The Dubai Mall

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Coordinates: 25°11′51″N 55°16′45″E / 25.19750°N 55.27917°E / 25.19750; 55.27917

The Dubai Mall
دبي مول
Dubai mall indoor.JPG
The shopping mall's interior
LocationDowntown Dubai,
United Arab Emirates
Opening date4 November 2008; 13 years ago (2008-11-04)
DeveloperEmaar Properties
ManagementEmaar Malls Group
OwnerEmaar Properties
ArchitectDP Architects
No. of stores and services1,200+
No. of anchor tenants6
Total retail floor area502,000 square metres (5,400,000 sq ft)
No. of floors4
Public transit accessBurj Khalifa/Dubai Mall

The Dubai Mall (Arabic: دبي مول "Dubai Mall") is a shopping mall in Dubai. It is the second largest mall in the world after the Iran Mall by total land area,[1] and the 26th-largest shopping mall in the world by gross leasable area, tying with West Edmonton Mall and Fashion Island (Bangkok)—both of which are older than it. It has a total retail floor area of 502,000 square metres (5,400,000 sq ft). Located in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, it is part of the 20-billion-dollar Downtown complex (called Downtown Dubai) adjacent to the iconic Burj Khalifa, and includes over 1,200 shops.[2][3][4] In 2011, it was the most visited building on the planet, attracting over 54 million visitors each year.[5]

Twice delayed, Dubai Mall opened on 4 November 2008, with about 1000 retailers, marking the world's second largest-ever mall opening in retail history behind West Edmonton Mall. However, it does not have the most gross leasable space, and is surpassed in that category by nineteen malls including the New South China Mall, which is the world's second-largest, Golden Resources Mall, SM City North Edsa, and SM Mall of Asia.


The Dubai Mall recorded 61,000 tickets sold for the Dubai Aquarium and Discovery Centre in the first five days, following its opening.[6] The Dubai Mall hosted over 37 million visitors in 2009, and attracts more than 750,000 visitors every week.[7][8] In 2010, it hosted 47 million visitors, and saw an increase in foot traffic by about 27 percent over 2009, despite the economic crisis (a consequence of real estate bubble burst).[9] In 2012, Dubai Mall continued to hold the title of the world's most-visited shopping and leisure destination, and attracted more than 65 million visitors, an increase of more than 20 percent compared to the 54 million recorded in 2011. It attracted more visitors than New York City which welcomed over 52 million visitors in 2012, and Los Angeles which had 41 million visitors.[10][11] The number also surpasses visitor arrivals to all landmark leisure destinations and theme parks in the world including Times Square (39.2 million), Central Park (38 million), and Niagara Falls (22.5 million).[12]

2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2019
Number of visitors 39 Million[13] 47 Million[14] 54 Million[14] 65 Million[15] 75 Million[16] 80 Million[17] 92 Million[18] 80 Million[19] 80 Million[20] 84 Million[21]


At over 13 million square feet (equivalent in size to more than 50 football fields), The Dubai Mall has a total internal floor area of 5.9 million square feet (55 ha) and leasable space of 3.77 million square feet (35 ha), about the same as the West Edmonton Mall.[22]

It also has a 250-room luxury hotel, 22 cinema screens plus 120 restaurants and cafes. The Mall has over 14,000 parking spaces across 3 car parks, with valet services and a car locator ticketing system.[23] The mall has won five awards – two awards at the Retail Future Project Awards at Mapic, Cannes, in 2004, for Best Retail Development Scheme (Large) and Best Use of Lighting in a Retail Environment[24] and the Dubai Mall brochure collected three awards at the Summit Creative Awards 2005 in Portland, Oregon – the Gold award for: Best Art Direction / Graphic Design, Silver award for Best 4-colour B2B Brochure, and a Judges Special Recognition award.[24]

The Mall also features the Olympic-sized Dubai Ice Rink for recreational skating and to watch the Emirates Ice Hockey League games[25] and the Emirates A380 Experience, an Airbus A380 aircraft simulator[26] and Experience will let visitors control the world's largest passenger aircraft around city scenes and famous landmarks. They can take off, land, ascend and do whatever they like with the help of a trainer.[27]


Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo[edit]

Dubai Aquarium and Under Water Zoo
Tunnel of Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo

The Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo was designed by Peddle Thorp and is managed by Emaar Entertainment. The aquarium, located in The Dubai Mall, showcases more than 300 species of marine animals, including sharks and rays.

