The fact that everything in Dubai has to be the biggest, tallest and most gigantic is now known worldwide. With the monumental Dubai Mall, this motto has been given another spectacular statement.
The famous Dubai Mall in the United Arab Emirates is located in the modern district of Downtown Dubai. With a sales area of 350,000 square metres, it is the largest shopping centre in the world and has been listed several times in the Guinness Book of Records. The grand opening of the spectacular Dubai Mall took place on 4 November 2008 with 600 shops; its construction cost an incredible 780 million US dollars.
Meanwhile, the grandiose shopping temple at the foot of the mighty Burj Khalifa offers about twice as many business premises and numerous restaurants with top-class cuisine as well as sports and entertainment facilities.
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PICTURES: Dubai Mall
Shopping in style in Dubai
The builders of the Dubai Mall, Emaar Properties, have always emphasised that the concept of the shopping temple is not about size, but about the quality of the products on offer. And so the most exquisite brands from the international sector can be found here, including Dior, Gucci, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Dolce & Gabbana, Versace and Armani, who regularly present their latest collections in the Fashion Avenue of the Dubai Mall.
In keeping with this level, the interior design of the Dubai Mall is an enchanting symbiosis of Arabic style elements and modern architecture, in which oriental bridges span between glass and steel fronts. The visitor is struck by a feeling of the extraordinary as soon as he enters.
Convenient journey to the Dubai Mall
The Dubai Mall can be reached both by car and by the Dubai Metro. 14,000 parking spaces, which are to be expanded in the future, provide enough space to park your car and it is also very convenient to get there by public transport.
The so-called "Metro Link" is an air-conditioned gangway with moving walkways, as known from large airports, which leads directly from the underground station "Burj Khalifa/Dubai Mall" to the shopping centre.
The distances between the designer shops are so vast that the veiled wives of the sheikhs are driven from one boutique to the next in golf carts.
Tip: If you park your car in one of the 14,000 parking spaces, it would be a good idea to remember exactly where your vehicle is - preferably by writing it down. The garage is so huge that some drivers have been unable to find their vehicle.
Sports and leisure in the Dubai Mall
The Dubai Mall can no longer be described as just a shopping centre, but rather as a temple of entertainment where you can probably spend an entire week.
There is, for example, the Ice Rink, an Olympic-sized artificial ice rink, a multiplex cinema with 22 different cinema halls, a dedicated centre for presenting the latest video games and Kidzania, a colourful adventure land where the little ones can play pilot, chef or fireman in real uniforms with expert supervision, while the grown-ups can shop carefree.
Records in the Dubai Mall
As a city of records, the largest shopping centre in the United Arab Emirates must of course also be able to boast international records. Of course, there are plenty of them, three of which are listed in the Guinness Book of Records.
Largest gold market in the world
In addition to 1,200 shops and 120 eateries, the Dubai Mall has the largest Gold Souq in the world, claiming 220 jewellery shops alone. They form the "Gold City" in the Dubai Mall, impressing with unique designs and one-of-a-kind pieces of priceless value. The entire souq in Dubai Mall is one of our most beautiful souqs in Dubai.
Dubai Fountain - Largest fountain in the world
The fact that water is scarce in the desert of the UAE can hardly be assumed in the Dubai Mall, because the cool water gushes merrily over a 24-metre-high cascade. The record holder, however, is the Dubai Fountain in front of the Dubai Mall.
To call the stunning Dubai Fountain in front of the Dubai Mall a fountain would be almost presumptuous. According to Dubai's apparent principle of gigantism, the Dubai Fountain at the foot of the giant Burj Khalifa is, of course, also the largest music-controlled fountain in the world and listed in the Guinness Book of Records.
With its spectacular show, it is one of our top 10 sights of Dubai and top 10 sights of the United Arab Emirates.
PICTURES: Dubai Fountain
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The monumental fountain is 275 metres long and was designed by WET Design, the same people who designed the famous fountain in front of the Bellagio in Las Vegas. This breathtaking attraction cost 218 million US dollars. On 8 May 2009, the Dubai Fountain was officially opened together with the Dubai Mall.
