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Overview of the central district of Dubai – Downtown

Обзор центрального района Дубая – Downtown

Downtown Dubai is the central and most dynamic area. The offices of the world’s largest companies, famous attractions and locations with lots of entertainment are located here. The dizzying skyscrapers here successfully coexist with the objects of traditional Arabic architecture. A lot of shopping centers, shops of world-famous brands, restaurants, hotels add modernity to the area. And the sun and picturesque boulevards create an atmosphere of happiness and harmony. It is believed that this is one of the most suitable places for a comfortable life, work and leisure.

What you need to know about the location of the area

Location of the district

Downtown is a large–scale residential and commercial complex located in the northern part of the emirate. Work on the construction of an area with numerous high-rise towers and skyscrapers began in 1998 as part of a project presented by Emaar Properties. Now the main facilities have already been completed and successfully put into operation. The area has acquired the planned appearance. However, development continues – some parts are under construction.

The complex runs along the Sheikh Zayed Highway (Sheikh Zayed Road). This location allows you to quickly get to other areas. For example, to Al Wasl, with which Downtown intersects.

In the northwest, the district is bounded by Al Saada Street. In the southwest is Burj Khalifa Boulevard. In the southeast – Al–Asayel Street (Al Asayel Street). And in the north-eastern part – the Financial Center highway (Financial Centre). It turns out that the shape of Downtown resembles a rectangle.   

The slogan of the district development project is “The Centre of Now”, which literally translates as “in the center of the present”. And indeed, Downtown is a kind of “heart” of Dubai, a recognized tourist center. There is always something to do here for both locals and guests. At the same time, the area is not large – about 2 km2.

Advantages of the area

Downtown Dubai

Popularity, high attendance, chic lifestyle – it’s all Downtown Dubai. Its advantages are due to its convenient location and excellent infrastructure. There are many attractions and places to stay here. Dynamism and the ability to pick up a lot of pastime options at any time of the year is another plus.

Interestingly, residents or guests, if desired, can not leave the location for a long time. Downtown is equipped with everything necessary for a comfortable stay, a rich holiday, intensive and productive activities.


  1. Catering. Here are collected the best establishments, which present dishes from all cuisines of the planet. The Downtown restaurants offer magnificent views of the surrounding area.
  2. Shopping. Retail outlets and stores of world brands located in the center of Dubai attract not only local, but also buyers from all over the globe.
  3. Sport. There are many fitness centers, SPA, bicycle rental, equipped with swimming pools. In the Burj Park by Emaar, you can walk or jog daily.
  4. Education. Local residents can study at universities, schools, and preschool institutions with a high rating.
  5. Religion. Mosques, churches, Orthodox cathedrals are located here.

There are several clinics and hospitals for residents and guests. The staff of healthcare organizations has the highest qualifications.


Dubai Mall

The Downtown area is the center of Dubai’s main attractions. Dubai Mall, Burj Khalifa, Dubai Fountain are located here. The facilities are located in the very center of the complex.

Learn more about the main attractions:

  1. Burj Khalifa. The tallest building in the world and the symbol of Dubai. A skyscraper with a height of 828 m. 180 m falls on only one spire. The number of floors is 163. Since 2008, it has the status of the tallest building on the planet in history. The shape of the building resembles a stalagmite. The structure is multifunctional. There are commercial areas, hotels, residential apartments, shopping and entertainment centers. There is an observation area on the 148 level.
  2. Dubai Mall. The largest shopping and entertainment center on the planet and in Dubai. The area is more than 1 million m2. There are about 1200 shops and 200 restaurants, cafes. There are many entertainment locations – an ice rink, a cinema, a fear room, a virtual reality Park, a children’s location “The Country of Kidzania Professions”, the Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo. The latter is considered a world landmark. Here is also the largest candy Store on the planet Candylicious. In the center of the Mall there is a skeleton of a real diplodocus. The decoration of the shopping center is a waterfall with artificial figures of divers for pearls.  
  3. Dubai Fountain. A unique fountain complex built on a man-made lake near Burj Khalifa. It is presented in the form of a lively musical jet of water, illuminated by lasers and lamps of all colors. In total, more than 6000 light sources are involved. The maximum height of the spray from the central hydro cannon is 152 m. The singing fountain show is held daily. The performance looks especially impressive in the evening. In the holy month of Ramadan, the fountains are turned off during the daytime. The evening show starts after sunset. Tourists consider Dubai Fountain to be the best free entertainment location in the city.

