15 Amazing things to do in the Dubai Mall

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Never have I been to a mall like this. In fact, rarely would I even choose to go to a Mall – not my thing. I never thought in a million years I’d manage to spend 7 entire hours in a mall. And yet, I did, and could have spent longer. It could only be Dubai.

The Dubai Mall was opened in 2008, and is currently the second biggest mall in the world at 5.4 million sqft. Madness. It actually attracts more visitors per year than New York in its entirety and world famous places like Niagara Falls. It’s a destination in and of itself, and if you’re in Dubai you have to see it to believe it!

There’s so much to do here so if you’re looking for what to see and do on your trip to Dubai Mall – look no further, I’ve got you covered.

  1. Contents
  2. Things to do in the Dubai Mall
    1. The Burj Khalifa
    2. China Town
    3. Shops, Shops and more Shops
    4. Indoor Human Waterfall
    5. Ice Rink
    6. Book World
    7. Dubai Aquarium
    8. Food Court
    9. Reels Cinema
    10. Arcade & Play DXB
    11. Dubai Fountain
    12. Souk Al Bahar
    13. Dubai Dino & Sculptures
    14. Kidzania
    15. EKart Zabeel
  3. Getting to Dubai Mall
  4. Other Important Information about Dubai Mall

The Burj Khalifa is the tallest building in the world, and is impressive whether you think it’s OTT or just a marvel. You can access ‘At the Top’ from within the Dubai Mall which takes you to the 124th floor of the building for panoramic views out over Dubai. Or you can just view it from ground level. Given my husband is scared of heights and it’s quite expensive at £40pp, we chose the latter (plus my friend told us of her experience*).

* My friend’s experience was that she booked the tickets for At the Top in advance, along with lunch. It took an hour to get in, and lunch took 3 hours to be served.

This was possibly my favourite part of the Mall. China Town is free to stroll around and decorated beautifully with blossom trees, neon signs and lanterns. There’s a traditional Chinese home to explore, a giant panda, lots of restaurants, bubble tea shops, and a huge Chinese spa. We went in a few of the shops, had a cup of tea and visited the house – taking us about 1 hour.

Dubai Mall is home to over 1,200 retail outlets. They’re all free to browse and there is something for everyone. We spent a good couple of hours looking around shops including a giant Lego store, a replica of Galeries Lafayette of Paris, huge Apple and Virgin stores, sweet shops, and a big F1 store. There’s even a full on Emirates flight simulator if you so wish. And if you’re in to designer labels, there is also an entire area of the Mall called Fashion Avenue, housing all the main brands.

Looking out at the Mall

The Human Waterfall is actually beautifully done, cascading from the top floor to ground floor of the Mall and visible on every floor. At 24m high, the humans represent traditional pearl divers jumping in to the oceans, one of the main trades of the region before oil was found. It’s free to see, so win win.

I used to love ice skating as a child so really wanted to go on the full sized rink here. It’s £30 a ticket, but I had the entire rink almost to myself (hubs was too busy in the Lego store and I decided I may as well just go and clear my head with a bit of peace!). I had the BEST time and really recommend it to anyone who wants to try ice skating.

On the ice rink

Oh my heart belongs in Book World, also known as Kinokuniya. By far the BEST book shop I’ve ever been in, it was HUGE and stoked EVERYTHING. I came away with such a haul and it took me a full hour of browsing to choose. I could have spent the entire day in there to be honest. Incredible – my highlight of the day.

My idea of heaven

Another insane addition to the Mall is Dubai aquarium and underwater zoo, plus penguin cove. You have to pay to enter (about £43 for anyone over 2 years old) so it is pricy. Given we were prioritising other things and it was HEAVING, we passed on going in. However, you can see a couple of the tanks from within the Mall for free so we went to look at those instead.

Even the food court in Dubai Mall is an attraction. With over 50 food options to choose from, you could be eating anything from Indian to Chinese to Sushi to Mexican or Subway or McDonalds. Whatever you fancy, you can get it here. We love a bit of Panda Express from our time in Asia so we headed there.

