At just over a decade old, Downtown Dubai has already established itself as one of the premier districts in Dubai. Often referred to as the ‘Center of Now’, this is the site of some of Dubai’s most elegant urban homes, from penthouses that overlook stunning panoramas of the city to serviced residences that enjoy the five-star amenities of leading hospitality brands. As newer districts and neighborhoods come up around Dubai, Downtown remains the anchor that connects them all together with its mix of excellent infrastructure, high-quality properties and the best attractions in the city.
Without a doubt, the crowning jewel of Downtown Dubai is the Burj Khalifa. The world’s tallest building stands a staggering 2,722 ft high and comprises 167 floors. Putting a futuristic spin on traditional Arabian architectural motifs, the tower is set on a base in the shape of a three-pointed star that rises in a spiraling pattern that gives it a unique and imposing silhouette against the Dubai skyline. The first 15 floors of Burj Khalifa are home to the Armani Hotel (one of two in the world, the other being in Milan), while the remaining floors are split between commercial spaces and gorgeous apartments. The penthouses on the upper floors are perhaps the most enviable addresses in the city, enjoying stunning vistas that stretch out to the distant horizon.
The Burj Khalifa is also the epicenter of celebrations in the city and is especially renowned for its dazzling fireworks shows on New Years’ Eve. This year, the fireworks were replaced by a light show that has become a nightly staple at the tower with specially themed shows for different events such as Chinese New Year.
The tallest building in the world is, appropriately, flanked by the largest shopping mall in the world. The Dubai Mall is spread over 5.4 million square feet and four levels, encompassing stores of every category imaginable. One entire wing of the mall known as Fashion Avenue is home to brands such as Burberry and Ralph Lauren, and the mall is also home to the Middle East’s largest Apple store. Aside from its retail outlets, the Dubai Mall contains a large selection of gourmet restaurants, an aquarium and underwater zoo, a 22-screen theater and an indoor theme park that has recently been converted to a virtual reality park.
A number of upcoming residential projects such as Vida Dubai Mall, The Address Dubai Mall and Downtown Views II are ideally positioned so they can look out over panoramic views of the Dubai skyline while benefiting from covered footbridges that provide a direct link to the mall.
Souk Al Bahar
Located adjacent to the Dubai Mall and connected to it by a bridge, Souk Al Bahar is a shopping and dining complex modeled after a traditional Arabian market. It features an exterior and interior design with very traditional design motifs, complemented by contemporary boutique stores and a variety of fine dining restaurants serving everything from classical French fare to tapas.
One of the key pillars of Downtown Dubai, the Dubai Opera first opened its doors in summer 2016 and rapidly grew to be the cultural heart of the city. A stunning blend of old-world charm and new-world innovation, the opera house has an architectural design that draws inspiration from the ‘dhow’, a traditional sailing vessel used in the Arabian Gulf and a key part of Dubai’s maritime history. The structure of the building resembles the sweeping bow of the boat, jutting out over the Burj Lake. With a seating capacity of 2,000, the opera has a technologically sophisticated interior that can transform between an auditorium, theatre and event arena courtesy of hydraulic lifts and sliding floors.
The Dubai Opera sits adjacent to the Burj Khalifa, enjoying a beautiful view of the superstructure. It is also the focal point of the Opera District, a neighborhood rich in culture that includes upcoming residential projects such as Forte, Act One/Act Two and Grande.
Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard
Named after the Ruler of Dubai and Prime Minister of the UAE, this is the main thoroughfare of Downtown Dubai, encircling the central district (which includes the Burj Khalifa, Dubai Mall and Opera House) and feeding out to the major roads that crisscross the city. Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard is lined with boutique stores and choice eateries including popular Mediterranean restaurant La Serre Bistro & Boulangerie. The road also passes through the residential area known as Old Town, a cluster of six neighborhoods with a traditional Arabian aesthetic.
With its contrasting architectural styles and its central location, Downtown Dubai serves as both a visual and physical link to the newer and older parts of the city. This urban hub is not just a great destination for tourists, but a fantastic neighborhood for residents and a very prime location for investors as well.
Photo courtesy of Andrew Cummings and official Downtown Dubai Facebook page.