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Top 10 Huge Facts About The Dubai Mall

What better place to build an enormous mall than near the base of the tallest building in the world, right?

This monster of a shopping center takes up quite a bit of space in the heart of one of the most bustling cities in the world, Dubai.

In this article, you’ll discover some of the most interesting facts about the Dubai Mall, a structure that holds a couple of amazing records.

1. It’s one of the main features of the Downtown Dubai project

Everything in Dubai appears to be built to impress the millions of visitors who arrive in the city in the United Arab Emirates every year. This means that the city’s main shopping mall is no different.

The Dubai Mall is part of a project that cost a whopping $20 billion and that was originally referred to as “Downtown Burj Dubai.” This is now simply referred to as “Downtown Dubai.”

Other features of this astounding mix-use development project are the Dubai Fountain and the tallest building in the world at the moment, Burj Khalifa.

This also means that it’s located right next to these 2 astounding landmarks in the heart of Downtown Dubai.

Dubai Mall facts
The area near the mall / Wiki Commons

2. It’s not the largest mall in the world by floor area, but does hold a record

The total floor area of the building is 502,000 square meters (5,400,000 square feet) and it has a total leasable area of 343,741 square meters (3.77 square feet).

Even though these are astounding figures, it also means that it’s only the 26th-largest mall in the world by gross leasable area, quite remarkable since it features over 1,200 stores.

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It does hold an incredible record, though, because it’s the largest shopping mall in the world by land area. The entire building covers an area of 1,207,739 square meters (13 million square feet).

Granted, this number does include adjoining structures such as a hotel with 250 luxury rooms and 3 parking lots that have spaces for 14,000 vehicles.

Dubai Mall from Burj Khalifa
The mall as seen from Burj Khalifa / Edgar El /

3. It had one of the biggest openings in history in 2008

The Dubai Mall opened its doors just before Burj Khalifa topped out in 2009 and over a year before the tallest building in the world officially opened.

The official opening of this enormous shopping paradise happened on November 4, 2008, and what an opening it was!

The mall welcomed its first visitors with over 1,000 stores open for business, the second-largest in history after the West Edmonton Mall in Canada which opened way back in 1981.

Thousands of people visited the mall on opening day and they were followed by millions more the next year. The total visitor count in 2009 was 37 million, quite staggering figures.

Dubai Mall gold section
The gold section at the mall / Diego Delso /

4. It claims to be the most-visited building in the world

The popularity of the mall didn’t stop there because there was an increase in visitor count just about every single year the following decade.

The top year was clearly 2015 when the mall attracted over 92 million visitors. This slightly declined to 84 million visitors in 2019.

This still means that the visitor count has more than doubled since its opening the first year, an amazing record.

Even though this statement is hard to verify, Emaar Properties, the owner of the Dubai Mall, claimed several times that it was the most-visited entertainment structure on the planet in the past decade.

5. The mall features a wide variety of attractions other than stores

One of the main reasons why the visit count continued to rise is because it offers a whole lot more than mere stores for shoppers. It’s a complete entertainment complex for the entire family and features:

  • Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo – The aquarium features over 300 species of marine animals.
  • VR Park Dubai – An amusement park that features 15 rides and a wide variety of amusement games.
  • Kidzania – An amusement park focusing on smaller children.
  • REEL Cinemas – One of the largest cinema complexes in the country with 17 halls.
  • Hysteria – A haunted house featuring a number of special effects.
Dubai Mall grand atrium
The grand atrium / Håkan Dahlström /

More interesting facts about the Dubai Mall

6. Even though the mall opened its doors before the completion of Burj Khalifa, it was originally set to be completed 2 years earlier in 2006.

The opening date was set back twice and eventually opened being advertised as being the size of “50 football (soccer) pitches“.

7. The mall holds another incredible record as it’s home to the largest acrylic panel in the world, used in the mall’s aquarium.

This enormous panel has dimensions of 32.88 x 8.3 meters (107.87 x 27.23 feet). It also has a thickness of 7.5 centimeters (2.95 inches) and weighs 245 tonnes.

Dubai Mall aquariusm and screen
Aquarium inside the mall / Frank Seiplax /

8. To make things even more impressive, the largest OLED screen in the world was installed right above the largest acrylic panel.

This screen covers an area of 709.69 square meters (7,639.03 square feet) and is equipped with a resolution of 1,700,352,000 pixels, making it both the largest and highest resolution video wall in the world as well.

9. If you want to enjoy a relaxing drink or lunch inside the mall then you can visit the “Rainforest Cafe,” a jungle-themed restaurant.

This facility simulates the conditions inside a real jungle using light shows and other special effects, quite a remarkable experience inside a hyper-modern mall.

10. One of the halls inside the mall features the authentic remains of a dinosaur. This fossil is of the so-called Diplodocus, a huge prehistoric creature with a long neck.

It’s hard not to be amazed by this remarkable exhibit inside the mall because it stands 7 meters (23 feet) tall and has a length of 24 meters (78.74 feet).

Dubai Mall dinosaur
Our long-necked friend / Misteruae /