If you want to live or visit where all the action is, look no further than one of the liveliest neighbourhoods in the city; Downtown Dubai. Rated as a tourists’ delight, a renter’s dream and an investor’s paradise, the district is home to some of Dubai’s best shopping, dining and entertainment venues.
Let’s look at some of the most exciting things to do in Downtown Dubai.
STAYING IN DOWNTOWN DUBAI
The crown jewel in master-developer Emaar’s unique portfolio, Downtown Dubai is the epitome of luxury living. From towering skyscrapers and award-winning international hotels to quaint, old-fashioned homes, the property repertoire of Downtown Dubai rivals that of the world’s most fabulous locations.
Tourists who want to go all out and experience the pinnacle of Arabian hospitality can try one of the glitzy hotels in Downtown Dubai. Vacationing at the chic Armani Hotel Dubai in Burj Khalifa or staying at the Address Hotel is bound to be an unforgettable experience.
If you plan on extending your stay for a little longer, there are some fantastic hotel apartments in Downtown Dubai offering spectacular views of the Dubai Skyline.
Dubai residents interested in moving into the area will be delighted to know that it ranks it as one of the popular choices for finding luxury apartments for rent in the emirate, according to Bayut & dubizzle’s H1 rental market report 2022 for Dubai
THE MANY ATTRACTIONS OF DOWNTOWN DUBAI
If any area in Dubai deserves the tag of ‘happening’, it has to be Downtown Dubai. It’s quite literally buzzing with must-visit attractions for people of all ages. Because you will find an almost dizzying number of things to do in Downtown Dubai, it won’t be far-fetched to say that you can’t walk two steps without being in proximity to some world-famous structure. These landmarks in themselves are reason enough to stay in Downtown Dubai, especially if you are a tourist.
EXPERIENCE THE MAGNIFICENCE OF THE BURJ KHALIFA
Dubai is home to some of the tallest buildings in the world and Burj Khalifa is the king of them all! Perhaps one of the most famous testaments to Dubai’s architectural marvels, Downtown Dubai’s Burj Khalifa is the world’s tallest building, standing almost 830 metres above ground level!
For tourists, a trip to this commendable feat of engineering prowess is definitely one of the things to do in Downtown Dubai that they shouldn’t miss out on. There is so much to do when visiting Burj Khalifa.
Most things to do in 24 hours in Dubai itineraries feature an “At the Top” experience, where you can take in the panoramic views of the city. If you are planning a visit, check out the handy guide to At The Top, Burj Khalifa and make a list of all things you want to do there.
You can also add having tea at the uber-luxurious Atmosphere cafe to really soak in the sensational views. Head to the Burj Club in the tower to find a state-of-the-art gym, spa, Olympic-sized swimming pool and a restaurant.
SHOP, DINE, PLAY AND MORE AT THE DUBAI MALL
Dubai is definitely a shopper’s paradise with plenty of malls. But no shopping destination in Dubai, or even the world, can beat the fantastic offerings of The Dubai Mall.
Stocked with everything from luxury brands like Prada and Louis Vuitton to high street favourites like Next and M&S and even hobby and craft stores, you can literally buy anything under the sun at the Dubai Mall.
It’s not just shopping that this mall offers. There are hundreds of dining outlets for those visiting Downtown Dubai. Not to mention, there’s the state-of-the-art Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo and an Olympic-sized ice rink aptly named the Dubai Ice Rink.
Aside from attractions, Emaar, the developers behind the project, are always on the lookout for new attractions to add to the splendour of the Dubai Mall. The family-friendly venue has a multi-screen cinema, a huge children’s play zone called Kidzania and an arcade called the Sega Republic.
The VR Park (a new virtual reality experience) is yet another place in Dubai that features some wonderful family-friendly activities.
Another quite simple but fun activity for kids is the Downtown Slide at Burj Plaza. The 7m high, 19m long slide has been quite a hit ever since it opened to the public.
TREAT YOURSELF TO THEATRE AT THE DUBAI OPERA
Living up to its reputation as one of the city’s classiest neighbourhoods, Downtown Dubai is home to the famous Dubai Opera, which boasts performances by renowned artists throughout the year.
