We all know Downtown Dubai as being home to the incredible Dubai Mall – filled with cafes, restaurants, shops, entertainment outlets, more shops and so on. But did you know that there’s so much more to this small yet uber-prestigious neighbourhood than just spectacular fireworks and world-class shopping? Read on to find out about some of the new things to do in Downtown Dubai, from dining to recreation, soul-searching to relaxation.
Have you ever wondered what it would feel like to bungee off the Burj Khalifa? To defend a swamp armed with nothing but (VR) guns and your best friend? What about surviving a zombie outbreak? Well, you’re in luck! The Dubai VR Park has all these virtual reality experiences and more, transporting you to crazy, heart-racing situations and challenges as well as incredibly detailed virtual cities from across the world. In fact, one of the offerings from this latest attraction in Downtown Dubai will even take you to outer space. The newly opened VR park in Dubai is a fantastic way to immerse yourself in this fascinating and ultra-realistic technology. If you’re not ready to take the (virtual) plunge just yet, head on over to have a look through the park – entrance is free and you’re sure to find something for the entire family to enjoy!
Location: Level 2, The Dubai Mall
Prices start at AED 15
This one is for all the kids out there – big and small! After all, no matter how old you get, there will always be something wonderful about a good-old fashioned slide. A unique little project from the brains at Emaar, the Downtown Slide is 7m high, 19m long and is a quick, easy and fun way to traverse the stairs that can be found by the Burj Plaza. Thanks to the innovative way the slide has been engineered, it stays cool (even at the peak of summer) and since it’s one of the fun activities in Downtown Dubai for kids and adults to enjoy together – there’s no excuse to not give it a go.
Location: Burj Plaza
The Downtown Slide is free for all!
Dubai Fountain Lake ride
The Dubai Fountain is the stuff of legend. Where else would people applaud a body of water on a daily basis?! And what better way to view the truly dazzling, largest fountain show in the world, than by hopping on an abra (traditional wooden water taxi) and seeing it from a totally new perspective? The Dubai Fountain abra experience is one of the new things to do in Downtown Dubai that will redefine the way you view the famed fountains. It takes you past the beautiful Souk Al Bahar, affording you gorgeous views of the Dubai Mall and Burj Khalifa before the big show! Instead of an abra, you can also buy tickets to check out the fountains from their very own bridge. It’s a must-visit attraction in Downtown Dubai!
Location: Waterfront Promenade
Tickets start at AED 20
Outdoor Art Gallery
Dubai has long been committed to arts and culture – and to bring that art to as many members of the public as possible. This is evidenced by the number of diverse sculptures seen along Mohammed bin Rashid Boulevard in Downtown Dubai – ranging from the chess-like Together sculpture by Lutfi Romhein, a stylised Arab man and woman, to friendly looking banana-duck sculptures that have captivated the city. There are also new pieces being added all the time – one of the most recent ones include Wave-Field, a musical see-saw that comes to life when you use it.
Location: Downtown Dubai
Completely free to view and experience
The Burj CLub
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to be a member of The Burj Club to visit! The world’s tallest building is naturally home to a state of the art gym, Olympic-sized swimming pool, spa and restaurant, offering you gorgeous views of everything in the city – in fact, it’s probably the only rooftop bar in the area that doesn’t talk about its “Burj Khalifa views”! Visitors can obtain day passes for the pool, spa sessions and a surprisingly reasonably-priced, family-friendly brunch package, and head on up to enjoy unparalleled views of the city and beyond, complemented by service befitting the world’s tallest luxurious tower. However, remember that you can’t just drop in – entrance to the Burj Club is dependent on you holding a reservation.
Location: Burj Khalifa
Prices vary depending on the spa, gym and cafe
There’s no shortage of mouthwatering cafes and restaurants in Downtown Dubai. While it’s hard to choose just one to visit, Kohantei is definitely one that’s been catching the foodies’ eyes. This restaurant can be found in the lavish surroundings of the upscale Dubai Opera House and stays true to the kaiseki concept of Japanese dining – namely delicious and delicate food eaten in a humble environment. So expect to take your shoes off and have your servers kneel down. And it’s best to book in advance, this tiny restaurant in Downtown Dubai only has space for 28 – and 8 tables. It’s one of the must-try concept restaurants in Dubai that’s rapidly gaining a reputation for culinary excellence.
Location: Dubai Opera
Downtown Dubai is one of those places that constantly reinvents itself, presenting newer, better venues to satisfy the discerning folks frequenting the district. Every month there are new things to do in Downtown Dubai to keep the tourists and residents equally interested in the area, making it easily one of the most popular places to rent and buy apartments in Dubai. Don’t forget to check out our nifty guide on the best buildings to rent apartments in Downtown Dubai and let us know which of these lovely new things to do in Downtown Dubai you can’t wait to try!