Dubai has just about perfected the art of the mall, which is the de facto ‘town plaza’: the place to go with the family, hang out with friends and be entertained. Dubai malls have ski slopes, ice rinks and aquariums. They look like ancient Persia, futuristic movie sets or a little bit of Disneyland, surrounded by desert. The first rule is to realise that, as far as shopping malls are concerned, there are no rules in Dubai. Just arrive without preconceived ideas and be prepared for sights and experiences that go way beyond mere retail therapy. In Dubai, shopping malls represent an integral part of the culture and lifestyle; they are places not just for conspicuous consumption but for extravagant entertainment and world-class dining, theme parks and extraordinary architecture. In summer, malls are where everyone retreats to escape the heat, socialise, clinch deals and puff on sheesha pipes.