Gigantic spectacle of dancing fountains
The spectacular water show offered to the spectators every day is also unparalleled. Accompanied by an ensemble of light, music and fire, the Dubai Fountain draws gigantic circles, waves and lines with 83,000 litres of cool water.
The highest fountain shoots 150 metres into the sky, dwarfing a 50-storey skyscraper. 25 projectors and around 6,600 spotlights bathe the fountain in light and colour.
Music at the Dubai Fountain: classical to pop
The background music is very different, the majestic fountains dance to traditional Arabic music as well as to well-known pop songs and classical music highlights.
Among the best-known works are Baba Yetu, an award-winning song in the African language Swahili (some may know it from the computer game Civilization IV), Shik Shak Shok, the top dance song in the Arab world, or Time To Say Goodbye, sung by none other than world-famous opera star Andrea Bocelli.
From the pop world, "I will always love you" by Whitney Houston, "Thriller" by Michael Jackson or "Ain't no Mountain High Enough" are among the music tracks of the Dubai Fountain.
The Dubai Fountain show takes place every afternoon at 1pm and 1:30pm in the evening between 6pm and 11pm on the half hour.
Tip: If you want to see the splashy spectacle up close, you can also take a boat trip on Burj Khalifa Lake during the evening performances. Tickets for this are available in the Dubai Mall and at the Burj Khalifa.
Dubai Aquarium - Largest aquarium in the world
Since Dubai is now known worldwide for its delusions of grandeur, the aquarium in the Dubai Mall was naturally the largest in the world. Meanwhile, however, there are even larger tanks at the Marine Life Park at the Sentosa Hotel in Singapore and at the gigantic aquarium on Henqgin Island in China.
To call the huge water tank in the Dubai Mall Aquarium is an understatement, the official name "Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo" is more like it. The gigantic tank stretches over a height of 8 metres over three floors and is almost 33 metres long. This makes it 10 metres longer and 10 centimetres lower than the viewing glass of the Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium in Japan.
With a capacity of 10,000 cubic metres or 7.5 million litres of water, it was the largest aquarium of its time until 2014. Then the Chimelong Ocean Kingdom amusement park on Henqgin Island in China opened with an even bigger tank.
The incredible amount of water is held by what was once the world's largest continuous sheet of acrylic glass. With a thickness of 75 centimetres and a weight of a good 245 tonnes, the glass pane made it into the Guinness Book of Records.
Behind the glass of records, 33,000 different marine animals cavort in a pool that is 51m long, 20m deep and 11m high, including some 400 rays and sharks, perches, giant crabs, penguins, seals and huge schools of smaller fish.
To give visitors the best view of its inhabitants, an almost 50m long tunnel (for which a fee is charged) runs under the aquarium. With a thickness of only 19 centimetres, the view through the glass is hardly distorted and the fascinating animals can be viewed in their natural size.
Tip: If you want to get to know the sharks a little better, you can also visit them directly in the water accompanied by an experienced diver. As the animals are constantly well fed, this excursion to the sharks is completely safe.
Germ-free in the Dubai Aquarium
To keep the Dubai Aquarium clean, the corals, rocks and other decorative elements in the aquarium are made of plastic and the water is kept completely germ-free with the help of ozone. To still offer the animals as natural an environment as possible, a lighting system simulates the change from day to night, and feeding is automatic.
Above the gigantic basin, the journey through the underwater world continues. In addition to the ocean, the fauna of shore areas and rainforest is also presented. Among the most interesting inhabitants presented here are the air-breathing lungfish from Africa, the archerfish from the Amazon or the ragfish that looks like it's from another world. In the rainforest café, children in particular will be thrilled by the life-size figures of giraffes and crocodiles.
Tip: If you want, you can spend the whole day in the dazzling underwater world, but you should plan at least one and a half hours for the zoo and the giant pool. Annual tickets are also available for true fans.
Official website of the Dubai Mall with all shops and opening hours
Official website of the Dubai Fountain
Online tickets for a boat tour at Burj Khalifa Lake
Official website of the Dubai Mall Aquarium with opening hours and entrance fees