8 Things to Do in Downtown Dubai

Georges El Hachem - November 22, 2021

Home to many of Dubai’s most famous attractions, Downtown Dubai, ”The Centre of Now”, is a must-visit for anyone. With iconic landmarks such as the Burj Khalifa, world-class shopping malls, phenomenal architecture and beautiful promenades, Downtown Dubai has a great deal of wow-factor attractions to please everyone.

Whether you want to live on the doorstep of some of the most awe-inspiring landmarks in the city, or are looking to invest in an area guaranteed to attract a steady stream of long and short term letters, here are 8 attractions that make Downtown Dubai a must consider location.

Burj Khalifa

Standing tall at a height of 2,700 feet, Dubai’s Burj Khalifa is currently the world’s tallest tower and one of the city’s top attractions. With more than 160 floors that narrow as it ascends into the sky, this magnificent structure is perhaps the most famous testament of the city’s architectural marvels. Including two observation decks, a Las Vegas-inspired fountain at its base, surrounded by nine of the city’s most luxurious hotels and a multitude of restaurants, the Burj Khalifa brings a new meaning to the term skyscraper. This iconic structure which represents the conceptual heart and soul of Dubai, attracts visitors from all over the world to experience the building’s impeccable engineering. Experience panoramic views of the city at the observation deck, referred to as “At the Top”, with skyscrapers and desert views on one side, and the ocean on the other.

Dubai Mall

Dubai Mall is the city’s premier shopping destination. With over 1200 stores, a walk-through aquarium, go-kart track, flight simulator, and a full-sized indoor ice-rink, Dubai Mall is the world’s premier destination for shopping, entertainment and leisure. From luxury brands including Louis Vuitton and Prada, to high street fashion favourites, no shopping destination in Dubai, or the world for that matter, can compare. This shoppers paradise is spread out over 1 million sqm, an entire day spent here would still not be enough to see it all! lt is one of the city’s best places to visit if you are in need of some retail therapy or indoor activities to keep busy. Besides the shopping and attractions, there are also hundreds of dining outlets to choose from. Whether you want to revamp your wardrobe, dine out, or enjoy some indoor entertainment, you’ll never be stuck for choice!

Dubai Fountain

Immerse yourself in the mesmerizing water, music and light experience at the world’s largest choreographed fountain. Situated within the 30-acre Burj Lake and strategically located over an area the length of 2 football pitches, the Dubai Fountain shoots jets of illuminated water as high as 500 feet in complete synchronization to Arabic, classical and international popular music. Designed by the creators of the famous Bellagio Fountain in Las Vegas, WET, The Fountain is uniquely designed comprising of five circles varying in size, two arcs, and features powerful water nozzles that jet up to 22,000 gallons of water in the air at any given time. The performance begins every 30 minutes from 6pm daily. Enjoy front-row seats to the show by booking dinner in one of the restaurants nearby.

Dubai Opera House

Dubai Opera House, a multi-format performing art centre, is one of the most exclusive attractions in Downtown Dubai. This architecturally magnificent project brings a diverse collection of world-renowned performers to the Emirate throughout the year. From famous musicals such as Phantom of the Opera and Les Miserables to ballet, orchestras, pop and local musicians, Dubai Opera House has something for everyone. It is one of the finest, most radiant cultural and art venues in the region with the capacity to hold 2,000 people. Its eye-catching exteriors are inspired by Arabian dhow ships combined with a contemporary sleek design. Even if you can’t make it to a show, a trip to the area around Dubai Opera House is still worth an afternoon of exploration to take in the breathtaking views.

Dubai Water Canal

The Dubai Water Canal is considered to be one of Dubai’s most expensive and environmentally friendly projects and represents the Emirate’s commitment to innovative engineering. This 6.4 km man-made waterfront beauty, stretching from the Creek in Old Dubai all the way to the Arabian Gulf, comes with a 3km running track, 12km cycling track and a waterfall. Additionally adorning the waterway are 5 pedestrian bridges showcasing exceptional design, all of which allow visitors to easily cross over and set eyes upon the stunning sights. A stroll along the large footpaths beside the canal is a superb way to take in Dubai’s glittering skyline. For an especially leisurely afternoon, hop aboard one of the many ferry or traditional abra rides available to truly enjoy the experience.

City Walk

An open design inspired neighbourhood in the heart of Downtown Dubai, City Walk is the ideal location for shopping, dining and leisure activities. Boasting a great selection of exclusive shops, many places to eat, cinemas, art attractions and open-air facilities, this lifestyle destination is always bustling. With eye-catching architecture, wall art, holograms and statues, it is easy to spend an afternoon getting lost in the beauty of this mesmerizing place. Artfully combining shopping with entertainment, this European-style destination with pedestrianised boulevards, tree-lined avenues and a collection of stunning contemporary art murals offers up a healthy mix of things to do conveniently in the one place.

The Frame

A unique attraction, The Dubai Frame is a futuristic landmark standing prominently in Downtown Dubai and was designed to represent a metaphorical connection between the old and new city. Soaring to nearly 500 feet tall, the glistening gold Dubai Frame is said to be the world’s largest picture frame. Panoramic glass elevators shuttle guests to the top of this architectural wonder where they can walk along a clear glass walkway the entire 313-foot width of the structure. Visitors can experience amazing views whether they visit during the day, at sunset or at night.

Dubai Design

Also known as d3, Dubai Design District is a creative hub that is home to some of the largest global, regional and local brands within the art, design and fashion industries. This urban development consists of a mix of studios, offices, apartments and retail spaces, where art, fashion and design meet together. A visit to Dubai’s design district is a great way to escape the numerous resorts and shopping malls of Dubai. d3 offers a world of endless opportunities and inspires those who visit to discover new perspectives. You can expect to find a range of contemporary shops, galleries, cafes, restaurants and pop up experiences in d3.

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The Author

Georges El Hachem - Director, Commercial

Georges joined Select Group as Commercial Director in 2020. He has over 18 years’ experience in destination management and expert knowledge across an array of industries including hospitality, tourism and MICE. He has a deep understanding of the GCC, and the buying behavior of the international visitors to the region.