After visiting the Last Exit, we decided to check a recently opened shopping destination since it is few kilometers drive away then. While shopping was not on the agenda, it would be clever to burn some calories injected by the paella and burger while taking a peek at this newest ‘village’ in the UAE. The architecture did not disappoint; it is not hyped because it is indeed stunning particularly if you are seeing it in person. While I am yet to set foot in Italy next year, the plenty of movie orientation and social media spreads made it easily identifiable as Tuscan-inspired.
Shop no. 82 is yet to open; however, it has been photographed more than a hundred times already.
Fresh buko (coconut) juice for sale
The Outlet Village was launched in early September of 2016. Hence, it is understandable that several shops are not open yet.
Here is a food truck which you can find in Last Exit as well. It is not surprising that carts and food trucks are integrated in this shopping destination. After all, The Outlet Village and Last Exit are under the same property management, Meraas.
In this piazza, you will find restaurants such as Urban Streetfood (where we tried the seafood paella in Last Exit) and Operation Falafel, both not on truck this time. While it might seem that there is a redundancy of service providers since they are both in the Jebel Ali area, it is, however, quite strategic. It is healthy to presume that there might be those who do not fancy the food truck concept or open area in Last Exit (particularly during the brutal months of summer) or those who simply want to have a one go for shopping and meal grabbing at the same place. Also opened are PF Chang’s, Godiva, Cafe Nero, The Brass and gelato corners. I look forward to the opening of Barilla restaurant.
Turkish ice cream is always a good idea. The ice cream masters are popular for their gimmicks (singing, yelling, ice cream acrobats) to draw attention and ultimately increase the sales.
Here are important points though:
- Do not expect to find items to have been marked down the same way at the outlets in the US and other countries. For example, bags from Coach and Michael Kors are still priced higher by more than 50% than those in US outlets.
- Take note that some items which are deemed to have been ‘discounted’ are of much older models/styles.
- The stores are surprisingly small. (Points of comparison: Dubai Mall, Yas Mall, Mall of Emirates. It would be unwise to benchmark it with outlets in other countries.)
- In a nutshell, if you intend on visiting the US or other outlets in other countries, it is better to wait a little and let your dirhams/hard earned money serve you better and reach higher spending power. (Consider, too, the tax refunds you can get from the country(ies) you are planning to visit.) If you are not traveling then, it might be relatively reasonable to shop at The Outlet Village if you want to take advantage of the mark down or simply you are a ‘want-to-get-that-designer-item-regardless’ type.
- Sports shops are not yet open. You may check from the store locator those which are already operational.
- It is quite a new concept as a shopping area, i.e. mainly due to Italian inspired architecture.
- It is spacious.
- Parking is a breeze.
- For the tourists, it is near to Al Maktoum Airport (hey, that is different from the Dubai International Airport)
- For a change, particularly on those days that you would like to avoid the monotony and crowd in other malls in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
- For those who would like to have purchases with relatively reasonable discount. For caveats, refer to the preceding paragraph.
I presume that it would be easier to attract visitors once the nearby attractions such as Legoland, Bollywood Parks and Motiongate (Hollywood inspired attraction) in Dubai Parks and Resorts are launched.
The Outlet Village is open from 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM (Sunday to Wednesday) and until midnight (from Thursday to Saturday). It is at Jebel Ali (adjacent to Dubai Parks and Resorts). Link to website; Landline: +971 (0)4 317 3999; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
How to get there:
- From Abu Dhabi, take E11 road and exit to D57 and drive through Dubai Parks and Resorts. The Outlet Village is within the same area.
- See directions from Dubai