Riverland is the only place associated with a theme park in Dubai that you can access for free, making it extremely popular with families and youngsters looking for pocket-friendly places to hang out in the city. Sometimes described as the gateway to Dubai Parks and Resorts, Riverland Dubai is a recreation of picturesque locations from different parts of the world, complete with cobbled streets, charming bistros and even a winding man-made river! Perfect for those living in Jebel Ali, this free Dubai attraction is the ideal weekend retreat for families.
With a combination of over 50 restaurants, cafes and shops that span over the 1km long manmade waterway, Riverland Dubai features four zones for fun, music, entertainment, food and celebrations. Check out our Riverland Dubai review for more information on what to do at this free attraction in Dubai.
All about Riverland Dubai
If you are looking for a perfect place where you can relax and recharge with family and friends, Riverland Dubai has a wide range of offerings. Let’s start from four architecturally distinct zones of Riverland Dubai which gives a fascinating glimpse into the greatest cities around the world.
Four Zones in Riverland
The Peninsula dates back to the architectural theme of the 19th century that features impressive bridges connected to the piazza. Surrounded by the river, there is a large outdoor venue in this zone where visitors can enjoy festivals and concerts. Alongside the river are licensed restaurants and bars such as ECCO Pizza and Pasta and The Irish Village. Walking along the bridge, looking at the beautiful development is one of the best things to do in Riverland Dubai. Not only will you enjoy the scenic beauty you can also log in those steps and get your daily dose of exercise!
Views of the recreated factory buildings from the industrial revolution era will make you feel like you’ve stepped back in time. The picturesque waterside dining outlets complement the experience. There is also a glass-enclosed kid’s room with toys and a play kitchen which makes The Peninsula a kid-friendly zone.
Here are the popular restaurants in Riverland’s peninsula.
- ECCO Pizza and Pasta: It is famous for authentic Italian pasta cooked with natural ingredients and genuine recipes.
- The Irish Village: The second outlet of the famed Irish pub in Dubai, Irish Village is the only licensed restaurant in Riverland.
- Big Chef’s Café & Brasserie: It is a casual dining spot with international cuisine and friendly staff.
An ode to the colourful streets of Mumbai and other bustling districts in the sub-continent, India Gate in Riverland is where you often catch traditional Indian drummers beating their drums away to glory! If you are craving for a spicy curry and wondering where to eat in Dubai Riverland, India Gate is home to a mix of casual dining venues and quick eateries to tantalise your taste buds. Located close to the entrance gates for Bollywood Parks Dubai, this zone pays homage to the musical dramas that are typical of the Indian film industry. Apart from its royal Asian welcome with acrobats, musicians and artistic sculptures, India Gate has a variety of restaurants featuring Middle Eastern and Asian delicacies.
- Costa Coffee: An International handcrafted coffee house that also serves delicious salads, wraps, sandwiches and sweet treats.
- Al Mashowa: A traditional Emirati seafood restaurant with recipes that come from the past.
- Barbecue Delights: A casual dining restaurant that offers Pakistani, Afghani and North Indian cuisines.
- Bol Gappa: An Indian fusion restaurant that offers lip-smacking street food in a Bollywood-themed ambience.
- Haru Robatayaki: An authentic Japanese restaurant that specialises in the art of sushi, Teppanyaki, Robata and Sashimi.
- Wok Chi: A Chinese street food joint where you can customise your wok-tossed noodles.
- Shrimpy: A popular fast-food restaurant serving deep-friend golden shrimps cooked to perfection.
Relive the nostalgic American era of the 1950s in the Boardwalk zone where you may encounter jugglers and street artists. The golden palm trees of California and glamorous neon signage will definitely bring back memories of early America. Located close to the entrance to the Hollywood-inspired Motiongate theme park, this American-inspired zone of Riverland is a favourite place for people with a sweet tooth as they can savour a variety of ice creams, giant marshmallows and other sweets from Fuzziwig’s Candy Factory.
The Boardwalk also features some delicious dining options.
- TGI Fridays: World famous American food and beverage outlet to savour burgers and drinks in a lively ambience.
- The Coffee Club: An international coffee house where you can have a delicious brunch and a perfect blend of coffee.
- Super Chix: Looking for a traditional fast food joint? Here they serve super chicken, hand-cut fries and delicious frozen custards.
- Tortilla: America’s favourite snacks, tacos and burritos are served here with a range of fresh fillings and toppings.
- Ella’s Creamery: Inspired by America’s 1950s & 1960’s ice cream parlours, Ella’s Creamery will recreate your joyful childhood memories with frozen treats. Fans of Archie comics will get a distinct Pop Tates vibe from this charming creamery.
- Fuzziwig’s Candy Factory: A perfect place to feast on chocolate treats, caramel apples, sundaes, coffee and lots and lots of candy!
- Galito’s: Offers the most delicious chicken from an African kitchen that is loved across the globe.
- Famous Dave’s: Barbecue lovers cannot resist the live-wood stoked BBQ with a custom blend of spices.
- 800 Degrees: Baked in an almond wood oven, 800 Degrees serves authentic Neapolitan Pizzeria cooked with ripest and freshest ingredients.
