Lost in retail space? Just call up an app

The Life: First-world problems are all around us, if you are to believe the latest social-media updates.

Dubai Mall's iPhone app direct users to any of the mall's 1,200 shops.
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First-world problems are all around us, if you are to believe the latest social-media updates.

Thousands of tongue-in-cheek references to the woes that affect the rich, marked with the tag #firstworldproblems, have been shared on Twitter.

They include, "I didn't wake up in time for McDonald's breakfast," to "My cupholder isn't big enough for most drinks," - highlighting how even the most pampered lives have their pitfalls.

The nightmare that is navigating the UAE's mega malls falls squarely into this category.

As anyone who has been to Dubai Mall can testify, finding one's way from Bloomingdale's to Waitrose certainly puts lesser global problems into perspective. When one is weighed down by Paris Gallery bags, the last thing you want to do is mistake parking areas on your way to the car.

Luckily, help is at hand - in the form of the trusty smartphone app.

Emaar Malls Group, the developer of Dubai Mall, last year launched an iPhone application to help visitors navigate the huge shopping centre.

The app, which was updated in July, has a directory of shops and restaurants, an interactive map and allows you to record where you parked and find your way back to your car.

The Dubai Mall iPhone app performed fairly well in tests by The National. Although it does not feature GPS so cannot automatically determine your location, it is easy to pinpoint where you are by identifying the nearest shop.

Once you have done that, the app can direct you to any of the mall's 1,200 shops and many of the food outlets.

Its neat map shows the path, it can easily be zoomed and rotated and features fun animated images of landmarks such as the mall's aquarium and waterfall.

The app developers claim its directory of shops is updated in real time.

However, a few shops were not on the map in our tests.

Also, the app sometimes crashed when attempting to display complex directions.

But, overall, the Dubai Mall iPhone app proved a handy guide to the place - and shows there's one less first-world problem to worry about.