Downtown’s residents come from a mix of nationalities, like in most parts of the city, and include management-level types and families attracted to the ‘good life’.
Many young professionals working in senior positions in their companies choose to live in Downtown Dubai. It is considered to be among the most exclusive, hip neighbourhoods in Dubai, with all of the modern attractions that can be expected from a high-profile Dubai neighbourhood.
While there are plenty of tourists in Dubai, and Downtown in particular, residents do not get the feeling of being overwhelmed by tourists –at least outside of the direct sphere of Dubai Mall.
Downtown Dubai is a hot holiday-home destination, with a number of celebrities calling the area–particularly Burj Khalifa–home. If you choose to live in Downtown, you might end up brushing shoulders with some number of celebrities, who are also taking advantage of some of the best views in Dubai, and world-class amenities. Living adjacent to the world’s largest mall certainly has its benefits.
Downtown Dubai is situated in the heart of the city. Driving 20 minutes in various directions is all you need to get to most other parts of Dubai. From old Dubai to the north, the beach to the west, the Marina to the south, and the desert to the south, from Downtown Dubai you’re never too far from anything else in Dubai.
Many residents that dine out frequently–admittedly short on time due to work and social constraints–admit to loving the plethora of high quality restaurants that line the Boulevard, as well as the broad spectrum of food and beverage outlets throughout Dubai Mall. These spots, in addition to fancy options in Souk Al Bahar and in any of the many hotels in Downtown, leave residents spoilt for choices at their doorsteps.
The area offers an walkable lifestyle for the young and young at heart. With many attractive nightlife options, and the world’s largest shopping mall, residents of Downtown need not ever leave the neighbourhood. Parents with children have the option of several nurseries and kid’s clubs to entertain their children and, although there are no schools directly in Downtown, those schools across the road in Jumeirah are not far off.
In short, if you are lucky enough to score an apartment in Downtown Dubai, you are almost guaranteed to never run out of dining and entertainment options.
Downtown has pretty much everything a city should have: from convenience stores and large supermarkets to medical centres, children’s playgrounds and parks. At the Dubai Mall one can find the usual retail suspects alongside most of the world’s most exclusive brands. In addition, Dubai Mall houses a cinema, aquarium, ice rink and multiple kid-focused entertainment options. Wander for days to get exercise or just marvel at the sheer size and scale of the place.
Thanks to the classy hotel brands and Souk Al Bahar, the area brims with cafés, restaurants and nighttime venues, many with spectacular views of the Dubai Fountain’s nightly choreographed water show. Set in Burj Khalifa Lake, the show plays to music every half hour in the evenings, with shooting water up to 500 feet in the air.
Exclusivity often entails extra expenses. In addition to the high annual rent, living in Downtown can get quite expensive: shopping for daily groceries, visiting the local fitness centres, and enjoying the many restaurant options can add up quite quickly.
Despite an overall high level of satisfaction with Downtown, residents maintain a few reservations about the area, including the congestion of festivals and parades (many annual events take place on the Boulevard) that can choke roads and make getting in and out of Downtown difficult. In addition, some residents complain of the lack of simple and straight-through walking paths connecting one area to another, forcing a walk the “long way” around. This has not, unfortunately, been ameliorated by the recently introduced tram line, which they lament, serves only as an aesthetic treat.
Even though it’s already a developed area, there is ongoing construction that affects various areas and roads. The area is close to major business districts such as the Dubai International Financial Centre and Business Bay. While this is convenient for those working in either area, the slow progress of rush-hour traffic is an oft-cited pain point among Downtown residents.
The accommodation choices consist mostly of apartments, with some ‘villas’ on buildings’ podium levels. The most expensive address is, of course, Burj Khalifa itself. Other apartments in Downtown Dubai start from 80,000 AED. Among the choices of buildings, residents appreciate the feeling that buildings are well-spaced, allowing natural light to enter most apartments, and avoiding the “packed in” feeling that is sometimes prevalent in other high-rise areas of Dubai like the Marina.
Other options include smaller apartments in the quiet maze of Old Town, as well as spacious apartments in high-rises, such as The Lofts, Burj Residences, and Burj Views. Most buildings come with pools and gyms and some even throw sports courts and libraries in for good measure.
The Old Town (a sub-community within Downtown) area’s traditional architecture stands in stark opposition to more modern tall buildings, including the Burj Khalifa towering over them all.
Aside from the obvious reasons to adore Downtown Dubai (Burj Khalifa? The fountain? Dubai Mall?), residents love the fantastic views from almost any apartment in the area.
The pedestrian lifestyle of Downtown means one has no need to venture anywhere else on most days, and can minimize the use of transportation as the area is well-shaded thanks to the skyscrapers.