Featuring world-famous musicals — including Phantom of the Opera, Cats and Les Miserables, ballet, contemporary rock, pop and local musicians — there is something to suit every musical taste. The architecture alone is worth admiring.
You can also pop on over to Sean Connolly at Dubai Opera — the venue’s super cool rooftop restaurant — for pre and post-performance beverages and dinner.
A visit can be among the exclusive and memorable things to do in Downtown Dubai.
WATCH THE MAGICAL DANCE OF THE DUBAI FOUNTAINS
At the centre of the Downtown Dubai development is a beautiful artificial lake, undulating through the glittering lanes of the area. Set on this lake is the world’s second-largest choreographed fountain, the Dubai Fountain, designed to shoot jets of illuminated water to Arabic and international music tunes. You can view the mesmerising sights while riding on a traditional boat or Abra.
There’s nothing quite as magical as walking along the promenade of the lake and gazing at the dancing fountains. This is one of the few attractions in Downtown Dubai that is absolutely free! You can even enjoy the shows while dining at one of the waterfront restaurants with Dubai Fountain views.
GET A TASTE OF OLD DUBAI AT SOUK AL BAHAR AND OLD TOWN
Downtown Dubai gives you the best of Dubai’s futuristic vision and architectural ingenuity. It also offers a glimpse into the traditional designs that dominated the region through the beautiful properties of Old Town and centuries-old souks in Souk Al Bahar. The earthy tones of the interiors are reminiscent of the traditional buildings of the emirate.
There are some amazing restaurants in Souk Al Bahar. So, don’t forget to add it to your list of things to do in Downtown Dubai and experience nostalgia while standing in the centre of Dubai.
WALK AROUND THE MOHAMMED BIN RASHID BOULEVARD
Downtown Dubai is one of the few places in the city where you can experience a purely pedestrian lifestyle. Exploring The Boulevard is one of the popular activities in Downtown Dubai.
Its home to several restaurants, cafes and boutiques and is one of the best places to walk. Notable restaurants in Downtown Dubai on Mohammad Bin Rashid Boulevard include Mori Sushi, Reem Al Bawadi and Barbecue Delights.
If you get a little weary after exploring the area, hop onto the Dubai Trolley, a fleet of double-deck heritage-style open-top trams.
If you feel like getting a little active, there are lots of fun things to do at Burj Park.
FOOD, DRINKS AND MORE
Dubai residents are quite lucky when it comes to eateries and nightclubs. Well, there is no shortage of incredible fine dining restaurants in Downtown Dubai. Similarly, there are some amazing bars and nightclubs in Downtown Dubai.
For a relaxed night out with friends, how about hitting one of your favourite shisha cafes in Downtown Dubai? With many touristy places in the area, there is always a need for a coffee or a snack. Visit any of these cafes in Downtown Dubai and you shall not be disappointed.
CAN I FIND PUBLIC TRANSPORT IN DOWNTOWN DUBAI?
One of the reasons people love Downtown Dubai is the availability of public transport. The Dubai Metro is a great option for those relying on public transport and the numerous taxis in the area are helpful for those looking to get to their destinations quickly.
IS LIVING IN DOWNTOWN DUBAI A GOOD MOVE?
Well, Downtown is one of Dubai’s busiest and trendiest districts. However, it is best to do your research and weigh up the pros and cons of living in Downtown Dubai before making a final decision.
WHICH ARE THE BEST BUILDINGS TO BUY OR RENT APARTMENTS IN DOWNTOWN DUBAI?
If you are interested in buying a flat, keep an eye out for options in the popular buildings to buy apartments in Downtown Dubai.
Looking to live as a tenant instead? The top towers for renting apartments in Downtown Dubai may have some good property options for you.
Downtown Dubai is full of interesting attractions, restaurants and shops, making it ideal for tourists and long-term residents. You certainly won’t want for things to do in this much-loved district of the city.
Another popular area that matches the stature and lifestyle of Downtown Dubai is Dubai Marina. If you are deciding which of these areas to live in, our Downtown Dubai vs Dubai Marina guide can help.