A Travel Guide to Downtown Dubai

A Travel Guide to Downtown Dubai

Dubai is home to the tallest building, the largest shopping mall and the best fountain show in the world. We think it’s safe to say that Downtown Dubai is the unrivaled tourist attraction when you’re in the city!

To get you started on your trip to Dubai, this guide will show you everything that you need to know to make the most of your time when visiting Downtown Dubai. 

What is Downtown Dubai? 

Downtown Dubai is the first mega project by the now world-renowned developers Emaar. Dubbed as the “Center of Now,” this development covers two square kilometers of Dubai’s most prestigious area. 

Downtown Dubai traverses Sheikh Zayed Road with Business Bay and Financial Center Road on both ends. This makes it the best location for business and leisure since it has most of the city’s most important hotels, commercial spaces and residential buildings.

Downtown Dubai is also known for offering the quintessential Dubai luxury lifestyle, which is why it attracts millions of tourists each year.

Best Time to Go

Downtown Dubai is open to visitors all year round and it’s a top tourist attraction in the city, so you can expect a huge crowd almost every day.

But if you want to make the most of your time here, it’s best to visit from November to March or the winter season when the weather is pleasant and you can go around without the sweltering heat. 

The annual Dubai Shopping Festival also takes place from December to January and most of the malls and shops in Downtown Dubai are part of this event.

So, if you want to take advantage of huge deals, make sure to time your trip around these months.

Things to Know

Downtown Dubai is central to the city, which means it’s accessible from anywhere. It’s also well-connected to other areas in Dubai, so transportation is easy.

Here are some of the things that you can expect when visiting Downtown Dubai:

  • Parking is easy. 

Residents have their dedicated parking spaces in the residential complexes and visitors can use paid and valet parking services around the community. 

Underground parking is also available in Mohammed bin Rashid Boulevard, which is ideal during the summer.

  • There are religious establishments in the area.

You can easily find churches, mosques and temples around the neighborhood. There’s the Dubai Mall Mosque and Souk Al Bahar Mosque for Muslims, and catholic churches and Hindu temples are just a few minutes away.

  • You can easily shop for groceries.

If you’re staying in a hotel or renting an apartment In Downtown Dubai during your trip, you can buy groceries at Al Maya, Spinneys and Waitrose.

If you get sick, Emirates Hospital is just nearby as well as several clinics around the community.

  • There are many community events in the area.

Since Downtown Dubai is one of the busiest areas in the city, it’s also home to many community events all year round.

You can check the Dubai Calendar for all of the city’s events including those that are taking place in Downtown Dubai.

For instance, the famous New Year’s Countdown happens in Burj Khalifa and you can also see local markets, free concerts, outdoor film screenings and other shows in the area.

How to Get Around

Trains: If you’re going to Downtown Dubai by train, you have to take the M1 Metro line, which stops at the World Trade Center Metro Station. From here, you can walk to Downtown Dubai for at least 25 minutes or take a cab going there.

Buses: Downtown Dubai is most accessible by bus since there are several bus lines that go through this route. So, wherever you are in the city, you can easily find a bus station and ask for a line that stops in or near Downtown Dubai. 

Taxis: Taxis are everywhere in Dubai. So, if you prefer a more private form of public transport, you can take a cab or book one through Uber or Careem.

Car service: There are many car service companies in Dubai, which gives you the option to book a chauffeured ride or a self-drive car.

Where to Stay in Downtown Dubai

The Address Dubai Mall

Address: Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Boulevard – Downtown Dubai – Duba – United Arab Emirates
Phone: +971 4 438 8888
Pricing: $$$
Book Now

One of the most prestigious hotels in Downtown Dubai has to be The Address Dubai Mall, which is part of the luxurious Address chain of hotels around the city.

This particular hotel offers scenic views of the Burj Khalifa and the rest of Downtown Dubai. And being next to the biggest mall in Dubai is convenient if you love shopping.

The Address Dubai Mall also has an outdoor pool, a spa, a business lounge, kid’s club and a club lounge exclusive for guests.

Palace Downtown

Address: Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Boulevard – Downtown Dubai – Dubai – United Arab Emirates
Phone: +971 4 428 7888
Pricing: $$$
Book Now

A hotel fit for royalty, Palace Downtown is another five-star Address hotel chain property near the Dubai Fountain and Burj Plaza.

Sitting on the edge of a lake on the beautiful Old Town Island in Downtown Dubai, this hotel offers tailored experiences to guests for the most unforgettable staycation.

It also doesn’t hurt that this hotel is near most of Downtown Dubai’s top attractions. You can even enjoy the famous Dubai Fountain Show from your balcony.

Armani Hotel Dubai

Address: Burj Khalifa – Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Boulevard – Downtown Dubai – Dubai – United Arab Emirates
Phone: +971 4 888 3888
Pricing: $$$
Book Now

If you want the ultimate Downtown Dubai experience on your holiday, there’s no better place to be than on the tallest building in the world at one of the suites at Armani Hotel Dubai.

