The UAE is renowned for its excellent shopping malls and Abu Dhabi has a wealth of great places to shop. But the Emirati capital doesn’t do shopping by halves. Most centres here take on the identity of shopping ‘destinations’, with entertainment zones, upscale restaurants, cultural festivals and leisure facilities all under one roof. Here are some of Abu Dhabi’s best.
This is one of the most spacious, modern and sizeable shopping malls in Abu Dhabi – with 370 shops spread over three floors. Twenty minutes from downtown Abu Dhabi, you’ll find Yas Mall in the centre of Yas Island close to IKEA and of course, Ferrari World Abu Dhabi. While youngsters will be lured in by the Lego store, the adult’s vice comes in the form of top department stores (including House of Fraser and Marks & Spencer) and upscale names such as TRYANO luxury and high street brands. A 20-screen cinema, ice rink, family entertainment zone by Fun Works and musical fountains add to the endless entertainment.
Yas Marina Mall, Breakwater, Abu Dhabi, UAE; +971 02 682 2310
Abu Dhabi Mall
Forty thousand people pass through the doors of Abu Dhabi Mall each day to browse its 200-plus shops. It provides a convenient fix of retail therapy for guests of the Beach Rotana Hotel (a three-minute walk away) and you’ll find it in the Tourist Club – or Al Zahiyah – area of the city.
It’s on the smaller side (if you can call an Abu Dhabi mall small). But you’ll find both designer and high street fashion brands – from Steve Madden to H&M – plus some electronics, furniture and interiors stores. Its Grand Cinemas and bowling alley offer some light après-shopping entertainment.
Abu Dhabi Mall, Al Zahiyah Area, Abu Dhabi, UAE; + 971 02 645 4858
World Trade Centre
One of Abu Dhabi’s newer shopping malls (it opened in 2013), the wooden-bedecked World Trade Centre offers a welcome traditional feel if you feel like you’ve over-dosed on Abu Dhabi’s modernity. There’s an Arabian souk onsite, plus plenty in the way of contemporary fashion brands. Fast-food joints and a plethora of juice bars, coffee shops, shisha cafes and top eateries – like Tamba, Shake Shack and BU! Trinity – are all in the mix too.
World Trade Centre, Khalifa Bin Zayed The 1st Street, Abu Dhabi, UAE; +971 (0)2 672 8888
Avenue at Etihad Towers
More a boutique retail zone than a stand-alone mall, the Avenue at Etihad Towers offers a little haven of luxe brands.
There are just 34 stores here – spread across two levels – but expect the cream of the crop, from Stephane Rolland and Givenchy to Rolex, Bvlgari and Manolo Blahnik. It has a nice upscale Italian café, Al Gusto, and is steps away from the Jumeirah at Etihad Towers. You’re also well placed for some of the best restaurants in the city.
Avenue at Etihad Towers, Etihad Towers, Abu Dhabi, UAE; 800 384 4238
You could certainly make a day of it at Marina Mall. Not only is this one of Abu Dhabi’s best shopping malls (it has more than 400 shops), it also boasts a generous offering of family-friendly leisure options. This includes a bowling alley, nine-screen cinema, ice-rink and children’s entertainment area. It’s easy to get to – just a three-minute walk from Abu Dhabi’s Heritage village – and is about the same distance from the Corniche. Manchester City fans will be in their element in the eponymous merchandise store. Designer junkies will revel in the likes of Louis Vuitton, Burberry, Chanel, Gucci and Tiffany & Co too.
Marina Mall, Breakwater, 18 Street, Abu Dhabi, UAE; +971 (0)2 681 8300
You’ll mostly find low and mid-range shopping at Mushrif shopping mall (think Matalan, New Look, Clarke’s) however there are a couple of higher end options (think Nine West) in here as well. It’s a top place to shop if you’re looking to explore traditional Arabic fabrics, Middle Eastern brands, perfumes and oud. It’s family-friendly (there’s a children’s entertainment area) and there’s plenty in the way of grab-and-go eateries (think Subway and Dunkin’ Donuts) too.
Mushrif Mall, Airport Road, Al Mushrif, Abu Dhabi, UAE; +971 (0)2 690 4444
Possibly one of the most sophisticated shopping malls in Abu Dhabi, The Galleria on Al Maryah Island has a firm focus on luxury. Discerning travellers will find fine jewellery makers, luxury children’s retailers and designer fashion brands such as Alexander McQueen and Lanvin all underneath one – stylishly curved – roof. Many visitors come for the selection of top restaurants (including Coya and Zuma), its cultural festivals and five-star hotels – The Rosewood and Four Seasons – which are all nearby.
The Galleria, Al Falah Street, Al Maryah Island, Abu Dhabi, UAE; +971 (0)2 616 6999
Al Maryah Central
There’s a new shopping destiantion about to join The Galleria on Al Maryah Island. And once it’s complete in 2018, Al Maryah Central will up the number of retail outlets and attractions to 500 shops, 21 cinema screens, five parks and 100 places to eat and drink. What has many fashionistas excited is the news that Al Maryah Central will feature the first Macy’s outside of the USA and first Bloomingdale’s in Abu Dhabi. When they finally cut the red ribbon, will it be one of Abu Dhabi’s best shopping malls? We’ll have to wait and see.
Al Maryah Central, Al Falah Street, Al Maryah Island, Abu Dhabi, UAE; +971 (0)2 671 6060
A short work from the Corniche Beach, this typical Arabic-style mall is one of Abu Dhabi’s largest. It offers everything from apparel and cosmetics to toy shops and stationary stores. For dining options, you’ll find plenty of cafes and restaurants conveniently placed together in the food court. Entertainment-wise, there’s a multi-screen cinema, children’s amusement centre, ice rink and bowling alley – a welcome respite when it’s sweltering outside.
Khalidiyah Mall, 26th Street, Al Khalidiyah, Abu Dhabi, UAE; +971 (2) 635 4000
More than 350 brands can be found in this centrally-located shopping mall. And within that you’ll find popular high street favourites (think Mango, Gap, American Eagle). Plus shoe shops, tech and gadgets and a few traditional Arabic stores. The mall offers 50 food and drink options providing plenty of opportunities to down the shopping bags and refuel (which you’ll probably need to, there are five floors to contend with). Youngsters can also keep busy in the onsite fun-filled Wanasa Land.
Al Wahda Mall, Abu Dhabi, UAE; +971 (0)2 443 7000
Al Ain Mall
If you happen to be taking a day trip to the Unesco-recognised Al Ain oasis, your go-to stop for some retail therapy is this recently-extended mall in the Al Kuwaitat district.
Peruse 350 shops which include well-known high street brands H&M and MEXX, as well as renowned retailers such as Swarovski and Samsonite. Non-shoppers can make use of a whole host of entertainment options including an ice-rink, bowling and cinema alongside 60-plus bars and restaurants.
Al Ain Mall, Kuwaitat Area, Al Ain, UAE; +971 3766 0333