Area: Jebel Ali, Dubai
Ibn Battuta was named after the 14th-century adventurer who spent 29 years exploring the Middle East and Asia, and getting from one end of the monster Ibn Battuta mall to the other takes almost as long. Your ‘trip’ will take you through the different zones of ‘China’, ‘India’, ‘Egypt’, ‘Tunisia’, ‘Andalusia’, and ‘Persia’.
A great deal of care and attention has been lovingly spent on the Ibn Battuta building, which is reminiscent of a museum in places. The Ibn Battuta shops offer predominantly mainstream Western high street and designer labels, although there are a few intriguing boutiques selling items from far-flung countries. Good photo opportunities abound at Ibn Battuta, and you can even go on a guided tour, which is a great way to explore the themed areas.
Most of the food outlets in Ibn Battuta are worth a try. Lime Tree Café is always a safe bet for fresh, healthy lunches, or you’ll find tasty Thai fare at Lemongrass near Géant. The truly great thing about shopping at Ibn Battuta is that it never gets too busy, and you’ll often be able to find more of the popular clothing sizes than in other malls with a greater footfall. If you’re driving, remember which of the 10 Ibn Battuta car parks you left your vehicle in!