With interiors and furniture designed and handpicked by the famous Italian designer Giorgio Armani, you can expect nothing less than the best experience in this hotel.

You can choose from a deluxe room or the grand signature suite, each offering exclusive amenities that define the ultimate luxury hotel experience.

Armani Hotel has its dedicated entrance at the Burj Khalifa for guests and you can also enjoy the world-class Armani Spa.

Swissotel Al Murooj Dubai

Address: Al Mustaqbal Street Opposite the Dubai Mall – Trade Center – Dubai – United Arab Emirates
Phone: +971 4 321 111
Pricing: $$
Book Now

If you’re looking for a hotel that’s near the Dubai Mall but not as expensive as its five-star counterparts, the Swissotel Al Murooj Dubai is your best option.

This hotel is just adjacent to the mall and offers that classic Arabian experience with its traditional design. 

Each of its 251 rooms and suites are also well-appointed and nothing beats the convenience of just stepping out of the hotel to do some serious shopping.

Vida Downtown Hotel

Address: Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Boulevard – Downtown Dubai – Dubai – United Arab Emirates
Phone: +971 4 428 6888
Pricing: $$
Book Now

Do you prefer the vibe of a boutique hotel? Vida Downtown Hotel is one of the best in the area.

This chic boutique hotel has a minimal modern design that matches its surroundings perfectly. It’s also very near the Dubai Mall and Burj Khalifa, and has its own amenities for guests to enjoy.

Where to Eat in Downtown Dubai


Address: Concourse Floor – Armani Hotel Dubai – Burj Khalifa – Downtown Dubai – Dubai – United Arab Emirates
Phone: +971 4888 3666
Pricing: $$$

Armani/Hashi is dubbed as the best Japanese restaurant in the Downtown Dubai area for its beautiful location overlooking the neighborhood and the Dubai Fountain.

It also has a diverse menu featuring traditional and contemporary Japanese cuisine with fresh ingredients, especially fish that’s flown to Dubai daily from different parts of the world.

Some of the restaurant’s bestselling dishes include the Tako Kari Kari Tempura and Wagyu Tataki.

A reservation at the restaurant also gives you access to a private shisha lounge where you can enjoy a session with friends after dinner.

Tables in Armani/Hashi are highly coveted, so make sure that you call in for a reservation ahead of time since the list can easily get long.


Address: 122nd Floor – Burj Khalifa – Downtown Dubai – Dubai – United Arab Emirates
Phone: +971 4 888 3828
Pricing: $$$

If you’re looking for the ultimate dining experience while in Downtown Dubai, do it at the highest restaurant in the world.

Located at the 122nd floor of Burj Khalifa, At.Mosphere offers unobstructed views of the entire city, especially at night when you see all those glittering lights from the skyline below.

But At.Mosphere isn’t only known for its views because it also serves an innovative menu that uses the best ingredients sourced from around the world.

Al Hallab Bab El Bahr

Address: 29 Burj Dubai Boulevard – Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Boulevard – Downtown Dubai – Dubai – United Arab Emirates
Phone: +971 4 456 2881
Pricing: $$

You can’t be in Dubai and not try authentic Lebanese food. And if you’re in Downtown Dubai, Al Hallab Bab El Bahr is a highly recommended spot by locals.

For starters, stepping into the restaurant instantly takes you to old Arabia with its traditional interiors.

But it’s really the diverse menu that includes the famous lobster, hummus, salata harra and pistachio ice cream that makes people come back to this restaurant.


Address: Palace Downtown 9770 – Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Boulevard – Downtown Dubai – Dubai – United Arab Emirates
Phone: +971 4 428 7961
Pricing: $$$

Located at the Palace Downtown Dubai, Asado is a top-rated restaurant that brings authentic Latin American flavors to the city.

Best known for its open grill where beautiful steaks are cooked and a view of  the fountain show in its al fresco dining area, you can’t miss visiting Asado during your trip.

Armani Amal

Address: Burj Khalifa – Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Boulevard – Downtown Dubai – Dubai – United Arab Emirates
Phone: +971 4 888 3666
Pricing: $$$

If you’re celebrating a special occasion while in Dubai, Armani/Amal is the perfect place to treat yourself to a luxurious dining experience.

Located at the Burj Khalifa with terrace and window seatings that offer stunning views of Downtown Dubai, the restaurant is a highly coveted spot in the city.

Offering authentic Indian cuisine, Armani/Amal is known for its traditional flavors  and tableside service.

Just remember that terrace and window tables are only available for reservations from 7:00 PM to 9:30 PM. So, make sure to call ahead for reservations if you want these seats.

The Restaurant at Address Downtown

Address: Downtown Dubai – Dubai – United Arab Emirates
Phone: +971 4 436 8888
Pricing: $$$

Stepping inside the doors of The Restaurant at Address Downtown is already an experience because it feels like you’re walking into an elegant apartment.

From the lobby, you’ll see the living room, library and dining area that instantly transports you to an old British country, and you’re just getting started.

