Top 7 Spots in Downtown Dubai for Tourists

Downtown Dubai is home to several major sights and attractions for tourists from dining destinations to Dubai icons and cultural sites. Top Spots Dubai has rounded up the top seven unmissable spots for tourists.

Updated: February 2024

1. Burj Khalifa, Downtown Dubai

The Burj Khalifa made the UAE’s skyline world famous. The tower has achieved several world records including ‘tallest building in the world’ and ‘tallest free-standing structure in the world’. Head up to the 124th-floor observation deck, At The Top and check out the views, then, for the ultimate fine dining experience make your way to At.mosphere. For a luxurious experience reserve a spot at The Lounge, here you can enjoy the views from the world’s highest lounge while enjoying gourmet bites and beverages away from the crowds. The chic Armani hotel is located inside Burj Khalifa and is worth a visit thanks to its world-class spa and dining concepts.

2. Dubai Mall

The Dubai Mall is one of the world’s largest malls. There are retail options here for every taste from leading luxury brands to department stores and high street favourites. There’s also a cinema, games zones and an ice rink. Dining options span fast food favourites spread across two food courts as well as fine dining options in Fashion Avenue and several eateries that offer excellent Dubai Fountain views. Once you’re shopped out make your way to the Dubai Mall Aquarium and Underwater Zoo, one of the largest aquariums in the world. Here guests can get to know more than 140 species of marine life. The glass walkway offers 270-degree views of fish, rays and sharks. Additional activities in the aquarium include glass-bottom boat rides and shark dives in the tank.

3. Dubai Fountain

The Dubai Fountain takes the title of the tallest choreographed fountain in the world. Located on the Burj Lake within walking distance of Burj Khalifa and the Dubai Mall, the Dubai Fountain springs to life with music and light shows every 30 minutes starting at 6 pm each day. For a special experience head to the Dubai Fountain Boardwalk, a 272m floating platform or set sail on a traditional Abra around the Burj Lake which offers the ultimate vantage point.

4. Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard

Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard curves around the Dubai Mall and has a wide range of cafes, restaurants, and cultural and tourist sights. Walk along the palm-lined streets and take in Burj Khalifa and the Dubai Fountains views, pass by the Dubai Opera House as well as several public artworks by international artists that have been placed by Emaar. Buhayra Lounge in The Palace Downtown hotel offers excellent poolside Burj Khalifa views and shisha while the hotel’s Thiptara restaurant is famous for its Thai food with Dubai Fountain views. For a taste of Middle Eastern cuisine head to Em Sharif, Bab Al Mansour, Grand Cafe Boulevard, or Iran Zamin. Souk Al Bahar offers visitors the sense that they entered a Middle Eastern souk with several boutiques and gift stores offering local wares. The Timeout Market on the top floor overlooks the fountains and features a handpicked selection of local and international eateries and coffee shops. Back on the Boulevard, the Foundry gallery is a great place to check out local art, it’s a co-working space, cafe, and gallery with rotating exhibitions.

5. Cé La Vi Pool, Address Sky View hotel

A day at Cé La Vi Pool promises views to impress. Make your way up to the rooftop of this sky-high hotel and take in spectacular views of the downtown Dubai skyline. Guests can choose between sun loungers, private cabanas, or a seat at the bar. The pool is run by the adjacent restaurant, Cé La Vi, a franchise from Singapore famed for its contemporary Asian cuisine. Following a day in the sun, head there for dinner.

6. Sky Views Dubai

Sky Views Dubai is a new addition to Dubai’s tourist attractions. At 219.5m above ground level on level 52 of the Address Sky View hotel, the observatory reveals Downtown Dubai from a unique perspective.

Sky Views Dubai incorporates three elements – the Glass Slide, the Observatory, and the Edge Walk each offering guests 360-degree views of downtown Dubai and its major sights including Burj Khalifa. First visitors enjoy a glass elevator ride which offers unbeatable views all the way to the top, then a spiral staircase transports them to a 46m-long glass walkway. The Glass Slide is open to adults and children and gives guests the chance to enjoy a thrilling ride through a transparent tunnel. Thrillseekers can opt for the Edge Walk. Strap into your safety harnesses and make your way around the outer ledge of the skyscraper’s highest perch.

7. Dubai Opera

The glass-walled Dubai Opera is built in the shape of a dhow to honour the local maritime history. The venue offers guests a roster of live performances to suit different tastes. Dubai Opera brings world-class performances to Dubai from opera to ballet, and classical orchestra as well as broadway icons like Cats and international music favourites such as the Gipsy Kings as well as family-friendly shows like Alice in Wonderland and Indiana Jones. Take note of the spectacular chandelier inside which took two years to produce and is made of 30,000 glass pearls.