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Not many malls in the world have the ability to transport visitors to different lands as they walk through it. That’s what makes Ibn Battuta Mall special.
Known as the world’s largest themed shopping mall, the sizeable shopping destination is designed to reflect the travels of its namesake — the renowned Arabian explorer Ibn Battuta. Abu Abdullah Mohammad Bin Abdullah Al Lawati Al Tanji Ibn Battuta (1304-1369) is known as one of the greatest travellers of all time.
In true explorer fashion, visitors are able to take a stroll through six ‘courts’ — the China Court, India Court, Persia Court, Egypt Court, Tunisia Court and Andalusia Court — that have been elaborately and authentically decorated in the respective region’s flair.
Some of the most impressive instalments are the impressive Chinese Junk ship in the China Court and the Elephant Clock in the India Court.
However, these elements aren’t just a way to look at some beautiful interiors or sculptures though; there are informative displays that give insight into culture and history, including details about Ibn Battuta who travelled more than any other explorer in pre-modern history — around 117,000km over 30 years.
HistoryIndia Court.Image Credit: Supplied Image Credit: Jayankumar KR/Gulf NewsIbn Battuta Mall's exterior.Image Credit: SuppliedShoppers at Ibn Battuta Mall in Dubai.Image Credit: Javed Nawab / Gulf News ArchivesImage Credit: Dancers perform at the opening of Nakheel's 300,000 sqft extension to Ibn Battuta Mall.Image Credit: Clint Egbert/Gulf NewsView gallery as list
Located close to Sheikh Zayed Road, Ibn Battuta Mall was developed by Nakheel PJSC and opened its doors to the public in April 2005. In 2016, the mall got a 300,000 square feet extension that saw 60 more stores being added to its roster. The mall was also the first to get an IMAX screen when its 21-screen multiplex cinema — then called Grand Megaplex — was launched.
It’s a popular shopping destination among those who live in nearby areas, such as Discovery Gardens, Jebel Ali, Dubai Marina, The Palm Jumeirah and The Gardens. The mall houses every store a person might need, such as a branch of the hypermarket Carrefour and ACE Hardware, salons, clothing stores and even a Medical Examination Centre by the UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention.
A particular draw for tourists is the Premier Inn Ibn Battuta Hotel and the Avani Ibn Battuta Dubai Hotel that are attached to the mall.
Not only that, the mall is connected to the Dubai Metro and bus station.
- 20 million visitors a year
- Six zones designed based on Ibn Battuta’s travels
- Nearly 500 outlets
- 50 restaurants
- 21 cinema screens, including an IMAX theatre