Another highlight was the Cinema. Whilst we didn’t do this on our first visit to the Mall, we actually came back for an evening later on in our stay. I really fancied watching Argylle and our hotel had a discount on seats. For a mere £16 each we were able to purchase a Platinum Experience with reclining chairs, table services and lots of snacks. The film was fun and we had a great evening experience.

‘Queuing’ for tickets at the cinema

Of course the Dubai Mall has a full arcade with every arcade game imaginable, plus the largest Virtual Reality experience in the world. We thought about doing a VR ride as something a bit different, but just ran out of time!

Dubai Fountain is not to be missed. Every day at 1 – 1.30pm, and then every evening from 6pm – 11pm, (every half an hour), a light show to music is played. It’s free to watch but does get super busy. Again we didn’t do this on our first Mall visit, but came back in an evening to do it with a special twist. We booked a delicious Indian meal at Amal by Armani in the Burj Khalifa overlooking the Fountain so got front row seats from above. The show is different every 30 minutes and so we got to see 5 versions.

Enjoying my Bellini with the show in the background

Within Dubai Mall is an area hosting more traditional shops, known as Souk Al Bahar. It’s far from an authentic Souk, but it stocks more authentic goods and of course you have to haggle. I bought some fresh fruit for 80p which was quite the bargain from their original quote of £14!

Inside the Souk

The Dubai Dino is a 155 million year old dinosaur skeleton sitting in the main atrium. As you do (and it’s free to see). There are also a number of sculptures dotted around the mall – we particularly liked the ant and the ape.

The Dino in all his glory

Not one for us, but worth the mention as I was so impressed at the concept. This huge place is effectively a role playing area for children and enables them to discover new worlds, skills and even practice things like calculating prices and paying – it has a real airport check in, a fire station and engine, and so many other cool and unique zones to enjoy.

Top of my husband’s list was Go-Karting on the roof of the Mall. Unfortunately for hubs he exceeded the weigh limit as you have to be less than 100kg (15 stone), and the little one over here felt too bad to go it alone. Instead we just watched a couple of laps and headed back to our hotel.

The track (courtesy of official website as we didn’t take any photos)

  • By Metro – The Dubai Mall is connected to the Red Line Burj Khalifa/Dubai Mall Metro station. It’s a 10 minute walk from there.
  • By Bus – Route 27 from Deira Gold Souk station and Route 29 from Ghubaiba bus station service the Dubai Mall approx every 15 minutes.
  • By Taxi or Uber – there are several taxi ranks around the mall and Uber in Dubai is reliable, reasonably priced and safe too.
Pulling up near the Mall

  • The Dubai Mall is open 10am-12am (1am Thursday – Saturday). Please note that on Eid holidays, Ramadan and special events these regular Mall hours can change
  • There is free Wi-Fi in the Mall
  • Moderate dress is required in the Mall. Whilst it is a major tourist attraction and relatively relaxed, signs are still up asking for no PDAs and moderation. Please be respectful
  • It is illegal in the UAE to take photos of others without permission. Please ensure you are not taking photos in people’s faces.
View to the Souk part of the Mall

So what do you think of the madness that is Dubai Mall? I thought it was amazing, and really enjoyed a day exploring it. You’ll also find it included as part of my Dubai 2 Day Itinerary – check it out if you want to see more of what the city has to offer. Thanks for stopping by, stay safe and happy travelling!

28 responses to “15 Amazing things to do in the Dubai Mall”

  1. When I read the title and I had to re-check that this was your blog. 😊 I’ve been to Mall of America and West Edmonton Mall (former largest malls in the world), but this one goes way beyond what those offered! We almost spent a night in Dubai on our trip out of Pakistan but rearranged our flights so we only had a couple of hours. I’m not sure visiting the mall would have been on my list then, but maybe next time. Funny that they put in a rink, maybe they got the idea feom Edmonton 😊 Maggie

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahahah that made me laugh! I totally understand why, malls are NOT my thing, and Dubai was never on my intended travel list. BUT it’s important to visit every country with an open mind and experience new things, and I have to say the Mall really blew me away. Yeah it’s huge, and yeah it’s in your face, and yeah it’s commercialised, but it was also loads of fun, relaxing, had great food, was entertaining etc. A lot of people (including me) often dismiss Dubai, but having given it a chance, I’m really glad I did and I enjoyed my visit 🙂 That’s funny about the ice rink – they may well have stolen that from Edmonton!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I forgot to say, come to Canada when you want to skate again 😊

