Boots Ibn Battuta Mall
No high street in the UK is complete without the iconic blue and white Boots sign. It is an indispensable dispenser of everything from seasickness pills and sun cream to toothpaste and low fat tuna sandwiches. Now – after many months of anticipation, hammering and drilling – Boots has flung open the doors of its (surprisingly small) flagship store in Dubai. A wall filled with perfumes and aftershaves takes pride of place along one side, with pills and potions being distributed at a tiny pharmacy on the other.
Fans of the British store will no doubt be buying Boots’ affordable own-brand products (including No7 make-up, Soltan sun protection, and the Natural Collection of toiletries), as well as snapping up the special offers on big name products (from John Frieda and Toni & Guy, as well as Estée Lauder and Lancôme). The staff seemed a bit wary of question-asking customers a few days into the opening, but were friendly enough and enthusiastic, if not at all knowledgeable. But, disappointingly, there were no sandwiches, or any other food products for that matter, in sight.
While Boots is unlikely to fascinate or amaze anybody with its Ibn Battuta branch, this is perhaps the British giant’s attraction – appealing to long-time fans who will undoubtedly flock here with Pavlovian dedication. Michelle Byrne.
Boots (04 368 5931), Ibn Battuta Mall. Open daily 10am-12 midnight.