Dubai Mall

walkway by the fountain outside of Dubai Mall

Dubai Malls

Dubai has many malls, one of which is called Dubai Mall. It’s gigantic, but not the biggest mall in the world. The tallest building in the world, called the Burj Khalifa, is located at that mall. Dubai’s other most famous mall is the Mall of Emirates, which is the one with the indoor skiing and snow park. There are also numerous other malls, one of which is the Italian themed Mercato Mall where free shuttles will bring you from the cruise ship port.

one of many hallways of shops at Dubai Mall

We took the shuttle to Mercato Mall on our first day in Dubai which saved both time and money from getting a taxi at the port. Time because there were far more people wanting taxis than there were taxis available, and money because besides the shuttle being free, once you are in town rather than at the port you can take a taxi between locations for a lot less. Our ship, the MSC Lirica, overnighted in Dubai before disembarkation so we had an extra day to spend there without needing a hotel. My pre-cruise online research indicated there were other mall shuttles from the port, but when we were there only the one to Mercato Mall was running. We spent the first day seeing some of the sights around Dubai, then went to Global Village, which didn’t open until late afternoon.

inside Dubai Mall

Dubai Mall

On our second morning there we bypassed the whole taxi and shuttle process and called an Uber. While other passengers vied for the available taxis or waited for the next shuttle, our Uber came fairly quickly and we could go wherever we wanted for less money than in a taxi. That day we wanted to go to the Dubai Mall. We had all our luggage as it was disembarkation day. We also had a very late flight after midnight. Not wanting to drag luggage around all day, our first stop was luggage storage at the Dubai Mall. They have places that will store your things for the day for a per bag fee. They even said they could deliver it to the airport if we wanted (for an extra fee of course), but we chose to pick it up there and take it to the airport ourselves. We used a luggage storage area near the parking garage, and later discovered that they also have luggage storage where you buy the tickets to go up to the top of the Burj Khalifa. They have other luggage storage locations as well.

cafe at Dubai Mall

Once we got our luggage squared away we went to get tickets for the Burj Khalifa. The basic ticket takes you to levels 124 & 125, and the sky level tickets bring you up to the 148th floor. You can get a bit higher in a lounge that offers afternoon tea, sunset dinner, or evening cocktails. We got the sky level tickets for later in the afternoon, which give you access to the 124th and 125th stories on your way back down from the 148th floor, and VIP access to bypass the line of people who only got the tickets to the lower levels on the way up. Though we had a specific time booked, our tickets gave us the option of arriving anywhere from an hour before to an hour after the scheduled time. The mall had plenty to do to keep us busy until our time to go up the Burj Khalifa.

live fish swimming in a tank that serves as the window into the aquarium store

Dubai Mall is not just a shopping mall. It’s a destination in itself, complete with a hotel in the mall as well as one in the Burj Khalifa. Trying to find your way around there can give one the feeling of being a rat in a maze. Even their mall locator app seemed confused as it led us around in circles for over an hour finding something that took us 5 minutes to get back to where we started from on our own.

at a sweet shop in the mall we found chocolate camels made from camel milk chocolate

Dubai Mall has over 13 million square feet of shopping, dining, and entertainment space. Just wandering around the mall looking at things could keep a person amused for hours. If you’re into shopping there are of course a seemingly endless supply of stores selling just about everything. Also multiple food courts and other eateries scattered about the mall. Food in Dubai is expensive though, as is pretty much everything else.

giant video wall

For people who are leaving a cruise ship as we were, or those checking out of a hotel with a flight much later in the day than disembarkation or check-out time, the mall is a great place to hang out for the day since it has luggage storage service so you don’t have to drag your bags around all day.

aquarium under the video wall

Other than food and shopping, there’s plenty to do at the mall. It has an aquarium and underwater zoo. Some of the aquarium’s tanks can be seen from outside of the aquarium itself so there are some fish to look at without paying the fee to go in. Like everything in Dubai, it’s kind of pricey to go in and we had already splurged for the premium sky level tickets to the Burj Khalifa so other than getting some food, we didn’t do anything else that cost extra.

bridge over the manmade lake at Dubai Mall

The mall also has cinemas, an ice-skating rink, an indoor theme park, a haunted house, and a virtual reality park. There’s even a real dinosaur skeleton. Outside the mall there’s a manmade lake with a boardwalk around it. The manmade lake has quite an impressive fountain. It doesn’t run continuously, but has both daytime and nighttime fountain shows, and they’re all free.

fountain show by Dubai Mall and the Burj Khalifa

We saw the daytime shows from a couple different vantage points, with hardly anyone else around. The evening shows are far more crowded. We watched one from up in the Burj Kalifa, one from just outside the mall door since we got there just as it started, and one from a little bridge that seemed to be there just for that purpose. Most of the shows had Arabic music, but the liveliest one of the evening shows had the fountain going to the tune of Baby Shark – with the words in English. In the evening little boats sailed around the lake so people could see the fountain show up close from a boat ride – for a price of course.

giant Christmas ornaments hanging from the ceiling

People in Dubai are from all over with 80% foreign and 20% local, but they all seem to speak English. At least those that work where they have contact with tourists. We were there in December and like other touristy places in Dubai, the mall was all decorated up for Christmas even though Dubai is in an Islamic country.

one store had polar bear themed decor

The mall itself had decorations as did individual stores, and the locals still shopped there. None of them seemed the least bit offended by Christmas decorations anywhere we went in Dubai.

coffee from a little cafe at the airport

Leaving from the mall is easy enough by taxi or uber, assuming you can find your way out. We called an uber for a ride to the airport after picking up our luggage from the storage area and it didn’t take long for the car to arrive.

man-made lake by Dubai Mall and the Burj Khalifa

Copyright My Cruise Stories 2023

About LBcruiseshipblogger

MyCruiseStories blog tells stories about adventures in cruising on ships big and small. Things to do onboard and in port. Anything connected to cruising. Also food, travel, recipes, towel animals, and the occasional random blog.
This entry was posted in Lirica, Middle East, MSC, Port Cities and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Dubai Mall

  1. I would love to explore that Mall, as well as the Mall of Emirates. Looks like a beautiful structure both inside and out, especially the lake and fountain show.

    • Dubai definitely does have some amazing malls whether you are looking for entertainment or a place to shop. We weren’t there long enough to see everything so we missed out on the Mall of the Emirates, but I’m sure that one is fantastic too.

  2. gederedita says:

    oh Dubai still in my dream. hope my dream come true. thank you for sharing

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s