ABOUT DOWNTOWN DUBAI
Downtown Dubai (or simply, Downtown) is easily one of Dubai’s most iconic neighbourhoods thanks to the towering Burj Khalifa, dancing fountains and the gigantic Dubai Mall. It’s known for being the centre of luxury living and lifestyle in Dubai, consistently attracting residents and tourists alike…each and every day. This area guide of Downtown Dubai explores the many facets of living in Downtown Dubai, including average rents, places to shop, parks, schools, hospitals and more.
IN A NUTSHELL
- Home to the tallest building in the world, Burj Khalifa
- Hosts several parades and festivals through the year
- Lives up to its tagline of being, ‘the centre of now’
- Apartments are perfectly suited for high flying professionals and young families
- Offers a complete community experience despite being in a tourism hub
- Properties boast an impressive array of world-class amenities
Downtown Dubai is one of master developer Emaar’s crowning glories, a seamlessly connected multi-purpose neighbourhood that attracts attention from across the world. There is a mix of luxurious apartments in Downtown Dubai along with stylish penthouses and a few villas that can be found on the podium level of some of the towers.
Properties in Downtown Dubai
The apartments in Downtown Dubai come in a range of different designs and configurations, depending on the building, they range from studios to 4-bedrooms for rent. However, upcoming and currently off-plan buildings in Downtown Dubai will also offer investors and future tenants the option of 5-bedroom flats. As is common with all major developments, the actual style of each individual tower varies – from the low-rise Middle Eastern souq-inspired apartment blocks in Old Town to more contemporary towering skyscrapers.
Downtown Dubai has residents who are new to Dubai and those who have been living here for decades. Due to its status and global appeal, the people living in Downtown Dubai, come from all over the world, including right here in the UAE. Asian, Arab and western expats have come to call the area home. The majority of these expats are young, high-flying professionals, couples or small families, people who work hard and seek to live in a locale where they can enjoy the fruits of their labour.
Transportation and Parking Spaces in Downtown Dubai
The majority, if not all, of the residential apartments in Downtown Dubai, come with parking spaces, while visitors can make use of the paid parking bays dotted around the area or the underground parking along Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard.
For those without a car, however, it’s still easy to get around. Apart from the numerous registered taxis that ply the area, a few public bus stops on the F13 route are available to those relying on public transportation in Downtown Dubai. In addition, there is also the Dubai Mall metro in Downtown Dubai, which is a popular choice to get around the rest of the emirate. The Dubai Trolley also travels along Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard. It is the world’s first hydrogen-powered trolley, it transports people to and from various hot spots in the area. However, due to its vibrant, ‘never stop’ vibe, the neighbourhood has been designed to be pedestrian-friendly.
AMENITIES, SCHOOLS AND HEALTHCARE
Supermarkets in Downtown Dubai
Apart from Waitrose in the Dubai Mall, there are several other supermarkets in Downtown Dubai dotted around the neighbourhood, such as Spinneys and Al Maya, while other smaller groceries and corner shops in towers further away from the mall often offer home delivery as well.
Churches, temples and mosques in Downtown Dubai
To cater to the spiritual needs of residents, there are quite a few mosques in Downtown Dubai, while residents who practice other faiths are taken care of at temples and churches that are about a 15 to 20-minute drive from the area. For Christian residents, there is St. Mary's Catholic Church in Oud Mehta. Hindu residents can head to the temples nearby in Bur Dubai.
Schools in Downtown Dubai
Families with younger children are well taken care of academically thanks to nurseries in Downtown Dubai. However, there are several well-respected schools for older children in nearby Jumeirah and Nad Al Sheba, offering different curricula and a plethora of extra-curricular activities. These schools are also a short car or school bus ride away.
Those looking to attend university will also find the area to be suitably located to both education hubs. It is a 20-minute drive to both Knowledge Village and Dubai International Academic City.
Clinics and hospitals in Downtown Dubai
In terms of access to medical attention, Downtown Dubai is well connected. Dubai Mall is home to a state-of-the-art branch of Mediclinic, there is also the Emirates Hospital in neighbouring Business Bay. Pharmacies are also easily accessible since they are present at convenient intervals around the community.
TOP 5 BUILDINGS IN DOWNTOWN DUBAI
When it comes to the popular apartments in Downtown Dubai, it’s no surprise that the Burj Khalifa take the first spot! 1-bedroom apartments in the skyscraper rent from AED 130k per year, while families who need more space can expect to shell out AED 300k per year for a 3-bedroom flat (or purchase this type of apartment for AED 4M). Naturally, the perks of living in the world’s tallest and arguably most luxurious buildings also mean that residents (and investors) are getting a lot for their buck! Apart from the indisputable prestige factor, residents enjoy state of the art recreational and lifestyle facilities that help Burj Khalifa live up to its reputation of being a ‘vertical city’.
