Downtown Dubai has for several years been the number one place in Dubai for shopping, entertainment and dining, but as we enter 2017, it’s also becoming the cultural hub for the city thanks to the launch of the spectacular Dubai Opera. Now rivalling the world’s great capitals, London, Paris and New York, the ‘Centre of Now’ as Downtown Dubai is advertised, really does offer numerous reasons to visit.
Burj Khalifa is the destination’s trump card, with its 829.8-metre tall spire piercing the clouds, public viewing decks on the 124th and 148th floors, and the world’s highest restaurant, Atmosphere. Every evening, crowds flock to the foot of the tower to watch the Dubai Fountain, with 500 foot jets of water dancing in time to stirring music.
Across the lake, The Dubai Mall is far more than a retail destination; the Olympic-sized ice rink, Dubai Aquarium, The Underwater Zoo, Sega Republic, 22-screen Reel Cinema and Kidzania keep families occupied under one gargantuan roof for days at a time.
For something less energetic but equally exciting, Dubai Opera offers a varied programme of cultural and lifestyle events including operas, ballet, classical performances, musicals, Arab and World music, comedy, film, family entertainment, as well as rock, pop and jazz concerts. Seating 2000 for a theatrical production, it’s now on the must-do list for any visitor to Dubai.
At the same time, Dubai Design District – d3, is becoming the hub for fashion, art and design in all its genres. Several events are held here throughout the year celebrating creativity, including Dubai Design Week in October.
Accommodation options are plentiful, with Emaar Hospitality’s The Address, Vida and Rove brands offering something for every budget. Newest to market are The Address Boulevard Dubai and The Address Sky View Dubai, opening in March 2017 with two towers connected by a sky bridge featuring a dramatic infinity pool. Other recommended hotels are
The Palace Downtown Dubai, The Address Dubai Mall, Sofitel Downtown Dubai and the Armani Hotel Dubai, located at Burj Khalifa.
Head a little further north and Business Bay also offers some great accommodation, including JW Marriott Marquis Dubai, The Oberoi Dubai, Steigenberger Hotel Business Bay and The Taj Dubai.
On the edge of Business Bay is Al Habtoor City, featuring three Starwood Hotels, The St. Regis,
The Westin and W, and an entertainment and dining complex called
The Atrium, the heartbeat of which will be a spectacular, underwater-style circus show, La Perle by Dragone, housed in a state of the art, purpose-built, 1300-seat theatre.
These city-centre attractions have recently been connected to Jumeirah Beach via the three-kilometre Dubai Water Canal that boasts three pedestrian bridges, hotels, residences and restaurants, a three-level mall, a running track and park areas culminating in a peninsula with 60 marinas.
Also across the road are the family-friendly low-rise Box Park and
City Walk retail and dining develop-
ments, featuring homegrown brands and quirky boutiques.