Managed by Emaar Entertainment, it was awarded with the ‘Certificate of Excellence’ and won the ‘Images Most Admired Retailer of the Year – Leisure & Entertainment’ at Images RetailME Awards 2012.[28][29]

VR Park Dubai[edit]

VR Park Dubai is an amusement park that was formerly operated as the Sega Republic.

The 76,000 square feet (7,100 m2) indoor park features 15 rides and an array of amusement games, including motion simulators, classic carnival games, skill games, and a wide array of redemption games.

Recent additions to Sega Republic rides include Xyclone, Robotnik, and Rope Rush a form of an obstacle course.

The park includes ‘Lazeraze’, a laser maze, as well as ‘Racer’ Bumper Cars. It also features a "soft play area" for smaller children.

The theme park closed on June 1, 2017, after the license to the Sega theme expired. It later reopened in February 2018 as a theme park dedicated to virtual reality under the name of VR Park Dubai.

Reel Cinemas[edit]

Reel Cinemas is a 22-screen cinema, also managed by Emaar Entertainment, in The Dubai Mall. One of the largest theaters in the region, the megaplex features four cinema suites and 17 commercial halls, including the first THX-certified cinema in Dubai.


Hysteria Dubai Mall

Hysteria is a haunted house. It is decorated with special effects, fog lights, and strobe lights.[30] The story of Hysteria revolves around a family whose child mysteriously disappeared. They believe that the guest knows where their child is, so they attempt to kidnap the guest or guests and subject them to a terrifying experience.[31]

Dubai Dino[edit]

Dubai Dino

Dubai Dino is genuine fossil of Diplodocus, a large, long-necked dinosaur. The total measurement of the Dino is over 7 meters in height, and 24 meters in length.[32]

Dubai Creek Tower Replica[edit]

The Dubai Mall's Grand Atrium is home to a replica of the Dubai Creek Tower, which is currently under construction. The model gives a 3D rendition of the completed tower's architecture and grandeur.


KidZania is an interactive children-sized edutainment theme park.


The Mall was built by a joint venture of Dutco Balfour Beatty, Al Ghandi/CCC[33] and Turner Construction[34] for Emaar Properties and was scheduled to be completed in 2006, claiming to be the size of 50 "international-sized football pitches". The mall opened in 2008. Most of the workers who constructed the mall were Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi and Sri Lankan guest workers.

Metro Link[edit]

In December 2012, Emaar Properties announced the completion of the Metro Link, an 820 m long elevated, air-conditioned footbridge that connects the Burj Khalifa/Dubai Mall Metro station to the mall.[35][36]


In June 2013, The Dubai Mall commenced phase one of its expansion plan by increasing the total retail floor area by 1 million sq. ft. so as to accommodate more visitors. The project was completed in 2018.[37]

World records and achievements[edit]

Dubai Mall near the Fountain at Dusk.
  • Second largest mall in the world by the total land area of 1,124,000 m2.[38]
  • 20th-largest mall by Gross Leasable Area (GLA) of 350,000 m2.[38]
  • World's largest acrylic panel (Aquarium) inside Dubai Mall, which is (32.88 m wide × 8.3 m high × 750 mm thick and weighing 245 tons).[38][39]
  • Dubai Mall records more than 5 million visitors in the month of March 2010 during the one-month Dubai Shopping Festival, setting an all-time record in visitor footfall.[40]
  • Dubai Mall was named the best shopping experience on 29 April 2010 by Grazia Style Awards.[41]
  • The Dubai Mall hosted a record 37 million visitors in its first year of operation in 2009,[7] and attracts more than 750,000 visitors every week.[42]
  • The Dubai Mall hosted a record 47 million visitors in 2010, and broke the record of 37 million visitors received in the previous year, an increase of 27 percent despite the economic crisis.[9]
  • In 2011, Dubai Mall becomes the world's most-visited shopping and leisure destination, and attracted more than 56 million visitors, an increase of 15 percent from the visitors of the previous year.[12]
  • In 2012, Dubai Mall continued to hold title of world's most-visited shopping and leisure destination, and attracted more than 65 million visitors, an increase of more than 20 percent compared to the 54 million recorded the previous year, 2011.[10][11]
  • In 2017, Dubai Mall unveiled the world's largest OLED screen.