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m not one for mall culture, but Dubai Mall does look fantastic! If anything, I’d at least visit to go up the Burj Khalifa and check out the restaurants inside the mall. Incredible you spent almost a whole day there. Thanks for sharing, Han!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m the same as you Rebecca, normally avoid them like the plague, but having given Dubai Mall a chance – I really loved it! I think it’s easy to enjoy half a day, or even a full day, exploring the area.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Delighted there’s a bookstore there – a rarity more and more. We also spent far longer there than intended… didn’t buy anything but there was just so much to look at!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Agreed, my eyes lit up and I love a bookshop!! There is so much to look at, it’s absolutely crazy!


  4. Oh wow, this is crazy. But now I really want to go visit that bookstore!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s madness, but also really entertaining and a fun way to spend a day! The bookstore was incredible 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Malls aren’t really my thing either, but the Dubai Mall is next level! It’s hard to believe just how huge it is and how much there is to do besides shopping. I never would have thought to go ice skating in a mall before!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know right, so much of it wasn’t shopping and more ‘experience’ – it was very unique!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Wow I can see how you can spend 7 hours there without feeling tortured like when I go to a regular mall haha. I think China Town, the bookstore, and the food court would be my top pics ha.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I also feel tortured in malls for sure!! But this one is the first I’ve ever enjoyed – I really liked the bookstore, food and China Town as well too! 🙂


  7. Like you, I’m not a mall appreciator, but you had me at book store. It looks fabulous, and again like you, I could have spent the entire day there. It’s unfortunate that so many of the attractions are quite expensive. I doubt I’ll ever get to Dubai (my husband has been there on business so it’s low on his list), but I’ve enjoyed seeing it through your eyes.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Agree, I also don’t like shopping or Mall culture, but this felt different given it had so much to offer. I really enjoyed my trip to the city, I’m glad I’ve been though probably won’t return.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I’ve never been to Dubai before, but this got me checking for plane tickets.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. This all looks like tremendous fun, I must say. As others have pointed out malls are rarely top of our to-see lists but this is very much a case of When in Rome and not to be missed. I would definitely try out that Indian restaurant, how did it compare to Indian meals you’ve had back home?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Agree completely, but giving it a chance was a good thing and I’m glad I did. I would say the Indian is on par with the absolute best I’ve had here in the UK, absolutely better than most of them to be honest! The food in Dubai was great quality and we didn’t have anything less than a ‘really good’ meal.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Okay, this isn’t a mall… it’s an entire city! My goodness!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Right?! It’s madness!

      Liked by 2 people

  11. 7 hours in a mall seems unreal until you see that this goes so far beyond a typical mall. An ice rink, an aquarium. And their own Chinatown-it really is like it’s own city. Looks like the all time best mall experience 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Doesn’t it just – you have to see it to believe it to be honest. It was such a great way to spend the day 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  12. Shortly after the Mall of America opened, I spent 9 hours there! I was exhausted by the end. The Dubai mall looks like quite the experience. I would definitely go – thanks for the tour.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Oh my goodness, well now I don’t feel so bad!

      Liked by 2 people

  13. What boggles my mind is that more people visit a mall than a waterfall! It’s probably a testament to just how exceptional the Dubai Mall is.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I know, it’s absolute madness isn’t it!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I ended up in Dubai 3 years ago just because the family I was a nanny for picked it up as holiday destination.I was so disappointed before to go because among the other destinations there were Orlando and Australia, but when I visited it I was really surprised.I ended up to like it a lot and I have a very beautiful memory of this mall.I bought stuff that I do not think I will ever find in any part of the world again and the fountain show was magical!

    Liked by 1 person

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About the author

Hi! My name is Hannah, I’m a travel blogger from the UK who fits travel around a full time (and full on) job. In this blog I share my adventures around the world and hopefully help you to find some inspiration for destinations, things to do or places to stay. Thanks for stopping by – stay safe and happy travelling.

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