Rink inside the Dubai Mall. Yes, on the ground floor, you will find an ice rink.

HYSTERIA

I have not visited myself, but this Dubai Mall attraction is for those who enjoy some thrill-seekers. Hysteria takes guests on a journey through their darkest nightmares and deepest fears. This is not for the faint-hearted and if you are ready to experience it, visit Hysteria.

MORE ATTRACTIONS

In Dubai Mall, there are many more attractions.

HUMAN WATERFALLS

The Human Waterfalls have become a popular photo spot. The Dubai Waterfall is an indoor art installation and comprises two large cylindrical walls 30 meters in diameter and 24 meter high – spanning the three floors of the Dubai Mall.

Attractions in Dubai - Human Waterfalls
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VR Park – Virtual Reality Indoor Theme Park

For VR fans, there is good news: Dubai Mall has its own Virtual Reality indoor theme park. It offers visitors a high-tech virtual-reality area to experience reality through rides and experiences. Check out their website for prices.

MORE THINGS TO DO AT DUBAI MALL

There are many more things you can do in Dubai Mall, and here they are for you:

  • Cinema
  • Trampo Extreme
  • Dubai Opera
  • Dubai Creek Tower
  • Soft Play

The mall is extremely kid-friendly (though the lifts were always busy, and when I visited with my nephew in a stroller, I realized how annoying it is). There are many things to do and see for people of all ages and all budgets.

There is hardly a way to avoid Dubai Mall when you are in Dubai. Some luxury hotels are also attached to the shopping mall, so enjoy this experience of Dubai Mall. Here are more Dubai malls and read more about the best activities in Dubai.

Dubai Mall Arzo Travels
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