Also in the Downtown area is the Dubai Opera (Dubai Opera). Includes 2000 seats. This grandiose structure with glass walls acts as a center for opera and ballet performances. Exhibitions and conferences are regularly held here.

In addition to the Dubai Mall, there is another shopping center in the area. The Sailors’ Market or Souk Al Bahar is decorated in a colorful oriental style, decorated with flower beds and palm trees. It is smaller than the Mall, but quite successfully contrasts with it. There are about 100 shops and 20 restaurants. The latter are considered the best viewing platform for observing musical fountains. 

And finally, the Old Town. The center of Dubai is the embodiment of a modern vision of architecture and a vivid example of a futuristic style. The old part of the city has retained a more traditional look. The buildings here fully reflect the classical Arabic style, the culture of the country, its age-old values and customs.  



Dubai beach strips are clean, well-groomed locations, regularly cleaned of garbage. There are playgrounds for children, nearby there are park areas, many attractions, catering places. However, there is a nuance. The central part of Dubai is located east of Sheikh Zayed Street, separating it from the Persian Gulf. The distance between the Downtown area and the sea is about 3 km, but it will not be possible to get to the beach strip on foot due to the motorway. You can get to the coast by taxi or public transport.

For example, it will take about 15 minutes by car to the public beach of Jumeirah. On the bus route No. 81, it will take 35-45 minutes to get to the location. On request, you can visit the pools. All Downtown residential complexes are equipped with them.


The Address Dubai Mall Hotel

There are several full-fledged hotels in Downtown. Their distinctive features and features:

  1. Armani Hotel Dubai 5*. This luxury hotel is located in Burj Khalifa. Occupies 1-8, 38-39 floors. The interior of the rooms was created by designer Giorgio Armani. There are several restaurants, mainly Japanese, Indian, Italian cuisine. 
  2. The Address Dubai Mall Hotel 5*. The hotel is adjacent to the Dubai Mall. Includes 224 rooms. There is a restaurant serving Arabic cuisine. There is a direct passage from the hotel to the Dubai Mall shopping center. Guests can visit the shopping center at any time for recreation, shopping, visiting cafes, restaurants.
  3. The Address Boulevard Hotel 5*. It is located across the street from the Address Dubai Mall Hotel.  It has 186 spacious rooms. The interior style is elegant, calm, in soothing pastel colors. A covered bridge for pedestrians leads from the hotel to the Dubai Mall shopping center. 
  4. The Palace Downtown Dubai 5*. The hotel is located on Burj Khalifa Lake. Includes 242 rooms. Some of them overlook the Dubai Fountain. Others – on the opposite side of the lake. Guests are offered exclusive places to watch musical fountain shows.
  5. Vida Downtown Hotel 4*. It is located in the south of the district. There are 156 rooms to choose from. There is a restaurant of Mediterranean cuisine, an Asian street food cafe. There is also an area with a VIP platform, where the chef personally prepares dishes to order.

Another hotel is Manzil Downtown Dubai 4*. It is also located in the southern part of Downtown. There are 197 rooms equipped here. For guests there are restaurants, gyms, swimming pools.

Transport accessibility

When moving around the area, it is recommended to use public transport or take walks. You should not choose a taxi, private or rented car. There is a high risk of getting stuck in traffic for a long time. This is due to the fact that there is one highway in the city – Sheikh Zayed. Near Downtown, it is often overloaded. Alternative routes are often unavailable for the same reasons. You can lose a lot of time. Moreover, if you get into a traffic jam by taxi, then the client will pay for the time spent.