  • On 25 February 2010 the aquarium (which holds sharks) sprung a leak which led many shops to temporarily close down and forced shoppers to evacuate the mall immediately. It reopened the following day.[43]
  • In March 2015, more than a hundred foreign labourers protested in front of Dubai Mall due to overtime wages not being paid, causing disruption to traffic in the area. The situation was brought under control within an hour by the police.[44]
  • On 31 December 2015 the mall was evacuated because of a major fire at The Address Hotel, which is adjacent to the mall's compound.
  • In December 2016, British TV presenter Richard Hammond drove a tank into the Dubai Mall as part of a stunt for The Grand Tour.[45]
  • On 24 April 2017 a power outage occurred, causing the mall to go into a blackout for 90 minutes. No other nearby areas were affected.
  • In November 2019, due to heavy rain, large areas of the mall were flooded.[46][47]
  • All malls in Dubai (other than those selling essential goods) were forced to close starting March 25, 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[48] The Dubai Mall was eligible to reopen April 24, 2020, but delayed its reopening until May.[49]

In popular culture[edit]

The Dubai Mall was featured in the documentary show called Megastructures that aired on the National Geographic Channel.[50] The mall was also featured in the BBC One programme, The Apprentice (UK series nine) and Week 5: Dubai Discount buying, where the candidates had to purchase items for the least amount of prices by utilising their negotiation skills.[51] The mall also appears in the TV show, the Grand tour.


See also[edit]

