Login | Register
Email Twitter Facebook YouTube Google+ 2013 Survey

Downtown Dubai Area Guide

Downtown Dubai Area Guide

Schools: 1*
Entertainment: 5*
Family friendly: 4*
Traffic: 3*
Rents: High to very high

How do you create prime real estate out of desert? Simple: Build the world’s tallest tower, one of its largest malls, sprinkle with canal ways, and a particularly valuable industry cluster, and hey presto 3,362 AED (July 2013) per square foot.

With the Burj Khalifa the centrepiece, and with surrounding waterways and uber-fountains, doing so does not come without a little cash, however – around US$20 billion (Dh73 billion) to be exact according to reports.

While there’s no doubt that that such a sum would have been useful to Dubai in the midst of the financial crisis, few would say what has been created has been mere hubris. Rather, Downtown Dubai has been one of the catalysts of the emirate’s GDP growth – currently zipping along between 4 and 5%.

The area has become an established centre of Dubai with a capacity for 100,000 people. It would be hard pressed to describe it as the centre however, but similar to Canary Wharf in London for the financial sector, which contributes over 11% to Dubai’s GDP, it is very much the place to be.

That it is the hub that serves Dubai’s nascent financial community also means it has a demographic with the highest disposable income. Throw in its evident attractiveness to tourists here to spend money (Tourism – 31% of Dubai’s GDP) and those in the GCC able to afford a second home (Real Estate – 13% of Dubai’s GDP) either looking onto or within the world’s tallest building, and you have an area is tailored to a community that is not afraid of 5* services.

The area, particularly around the Old Town, effectively a sub-community of Downtown, is particularly well served for high end restaurants, bars, clubs, etc either in Souk Al Bahar, or in Dubai Mall itself. Living in Downtown Dubai feels very much like city living with everything at your doorstep.

One area that fall short, however are schools. There are no major schools in the area, and residents complain about a lack of pre-schooling options too. If you have a young family, make sure you do your homework, and determine whether a kindergarten is available to you, within a distance you can work with. At the moment we only have one KG registered on WSA in the area, Kangaroo Kids.


Note: There is a pretty good medical centre within the Dubai Mall itself.

The area is well connected, lying between Sheikh Zayed Road (SZR) and Al Khail Road. Getting to new or old Dubai for schooling options should not be difficult. The beach is also 15-20 minutes away, if traffic is not bad. Access roads have improved considerably and on most days, at most hours, getting in and out is relatively painless – just don’t go on one of Dubai’s public holidays if you don’t fancy being trapped in your car, or at the Metro station for a few hours.

House and rental prices are premium, but on a par with other tier one developments such as the Marina. Rents in the Old Town start at about 100,000 AED for a 1 bed, and 2-beds at 150,000 AED plus. However Old Town apartments can be quite gloomy, and are small, with even 3-bedrooms at around 2000 Sq Feet. For space and light, the towers tend to offer better options. They usually come with much better views, with can in truth be pretty special. However, they also cost more – in general – than Old Town options.

Note 1: Families often prefer the low rise options, while professionals and singles the high rise. That of course is a significant generalisation, however it makes sense – the Old Town is pedestrian friendly, with gardens and communal swimming pools which lends the development to those with children.

Note 2: According to UAE property site, Property Finder, some Downtown developments saw┬árents more than double during the 2013…

A pretty incredible development
Very pedestrian friendly
Pretty much everything on your doorstep
City living
Often spectacular views

Lack of schools


Share YOUR experience... Have your say here...