Dubai has the best malls in the world; you can spend days in one mall and still not be able to see everything there. The obvious ones being Dubai Mall and the Emirates Mall, we were lucky to find other activities going on other than the usual kids places (Lego city was a hit with my kids in Dubai Mall).
One mall I haven’t heard of before and happened to stumble on is the Outlet Mall, I didn’t know such a place existed in the gulf area. I find the prices of kids clothing ridiculous in the Middle East, I would rather shop the Gap online than buy the same items with extremely exaggerated prices in Kuwait or Dubai. This is especially true with boys that grow up on a weekly basis!
Excited, I dedicated a whole day for the Outlet Mall, specially since it has 3 play area’s for kids and 2 special offers to benefit from; extra discount Mondays, and extra savings for tourists. The list of stores was impressive, so I saved all my shopping for the Outlet Mall first, and whatever I didn’t find I would shop for in regular stores.
Not very far off from the center of Dubai, the Outlet Mall is located in Dubailand, about a 20 minute drive from our villa in the Palm. We went early to avoid peak noon hours, as I was sure I needed quiet when sifting through clothes to find the good stuff. When you first enter you fin the first play area, with a Starbucks next to it (perfect!). I took the kids to play (the entrance fee isn’t cheap, and its only for 2 hours, plus they need socks, so I had to purchase those at a ridiculous price). I headed off to Starbucks with my husband, which was right in front of it, got my coffee and planned my shopping route.
My husband stayed behind with a book to watch the kids and catch up on his reading, he would also be my shopping bag drop off place. I needed about 2 hours the finish the first floor (I literally went into every store), then I took a break and we had lunch, and we had to re-admit the kids into the play area. The food there isn’t as good as I hoped it would be, we ended up in a café having pizza as the other options were fast food. We headed to the second floor where the other play area is, dropped off the kids, and continued shopping.
I have mixed feelings about the mall, I got some amazing purchases, but they weren’t what I was there for. The kids stores were either mainly for girls, or poor quality items, the “discounts” weren’t amazing, it was just like the regular stores that have a sale, not outlet prices. The Gap outlet store was horrible, unorganized, and just clutter everywhere, after half an hour I gave up and left the store as it was wasting a lot of my time to find things.
I was happy with a few purchases I made for myself, Burberry had a store and I got amazing, timeless, coats at great prices. Other brands were there and I got a few winter things for myself, nothing too exciting for kids.
If you are planning to go, make sure you have enough time as if you want to find anything worth it, you need to sift through a lot of not so good clothes. I think that the fact we went during the summer could be a reason that things weren’t great, probably the good stuff sold out already. Don’t take the tourist extra discount card, I paid for it and never used it, the stores didn’t take it as it was a summer period. Furthermore, I went on extra saving Monday’s, I’m not sure what the prices would be like on regular days.