The weather in Dubai is characterized by high to scorching temperatures for at least 6 months in a year. When heat permits it, activities falling under classic tourism can be carried out. Actually it is quite pleasant to swim at various beaches around Dubai, visit parks or gardens, stroll down the promenades in Marina and elsewhere, ride an open-air bus or shop at the picturesque souks. For the other half of the year though there was a real problem which necessitated the creation of enclosed air-conditioned spaces, where people can shop, dine and entertain themselves.
Dubai started by building small to medium-sized shopping centres in selected neighbourhoods around the city. These neighbourhoodcentres quickly gained popularity among the people of Dubai and their number skyrocketed, approaching 100 in Dubai alone. As tourism took off and tourists started arriving in Dubai by the hundreds of thousands, these centres became too small to accommodate all the people and this resulted in the construction of the next generation of malls, like Dubai Mall (the largest in the world by total area), The Mall of the Emirates and Dubai Marina Mall. New constructions came on line recently that combine shopping, dining and entertainment activities. City Walk, The Beach, Outlet Village and Box Park fall in this category and are worth mentioning.
Along with the shopping centres and malls, another type of centres made its appearance in Dubai, devoted exclusively to gastronomic pleasures. Places like the Irish and Century Villages, Riverland and Pier 7, have brought together a number of restaurants, cafes and other eateries that cater to every taste, budget and ethnic food preference.
Malls, shopping centres and restaurant complexes have become an integral part of life in Dubai and visiting these places is an absolute must for every self-respecting tourist.