The Restaurant is known for offering authentic British cuisine with favorites like Scottish Salmon, Beef Wellington and the famous Britannia Brunch that lets you sample British favorites.

The Restaurant also uses the best ingredients from England and around the world, so you can guarantee the best dining experience every time.

Dining at The Restaurant also gives you one of the best views of the Burj Khalifa. Just make sure to book a reservation ahead since tables here can get sold out quickly.

What to Do in Downtown Dubai

Experience the Tallest Building in the World

Address: 1 Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Boulevard – Downtown Dubai – Dubai – United Arab Emirates
Phone: +971 4 888 8888

Burj Khalifa is the icon of Dubai and the highlight of every visit to the city. 

Being one of Dubai’s most popular buildings and the tallest building in the world, a visit to the Burj Khalifa redefines what “sky’s the limit” is all about.

You can take a photo in front of the skyscraper for free or spend on tickets for the At the Top experience.

Here, you get to go as high as 452 meters on the highest outdoor observation deck in the world with unobstructed views of the entire city.

You can even take the experience further by booking the At the Top, Burj Khalifa SKY experience that takes you 148 floors for an even better view of the city’s skyline.

See the Dubai Fountain Show

Address: Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Boulevard – Downtown Dubai – Dubai – United Arab Emirates
Phone: +971 4 567 2030

The Burj Khalifa Lake near the iconic building lights up at night with the Dubai Fountain Show, which uses 50 colored projectors and 6,600 lights to shoot up water by up to 275 meters.

You can watch the show for free at the Dubai Mall, although you need to come early to find a good spot before the crowds build up.

But if you’re willing to pay for an up close and personal experience, you can be on the boardwalk just a few meters away from the fountain show.

You can even board a traditional Arabic boat to be on the lake during the show for the best seats in the house.

See a Show at the Dubai Opera 

Address: Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Boulevard – Downtown Dubai – Dubai – United Arab Emirates
Phone: +971 4 440 8888

If you’re a fan of the theater and the opera, you should see a show at the beautiful Dubai Opera in the Opera District of Downtown Dubai.

With a 2,000 seating capacity, the Dubai Opera hosts shows from local and international artists and theater companies every year.

Just check the Dubai Opera calendar to know which shows will be in the opera during your visit to Downtown Dubai.

Spend the Afternoon at Burj Park

Address: Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Boulevard – Downtown Dubai – Dubai – United Arab Emirates
Phone: +971 4 366 1688

If you’re visiting Downtown Dubai during the winter, make sure to spend the afternoon at Burj Park, one of the best parks in the city.

Here, you can rent a bicycle to go around the park, check out different art installations, stop by the Dubai Fountain and explore one of the many community events in the park.

Where to Shop in Downtown Dubai

The Dubai Mall

Address: Downtown Dubai – Dubai – United Arab Emirates
Phone: +971 800 382 246255

With 502,000 square meters of retail space and 1,200 stores, the Dubai Mall is the largest shopping complex in Dubai.

Here, you have everything you need for an amazing shopping experience because the Dubai Mall hosts both local and international brands.

It’s even considered a tourist spot because the mall also houses different entertainment options including VR Park Dubai and the Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo.

Souk Al Bahar

Address: Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Boulevard – Downtown Dubai – Dubai – United Arab Emirates
Phone: +971 4 362 7011

If you’re looking for a traditional Middle Eastern market experience in a modern world, Souk Al Bahar is the place to be.

From the Dubai Mall, you’ll find a pathway that will lead you to the Dubai Fountain and there you’ll see the modern take on a traditional Arabic marketplace.

Souk Al Bahar has more than 20 shops and 17 restaurants offering everything from local handmade products to authentic Middle Eastern cuisine.

And the best part is, you get to enjoy sweeping views  of the Burj Khalifa and the rest  of Downtown Dubai while you’re shopping. 

Don’t forget to buy Arabic spices, perfumes and dates while you’re in the market. 

What to Expect from Downtown Dubai Weather

Winter: Winter, which runs from December to March, is the best time to visit Downtown Dubai since the weather is fair and temperatures can even drop to 16 degrees Celsius at night.

Summer: Sumer runs from June to September and the temperature in the city can be quite hot for non-residents. So, it’s not advisable to explore the outdoors when heat can reach up to 50 degrees Celsius during a summer day in Dubai.

Transition Period: During the transition periods of April to May and October to November, the weather in Downtown Dubai and the rest of the city can get unpredictable. 

Apps to Download for a Trip to Downtown Dubai

Visit Dubai: Useful tool in learning about Downtown Dubai and the other top destinations around the city
iOs | Android

Uber: Booking a car for going around Dubai
iOs | Android

RTA Dubai Drive: Useful for navigating around Downtown Dubai, finding parking, paying for parking and other related services if you’re renting a self-drive car
iOs | Android

Careem: Booking a private car service
iOs | Android

S’hail: For navigating and checking the schedule of Dubai’s public transport systems to find out how to reach Downtown Dubai by bus, metro and taxi
iOs | Android