The World’s Largest Shopping Mall – Gets Larger

Dubai Mall is the world’s largest shopping mall, and it is HUGE.  My husband Jimmy and I live right across the street from it, go there regularly to see movies and to try new restaurants, and despite our proximity and familiarity, we STILL get lost.

Of course, this has something to do with the “Gruen Effect”.  Shopping mall designers, for obvious reasons, are not that concerned that you be able to get OUT of the mall, since the longer you stay in the more you will likely buy.  (Gruen was the architect of the world’s first indoor shopping mall – in Minnesota – and his philosophy was that the mall should entice consumers to stay within and not easily find an exit).

And now, in Dubai, the Gruen effect has reached even greater proportions.  The new Fashion Avenue recently opened, and this wing of the existing mall is larger than many singular malls I have been to in the U.S.

The Fashion District consists of top designer, top dollar stores like Rolex, Prada, Cartier, Burberry.   Jimmy and I are not shoppers, so the stores were not a draw, but we are admirers of architecture and the new wing is beautiful. You enter through the prior Fashion District – just look for the large arches of light.  Once in the new wing, there are lots of art installations celebrating fashion, almost like a fashion museum.   It’s just mind boggling. Without stepping into a store in the new wing, we still found plenty to amuse ourselves.

A fun journey.  Just make sure you allot plenty of time.  You are likely to get lost.


  1. It’s funny, here in Dallas, malls are not the draw they once were, save one. Northpark Center is the exception. The draw there, besides the stores, really is the aesthetics of the place, Nasher, the developer, he and his wife avid art collectors. Their sculptures gave rise to the Nasher Sculpture Center downtown. A favorite of mine.


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