On the more affordable end of the spectrum is the fifth most sought-after tower in Downtown Dubai, South Ridge Towers. A 2-bedroom flat here would rent out from about AED 135k a year while if you were interested in purchasing a 2-bedroom apartment in South Ridge Towers, prices start from AED 1.9M.
Downtown is the unofficial heart of the city, connected to both old and new Dubai. Geographically, it sits just off Sheikh Zayed Road, between the business hubs of Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) and Business Bay. To the east, Nad Al Sheba (home to the Meydan Racecourse) is a quick drive, while Jumeirah 1 is to the west of the neighbourhood, towards the sea.
SHOPPING, DINING AND NIGHTLIFE
You don’t have to be a tourist to feel the magnetic attraction of Downtown Dubai!
Malls in Downtown Dubai
The mammoth Dubai Mall in Downtown Dubai is home to international, regional and local brands that encompass everything from fashion to literature, technology and more, from the wallet-friendly to the budget-busting. Another, upscale shopping experience can be found in the relatively relaxed Souk Al Bahar that has more curated and specialised shops.
Restaurants in Downtown Dubai
Another huge part of the Downtown Dubai lifestyle is the food and social scene. In addition to the scores of well-known cafes and restaurants in Downtown Dubai (serving everything from nitrogen-frozen ice cream to succulent, mouth-watering steaks, once again at all price points), the hotels in and around the area, including Souk Al Bahar dish up some fantastic restaurants, offbeat eateries as well as some of Dubai’s trendiest bars. It’s a phrase often used, but this neighbourhood really has something for everyone…you’d be hard-pressed to find a reason to leave!
Beaches near Downtown Dubai
Since it is located on the eastern side of Sheikh Zayed Road (i.e. inland), residents will unfortunately not be able to walk to the beach. However, thanks to well-planned overpasses, reaching the beach is just a short 15 to 20-minute drive. Those who love the water but can’t quite wait that long just need to head to their community swimming pool – a feature of the majority of towers in Downtown.
LEISURE ACTIVITIES & NOTABLE LANDMARKS
You would be hard pressed to run out of things to do in Downtown! The areas busy vibe is certainly one of the biggest advantages of renting in Downtown Dubai. There is a cinema, theme park, arcade, ice rink and a multitude of children’s entertainment venues in Dubai Mall alone. Then there is also the Dubai Opera in the district, it has been hosting international and high-quality shows, concerts and events since its inception. Also, a part of the cultural offerings in Downtown it the outdoor gallery featuring local artists. Strolling through the tree-lined Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard and you will find quirky and eclectic installations every so often, as well as a slide beloved by big and little kids alike.
OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES, FITNESS & BEAUTY
Pet-lovers who are not sure that Downtown will welcome them can rest easy. The relaxed Burj Park is pet-friendly, perfect for walks and general play time. Burj Park is also a hit with fitness fans who can often be seen running or jogging against the iconic Downtown backdrop. The pet-friendly nature of the area is one of the biggest benefits of living in Downtown Dubai.
For some more outdoorsy fitness options in Downtown Dubai, there is a bicycle rental system – simply pick up a cycle from one station and ride it to the next. For a more formal exercise regime, residents often visit the well-equipped communal gyms available to them or visit studios such as the Fitness First Platinum, Fitness 360 or the ever-popular Flywheel Studio.
As can be expected for such an upscale neighbourhood, a number of upmarket spas and salons can be found in Dubai Mall and the surrounding areas, such as the cult favourite, Anastasia Beverly Hills. Some of these also offer medical spa services.
One of the most well-known and anticipated events of the year, the countdown to the new year, happens in Downtown Dubai. Best known for awe-inspiring fireworks, photographs and videos from the event are immediately broadcast around the world, while people travel from far and wide to be there in person. Some of the other events in Downtown Dubai that consistently draw crowds include motorcades of classic cars as well as parades for the UAE National Day – there’s never a dull moment. In fact, even if you just feel like being entertained for a few minutes, those living in Downtown Dubai can stroll over to the Dubai Fountains and take in the breathtaking engineering marvel that is the fountains, effortlessly moving against a riot of sound and light.
Additionally, Downtown also has its fair share of community-focused events, such as free outdoor film screenings, concerts, food and craft markets that support local brands, while individual towers often host events through the year just for tenants.
THINGS TO CONSIDER
Even with its many benefits, there are a few things to consider before moving to Downtown Dubai. It is one of Dubai's most sought-after neighbourhoods! However, thanks to its many attractions, it is also a hot tourist destination, meaning that the area can get a bit congested during peak seasons.
- As the unofficial (but widely accepted) city centre, Downtown is one of the most important locations in Dubai.
- It is located mere minutes from two business hubs (DIFC and Business Bay)
- 18 minutes from the Dubai International Airport.
- Downtown is just minutes from two of the city’s major highways – Sheikh Zayed Road (which links the seven emirates) and Al Khail Road.
- It is also just a 20-minute drive to the Dubai Marina – perfect if you love watersports!