  1. ^ "Largest malls worldwide, by GLA 2020". Statista. Retrieved 2021-09-11.
  2. ^ "The Dubai Mall". Retrieved 2014-02-25.
  3. ^ "Dubai Mall: A milestone harks back to humble origins". 2008-11-04. Archived from the original on 2009-01-09. Retrieved 2014-02-25.
  4. ^ Lonsway, Brian. "Mall: Very Large. Center of Now. Fast." In The Dubai Mall. Singapore: DP Architects 2012.
  5. ^ Collin Anderson (2012). Evolution of a Retail Streetscape: DP Architects on Orchard Road. Images Publishing. p. 14. ISBN 978-1-86470-462-4.
  6. ^ "Dubai Mall welcomes 60,000 visitors to new aquarium". Retrieved 17 September 2015.
  7. ^ a b "The Dubai Mall crosses landmark 30 million visitors". The Dubai Mall. Archived from the original on February 24, 2012. Retrieved 2014-02-25.
  8. ^ "Leak at Dubai Mall Aquarium Forces Evacuation". The Wall Street Journal. 25 February 2010. Retrieved 25 February 2010.
  9. ^ a b "Emaar's Dubai Mall posts 27% rise in footfall in 2010 – Retail". 2011-04-24. Retrieved 2014-02-25.
  10. ^ a b "Dubai Mall sees 65 million visitors in 2012". 2013-02-11. Retrieved 2014-02-25.
  11. ^ a b "Inbound Tour Operator| Dubai Tourism Service ALT Dubai". Archived from the original on 2016-12-29. Retrieved 2014-02-25.
  12. ^ a b "Dubai Mall claims world visitors record". The National. 2012-01-06. Retrieved 2014-02-25.
  13. ^ "Press Release Detail". Retrieved 17 September 2015.
  14. ^ a b "Dubai Mall is world's most visited destination in 2011". Arabian Business. Retrieved 17 September 2015.
  15. ^ "Dubai Mall retail sales up 24% in 2012". Arabian Business. Retrieved 17 September 2015.
  16. ^ "75 million visitors in 2013 puts Dubai Mall 'top of the shops'". 7DAYS UAE. Archived from the original on 3 October 2015. Retrieved 17 September 2015.
  17. ^ "Dubai Mall Sees 80m Visitors in 2014". Gulf Business. 10 February 2015. Retrieved 17 September 2015.
  18. ^ Paromita Dey. "Emaar Malls records 37% rise in H1 2015 profits". Retrieved 17 September 2015.
  19. ^ "EMAAR PROPERTIES RECORDS 28% GROWTH IN FY 2016 NET PROFIT TO AED 5.233 BILLION (US$ 1.425 BILLION); Q4 2016 PROFIT INCREASED BY 56%". Retrieved 14 February 2017.
  21. ^ "EMAAR MALLS CLOSES 2019 WITH 5% GROWTH IN REVENUE REACHING TO AED 4.673 BILLION (US$ 1.272 BILLION)". Retrieved 10 February 2020.
  22. ^ "Dubai Mall set for August 28 opening". April 9, 2008. Archived from the original on October 15, 2008. Retrieved 2014-02-25.
  23. ^ "The Dubai Mall opens with 600 retailers". 2008-11-04. Retrieved 2014-02-25.
  24. ^ a b The Dubai Mall Archived 2007-08-16 at the Wayback Machine, Emaar, retrieved 12 March 2006
  25. ^ "Dubai Mall | Biggest Mall in Dubai | Visit Dubai".
  26. ^ "Top 10 Things to do in Dubai Mall apart from Shopping - MyBayut". A blog about homes, trends, tips & life in the UAE | MyBayut.
  27. ^ "15 Things To Do In Dubai Mall". 3 March 2020.
  28. ^ ", Dubai Aquarium & Discovery Centre Sets Guinness Record for 'World's Largest Acrylic Panel' at The Dubai Mall". Archived from the original on November 9, 2008.
  29. ^ ", Aquarium at The Dubai Mall scoops world record". Archived from the original on June 17, 2011. Retrieved 2014-02-25.
  30. ^ Hysteria. "Hysteria". The Dubai Mall. Retrieved 2018-08-29.
  31. ^ "Home - Hysteria | Dubai's First Haunted Attraction". Hysteria | Dubai's First Haunted Attraction. Retrieved 2018-08-29.
  32. ^ Dino, Dubai. "Dubai Dino". The Dubai Mall. Retrieved 2018-08-29.
  33. ^ "Burj Dubai Mall". Balfour Beatty Website. 2008-04-16. Archived from the original on 2008-04-16. Retrieved 2014-02-25.
  34. ^ Reporter, A. Staff. "Emaar awards Dh 2.7b Dubai Mall contract". Khaleej Times. Retrieved 2018-12-26.
  35. ^ "Press Release Detail". Retrieved 17 September 2015.
  36. ^ Shafaat Shahbandari, Staff Reporter. "Commuters hail Metro-Dubai Mall walkway". Retrieved 17 September 2015.
  37. ^ "Press Release Detail". Retrieved 17 September 2015.
  38. ^ a b c "Top 10 construction world record holders". Retrieved 2014-02-25.
  39. ^ "Dubai Aquarium & Discovery Centre sets Guinness Record for the 'World's Largest Acrylic Panel' at The Dubai Mall". The Dubai Mall. Archived from the original on May 11, 2015. Retrieved 2014-02-25.
  40. ^ "Dubai Mall smashes record with 5 million visitors". Hotelier Middle East. 2010-03-10. Retrieved 2014-02-25.
  41. ^ "Dubai Mall named best shopping experience – Retail". 2010-04-29. Retrieved 2014-02-25.
  42. ^ "The Dubai Mall hosts 3 million visitors over month-long shopping festival - Dubai City Guide". Archived from the original on 2011-07-22. Retrieved 2009-08-05.
  43. ^ "Aquarium leak hits Dubai Mall". 2010-02-26. Retrieved 2014-02-25.
  44. ^ Dana Moukhallati. "Police resolve workers' protest in Downtown Dubai". Retrieved 17 September 2015.
  45. ^ "Jeremy Clarkson drives tank through Dubai mall". Newshub – via
  46. ^ "DUBAI MALL FLOODED WITH RAIN WATER INSIDE #dubairain #dubaimall #dubaimallflood". Archived from the original on 2021-12-22 – via
  47. ^ Report, Web. "Emaar responds after water enters Dubai Mall during rain". Khaleej Times.
  48. ^ "Dubai's malls migrate online amid Covid-19 shutdown". Oxford Business Group. 27 April 2020.
  49. ^ "Dubai Mall reopens under new safeguards - CNN Video".
  50. ^ [1] Archived July 26, 2015, at the Wayback Machine
  51. ^ BBC|

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