Proximity to the airport

Al Maktoum

It takes 30-35 minutes to drive from Downtown to Dubai International Airport. It takes a little longer to get to Al Maktoum Airport – about 45-50 minutes.

Public transport

Burj Khalifa Metro

The area is adjacent to the Burj Khalifa/ Dubai Mall metro station. An air-conditioned pedestrian bridge leads from it to the Dubai Mall. Its length is almost 820 m. Inside it is equipped with horizontal escalators. Another nearest metro station is Business Bay.

You can move around the area on trams equipped with two floors and an open top. The trajectory of their movement forms a loop around Downtown. You can use trolleybuses – the first on the planet, powered by hydrogen fuel.  

All about real estate in the center of Dubai

The Downtown area is mainly built up with multi-storey buildings. The property is presented in the form of studios, penthouses, apartments with 1-3 bedrooms. The starting price is $453780. Apartments with a large number of bedrooms are more expensive – from $ 1179890.

Purchase and rental of villas, townhouses is available. For the first, the initial price is $ 521088. For townhouses, the cost starts from $ 1388609. There is a possibility to purchase housing located on the upper floors of high-rise buildings. This property belongs to the limited edition. Another exclusive option is the purchase of a separate floor in a ready–made or under construction building.

Almost all residential real estate options in Downtown are equipped with gyms, swimming pools. In some cases, studios and apartments are already sold partially furnished.

New buildings and communities

The Address Residence Sky View
There are 124 residential complexes in the central part of Dubai. More than 88 of them have been completed. The rest are under construction, planning. The construction of several facilities has been temporarily suspended.

The best premium real estate options:

  1. The Address Residence Sky View. A complex of towers connected by elevator to the Dubai Metro and Dubai Mall. There is a bridge on the 54th level. There is a swimming pool, a terrace, a restaurant. The starting price is from $517296.
  2. Burj Vista. The project consists of two towers. The first one includes 65 floors. The second is 20. The complex has 640 luxury apartments with 1-3 bedrooms. All are equipped with spacious terraces. Cost – from $416,562.
  3. The Address Residence Fountain Views. The complex consists of three rooms. The 1st and 3rd towers include 59 floors. The second consists of 65 floors. Price – from 554010 $.

The luxury apartments offer views of the Fountain, the Burj Khalifa skyscraper, the central part of the city and the bay. 

Real estate rental prices

Real estate

The average rental price of real estate is from $ 30,844 annually. The size of the amount is affected by the layout.

The cost can range from $1,099 to $2,596 per month when renting one-bedroom apartments. Or from $1900 to $4490 for a three-bedroom apartment.

Downtown real estate for investment

The center of Dubai is included in the freehold zone. This means that foreign nationals can acquire real estate here in full and undivided ownership. In this case, the involvement of sponsors from local residents is not required.

Housing can be bought for personal residence – this is usually what young professionals who have arrived in the country do. Investors also purchase apartments in order to make a profit through resale or rental.

The demand for commercial and residential real estate is constantly growing. Popularity is directly related to the location of the Downtown in the heart of Dubai. The attractiveness is also due to the fact that the area of the location is limited. Construction projects appear here at a slower rate than in other parts of the city. Real estate in Downtown Dubai is considered exclusive and there are more and more people who want to buy it every year. 

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Vladimir Sviridov
Vladimir Sviridov
General Manager RLC Consulting
With a Postgraduate Masters in Finance from The, Moscow State University, Russia. Vladimir started his professional career as an auditor of the financial sector of EY. After that, he worked for several years in senior positions in corporate banking. In 2018-2021, he managed the finances of a large agricultural holding, and is currently responsible for strategic planning, corporate partnership and financial management in the role of General Manager of RLC Consulting GROUP in the UAE.

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