Shopping in Dubai is like eating pasta in Italy, its something that is suited to the place and one can find hundreds of variations on it everywhere on site. Dubai like much of the UAE has a lasting relationship with the trade of luxury goods, fashion items and accessories. Dubai Mall, Mall of the Emirates and Ibn Battuta Mall are just some of the flagship venues for commerce. Dubai’s Festival City is also a gem to explore, shop and meander because it has such an inviting setup with numerous vendors.
To understand it better, it is good to know that Festival City is actually a city within a city complex. It is built around the historic riverbanks of Dubai Creek. So it is not accessible immediately to those in the Marina or downtown district like some of the other malls are. Still it is easily reachable by car just a few minutes driving by highway from the downtown and the RTA green line of the metro now extends to the Creek Station which is the closest the Metro will arrive to festival city. It sits across the Dubai Creek. Water taxis serve the area currently, but a more direct marine crossover is planned for the future.
The Mall is home to over 400 retailers. This means that for locals and visitors alike there is a lot to explore and even if one explores everything, chances are stores will have changed their stocks and items by the time you finish. Parking is under the Mall and it is well marked with numbers and names of trading goods. It can host up to 6,500 vehicles. There are 75 restaurants, cafes and specialty shops. Luxury boutiques like Whittard of Chelsea featuring some of England’s finest teas, The largest Trader Vic’s in the UAE and the Marina Restaurant Pavilion. Specialty eateries like the Hard Rock Cafe holds the biggest set of guitars in the world. And are you looking to experience authentically Emirati food instead of the ubiquitous Lebanese fare? The only Emirati Restaurant in the UAE is here, known as Al Fanar. Entertainment such as bowling and big screen cinemas is abundant too.
Services and Events:
In addition to having well laid out floor plans, maps and friendly personnel, the mall has a useful concierge service. These kiosks can arrange for everything from transport needs, to helping you find a particular item to reuniting you with a lost item. One can schedule Abra rides through this desk. This traditional boat will carry you softly through the Marina to the sounds of traditional Arabic Music. Children’s carts and even helicopter tours can be arranged too. The spacious nature of the mall makes it a great place to watch football matches, for promotional sales, gatherings and charity events all throughout the year.