The French Village
If you want to experience the charm of Europe’s cobbled streets and lilting street music, The French Village is an ideal location to be at. There are meandering alleyways, towers and water wheels to transport you into a different world. The pebbled bridges and a replica of Medieval Dijon the historical capital of Burgundy are worth visiting. It is also a good shopping destination for souvenirs, gifts and other items. Another special feature to appeal to art enthusiasts is Gallery One for paintings and Wired Up for crafting your name into jewellery.
Take a look at some of the Riverland Dubai restaurants in this zone where you can refuel after a long walk.
- Pascal Jepper: A French bakery with oven-fresh bread and high quality of hot and cold treats.
- Giraffe: A perfect fast-food option with an array of dishes including steaks, grills, burgers and healthy smoothies, salads and mocktails.
- The Bagel Bar: A coffee house to enjoy an excellent cup of coffee, bagels and sandwiches in a relaxed atmosphere.
- McDonald’s: World’s leading fast-food retailer, where you can grab a quick bite of yummy burgers, fries and other fast food.
- Olive Garden: Inspired by culinary traditions of Tuscany, this restaurant serves a blend of American-Italian cuisine with traditional Italian hospitality.
- Starbucks: World’s leading coffee house to celebrate the rich tradition of coffee in an exceptional environment.
Riverland Dubai location
Riverland is located in Dubai Parks and Resorts which is close to Jebel Ali. It’s a short 20-minute drive for tenants of villas in Arabian Ranches and other suburban districts of new Dubai.
The easiest way to get to Riverland Dubai is to drive, but it is also accessible by public transportation.
Riverland Dubai – Commonly Asked Questions
How to go to Riverland Dubai by car?
It is relatively easy to reach Riverland Dubai as the trip is around 40 minutes from Downtown Dubai and 45 minutes from Dubai International Airport. Drive past Dubai Marina and get on to Sheikh Zayed Road E 11 towards Abu Dhabi. When you drive across Downtown Jebel Ali, you will find Dubai Parks and Resorts on the left side.
How to go to Riverland Dubai by bus?
It takes about 90 minutes via public transport to go to Riverland Dubai from Downtown Dubai. You need to take the red metro line to the UAE Exchange Station in Ibn Battuta Metro Station. The RTA bus from there leads to Dubai Parks and Resorts that is home to Riverland Dubai.
How to get to Dubai Riverland from Dubai International Airport?
It is a straight shot from Sheikh Zayed Road through E11 towards Abu Dhabi past Dubai Marina and Jebel Ali. In the low traffic, the trip takes around 45 minutes whereas it takes over an hour if there is heavy traffic.
Is there free parking in Dubai Riverland?
Riverland Dubai parking is not free at the moment. There is an AED 20 parking fee for visitors to Dubai Parks and Resorts whereas the valet parking service costs AED 100. The annual pass holders can enjoy complimentary valet parking at Dubai Parks and Resorts. There is also a dedicated parking space for disabled persons.
What is the Riverland Dubai Entry fee 2019?
You can visit Riverland Dubai ticket-free. However, the other Dubai Parks and Resorts have a ticket price including Bollywood Park, Hollywood Park and Legoland Dubai.
What are the Riverland Dubai Timings?
Riverland Dubai opening times start at 10:00 am to 11:00 pm in the night for weekdays.
Riverland Dubai opening hours on weekends (Thu & Fri) are from 10:00 am to 12:00 am in the midnight.
Opening hours for Riverland Dubai can change during Ramadan. So we recommend that you double check before planning a visit.
Where to find Riverland Dubai hotels?
Lapita is a Polynesian themed 5-star resort that is ideally located at Dubai Parks and Resort. It is a great option for those wanting to stay close to the theme parks and often offers free ticks to these popular Dubai amusement parks.
What about the Riverland Dubai events?
The authorities organise several events in Riverland Dubai to celebrate notable occasions and seasonal festivities. The main events in Riverland last year included the UAE National Day, Festive on the River to celebrate Christmas and Rhythm on the River for wonderful stage performances, and children activities. During the cooler months, there are also open-air theatres set up here to screen classic movies which you can watch while lounging against beanbags. Riverland Dubai fireworks are also organised for weekends and special occasions that are popular with the city’s residents.
How many restaurants are there in Riverland Dubai?
There are over 50 food and beverage outlets in Riverland Dubai that are located in four distinct zones. The famous food outlets include Starbucks, Costa Coffee, McDonald’s, TGI Fridays and the Irish Village among others. A number of restaurants are also in the pipeline including the highly anticipated Cheesecake Factory in Riverland Dubai.
What are other available facilities in Riverland Dubai?
There are a number of basic facilities to keep things convenient at Riverland Dubai. For instance, there are ATMs, lockers, first aid stations, wheelchairs and drinking fountains. You can also rent strollers to walk with your little ones.
This is certainly one of the best free activities to enjoy in Dubai. Beautifully designed buildings and an amazing lineup of restaurants make this one of the most enjoyable places to visit with friends and family. We hope these Riverland Dubai reviews helps you plan a trip to this picturesque spot!
If you are looking for more such budget-friendly places to explore as a family, head for the activities in Creek Park Dubai.