There are a lot of reasons why I love living in the UAE: the year-round sunshine, the outdoor lifestyle, the cosmopolitan culture. But one thing that Dubai in particular inspires you to do - especially if you love to shop - is spend!
I have travelled all over the world, and few places can compete with Dubai when it comes to retail therapy. It’s a city that’s synonymous with luxury, and I know that no matter which high-end label my heart desires, I’ll probably be able to find it in at least one of its malls.
I came across a report from Mastercard that showed that international visitors staying in the emirate spend the most of any city in the world. Shopping was almost top of the list of their expenses. I must admit it’s a bit of a relief to know I’m in good company as I rather nervously open my monthly credit card statement after a trip to The Dubai Mall.
Dubai is often mentioned as the city with the greatest presence of brands. Every high end label lists the city alongside addresses in London, Paris and New York. It even has its own fashion week and Vogue Fashion Dubai Experience, a style extravaganza attended by the likes of Christian Louboutin, Peter Dundas, Eva Herzigova and Naomi Campbell.
The city’s home to the world’s best labels is of course Fashion Avenue at The Dubai Mall. Its landmark boutiques include Miu Miu, Dolce & Gabbana, Hermès and Cartier; while Armani Cafe, Angelina and the newly opened Pasticceria Cova, an iconic Milanese import, provide some of Dubai’s most stylish mall haunts.
The new mall extension has added an incredible 150 additional brands to Fashion Avenue, which further asserts its status as having the most enviable brands under one roof. It is a magnet for Arabic, Chinese and Russian shoppers in particular, although every visitor enjoys browsing the boutiques and eyeing out the faux catwalk which often comes to life with events such as Vogue Fashion Dubai Experience.
One of the biggest attractions in Fashion Avenue has got to be the new Gucci store which stretches 1,000 square metres over three floors of luxury. You can find many of the most sought after Gucci designs, from menswear and womenswear to silks, leathers and jewellery. Especially impressive are the VIP client rooms. If you want something really special, you can even get your purchase customised in store - and it’s the only place in the region that offers this.
But it doesn’t end there! Now visitors can truly embrace the city’s fashionable vibe by checking into the new Address Boulevard, positioned as a city lifestyle resort. For those planning to spend most of their time around The Dubai Mall, this will be a great option. It links to the new Fashion Avenue, so a stay here is basically the next best thing to moving in. Plus, it has a spectacular location, right next to Burj Khalifa and close to all the sights and attractions of Downtown Dubai.
I had to check-in to see it for myself and it is just as chic as you’d expect. Each of the rooms and suites has been designed with a contemporary, elegant aesthetic. It’s obvious that a lot of thought and care has been put into creating a space that lives up to its fashionable address.
Louise S. is an Abu Dhabi resident and writer with a keen interest in fashion