The Dubai Mall

Many people, when asked to name the home of fashion, would mention the usual suspects; maybe New York, where an entire district is set aside for designer shoe stores, or maybe Paris, Milan, London or Barcelona. The fashion pedigree of these cities is without question admirable and they rightfully serve as capitals of the fashion world, but there is a less likely place for the fashionista to find their fill of designer items; and it is in an incredibly unexpected place.

From the centre of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, the fashion conscious can take one of the hourly shuttle buses to the new Mecca of the fashion world: Dubai Mall. Located inside this desert metropolis is one of the most expansive and impressive shopping malls in the world, catering to every style, taste, age and even budget.

The Dubai MallA quick glance through the stores at the Dubai Mall is enough to make any fashion fan breathe a little faster. The timeless names follow one after another; Chanel, D&G, Armani, Alexander McQueen and Fendi are just some of the fashion elite that have stores within the Dubai Mall. The health and beauty section is just as enticing, offering homes to the likes of Bobby Brown, Clarins, Sephora and Jo Malone. And for the Carrie Bradford-esque shoe worshippers, you can take your time perusing stores from Manolo Blahnik, Jimmy Choo and Steve Madden.

Dubai Mall, however, is not a fashion one-trick pony. Everything you’d expect in a standard mall also finds a home here, from homewares through gifts and crafts and even supermarkets. For the shopaholic, Dubai Mall is an endless sea of temptation.

The Dubai Mall cost over $20 million to develop, built by local company, Emaar Properties. It took over three years to build, and is still constantly being added to as demand for stores continues apace by savvy brands who see the attraction of the desert oasis. Bloomingdales, for example, are due to open a full department store there in 2010.

The amazing development of the Dubai Mall, however, does not end in retail therapy that would solve anyone’s problems. Aware of the ever-present issue of families who wish to both shop and enjoy a day out, the Dubai Mall has numerous attractions and events to entertain the masses.

The entertain begins with the Aquarium, which is the world’s biggest aquarium; it measures 51m x 20m x 11m. It is home to over 33,000 living creatures spread across 85 species, including sharks and rays. The Aquarium also features a 270-degree walk through tunnel, for a truly unique experience amongst some of the most stunning marine life.

For the active-minded, there is the Dubai Ice Rink. The rink is available year-round, and costs around $13 for skate hire and two hours on the ice. There are also plans, as the development continues, for a kids-specialist area called KidZania, as well as a 22-screen cinema and a Sega-linked indoor theme park.

With the entertainment and shopping available, the Dubai Mall really is a one-of-the-kind environment that will keep all entertained for hours.