Shopping malls are a staple of life in the UAE.
They cater to people's retail needs, offering everything from groceries to fashion buys, as well as a number of world-class indoor attractions, which are essential year-round but particularly during the hotter summer months.
With more than 100 malls in the UAE, The National rounds up the top shopping centres in each of the seven emirates.
Located on Yas Island, Yas Mall offers a diverse selection of dining options and entertainment zones.
As the island's main shopping centre, it caters to a wide variety of people with luxury and affordable brands, with Zara, Levi's and Lacoste among the stores. Away from shopping, art exhibits, fitness events and other community activities are frequently hosted at the mall.
Perhaps its biggest selling point is that the mall offers easy access to other attractions on the island, including Etihad Arena, theme parks and hotels, with the free regular Yas Express shuttle bus service.
The Galleria Al Maryah Island
The upscale mall is located on Al Maryah Island, with proximity to both offices and residential buildings.
There is an emphasis on luxury at the mall, both in terms of shopping and dining options – brands including Hermes, Apple and Saint Laurent have stores here.
The mall has a waterfront promenade where you'll find several high-end restaurants, including Coya, Zuma and Michelin-starred 99 Sushi Bar and Restaurant.
There is also an extension, which houses high street brands such as Pull and Bear, Kinokuniya and Lululemon, with great dining options including Abu Dhabi's only Din Tai Fung and two food courts.
Among Abu Dhabi's newest malls, this sprawling shopping spot features more than 400 local and international brands, as well as dozens of food and beverage outlets.
Located on Al Reem Island, the mall is family-focused, with many attractions to keep even the little ones busy. It is home to Abu Dhabi's indoor snow park, Snow Abu Dhabi, launched by the team behind Ski Dubai.
Ajman City Centre
Located conveniently in the centre of the northern emirate, Ajman City Centre is a go-to for both residents and visitors. Its mid-sized layout makes it easy to navigate. The mall houses a cinema, a hypermarket, a food court and several high street shops.
Ajman China Mall
One of the most popular shopping spots in Ajman, China Mall offers a range of affordable items.
Located in Al Jurf, which is only a few minutes away from the city centre, the mall offers items at wholesale prices. Ideal for anyone who has just moved to a new apartment, and is looking to furnish on a bargain.
As well as furniture and household items, the mall stocks clothing, fashion accessories and children's toys.
The biggest mall in the world by total land area, the Dubai Mall is an attraction in itself. Located in Downtown Dubai, swathes of tourists visit on a daily basis, flocking to its shops and world-class attractions.
Inside the mall is an ice rink, an aquarium, a virtual reality theme park and a number of other attractions. On its website, Dubai Mall says it offers “complete family entertainment under one roof”.
One of its highlights is the outdoor promenade, which looks out over the Dubai Fountain. The mall is also directly connected, via an air-conditioned bridge, to the metro line, albeit a 1km walk from the station to the entrance.
The promenade also offers a great photo opportunities with a Burj Khalifa backdrop.
Mall of the Emirates
Another mall with high foot traffic, Mall of the Emirates is located in Dubai's Al Barsha. It is also directly connected to a metro station.
The shopping centre serves as a community centre for residents in the busy Al Barsha area – it is within walking distance from residential buildings and houses a large Carrefour hypermarket.
Tourists also visit, particularly for Ski Dubai, an indoor ski slope that offers various activities, from snowboarding to interactions with penguins.
Dubai Festival City Mall
Dubai Festival City Mall is less accessible via public transport, because it is not connected to a metro line, however, it is a staple for residents as it houses large Ace Hardware and Ikea stores.
The mall offers a diverse retail mix, from high-end brands to affordable ones. At night, visitors can enjoy the Imagine water and light show outside the mall on Festival Bay.
Several dining options are available and there are hotels surrounding the mall, including InterContinental Dubai – Festival City, Holiday Inn Dubai Festival City and Crowne Plaza Dubai – Festival City. It will soon be home to one of the biggest food halls in the Middle East.
City Centre Fujairah
Located in Fujairah City, the mall is designed for easy navigation, complete with a hypermarket, dozens of local and international brands, numerous dining options as well as a multi-screen Vox Cinema and an arcade.
Located near Umbrella Beach, Century Mall is a small shopping centre that has all the essentials covered – from groceries to clothes and entertainment. There are banking services, pharmacies, a food court and a cinema all housed within the mall.
Ras Al Khaimah:
Al Hamra Mall
The two-storey shopping centre has about 130 shops and entertainment offerings, including banks, telecommunications outlets, homeware stores and a multi-screen Vox Cinema complex.
Located at Al Hamra village, the mall also features an expansive supermarket and a medical facility.
One of the biggest malls in the northern-most emirate, Manar Mall boasts a large food court, which is home to more 30 food and beverage vendors.
Several local and international brands can be found in the mall, which also has an outdoor promenade. It is home to Tridom, an indoor children's play area, billed as one of the biggest of its kind in the UAE.
There's also a hypermarket and a cinema complex to complete the mall experience.
City Centre Al Zahia
City Centre Al Zahia has more than 360 stores, as well as a multi-screen cinema and a sprawling Carrefour.
The mall is located close to Sharjah's Muweilah and University City areas. Aside from shopping, there are entertainment offerings, which include immersive adventure experience Prison Island, a padel club and an art centre.
06 Mall Sharjah
The newly opened centre has one of the largest Imax cinema screens in the UAE and a wide range of stores, from pharmacies to children's, cosmetics and fashion outlets.
The mall also has a Fitness First Platinum branch, as well as a Prime Medical Centre. There are plenty of dining options on site, which will soon include a Bait Maryam restaurant.
Umm Al Quwain:
Mall of UAQ
The centre serves as the major shopping mall of the small emirate, complete with an expansive LuLu hypermarket and department store.
Located in the heart of the city, the mall has a cinema complex and the Orange Hub, an indoor family amusement park with games and activities for every age group.