Lovingly referred as the Centre of Now, Downtown Dubai is a large scale, mixed use complex in the heart of Dubai. Designed and built by Emirati based master developer Emaar, it is home to a multitude of city landmarks including Burj Khalifa, one of the country’s most visited landmarks. Surrounding Burj Khalifa is a plethora of modern high rise towers and Arabic low rise compounds and complexes. A luxury Arabian inspired souk, Souk Al Bahar is nestled between internationally renowned hotels and restaurants and the Dubai Opera House makes this part of city popular with tourists and residents alike.
Inaugurated in 2010 and named after the UAE’s former President Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Burj Khalifa measures 829.8 metres and is currently the world’s tallest building and structure unseating Taipei 101, the previous record holder. At The Top, an outdoor observation deck is located on the 124th floor and was the highest observation deck in the world when it opened. In 2011 SKY Level at 555m was opened and held the world record status until June 2016 when the Shanghai Tower opened their own deck at a height of 561 metres. At the foot of Burj Khalifa is the Dubai Fountain. A total of 6,600 lights and 50 coloured projectors adorn the Dubai Fountain which shoots water to 150 m as it dances to a mix of contemporary, classical and Arabic music. With a length of 270 m, the Dubai Fountain is the world’s largest choreographed fountains.
The Dubai Fountain is flanked by both the Dubai Mall and Souk Al Bahar. The mall is home to around 2,000 retails and restaurants, an Olympic size ice rink, an aquarium and water zoo. The Dubai Mall is the most visited retail destination in the country with around 80,000,000 visitors annually.
Souk Al Bahar is an upmarket Arabian souk boasting100 retailers selling everything from art from a locally curated gallery, souvenirs, dates and nuts and textiles. The Souk also hosts 20 restaurants with a variety of cuisines offering breath-taking views of Burj Khalifa and the Dubai Fountain.
Built in 2016, the Dubai Opera has a capacity of 2,000 visitors. It hosts a range of performances including theatre, opera, ballet, concerts, conferences and exhibitions. Some of its notable performances includes Les Miserables, the Phantom of the Opera, Mary Poppins, Riverdance and the Nutcracker amongst others. Regular international performances are always scheduled but seats sell out fast so advanced booking is advisable.
With attractions with everyone, it is easy to see why tourists and residents regularly flock to Downtown Dubai.