As the district is limited in size, multi-storey buildings predominate here. The most common property type in Downtown Dubai are 1-5-bedroom apartments (including serviced apartments) and penthouses. The cost of studios starts at AED 428 000 (USD 117 000) dollars, one-room apartments – from AED 695 000 or USD 190 000.
But in Downtown Dubai, you can also buy or rent villas and townhouses. There is a limited series of houses located on the runway levels of high-rise buildings. Prices for villas in Downtown Dubai start from AED 1 914 000, USD 521 000, for townhouses – from AED 5 100 000, USD 1 388 000.
Another exclusive option is the purchase of a whole floor of a residential tower. It can be either a finished property or a floor in a building under construction. If it is an off-plan property, an investor can arrange the space at their own discretion. For instance, the owner could one spacious residence or split the premises into several apartments and offices. You can live in one of these apartments yourself, and lease the rest of the premises. The minimum price for a full floor in Downtown Dubai is AED 18 500 000, USD 5 040 000.
Downtown Dubai is the tourist, cultural, business and entertainment center of the Emirate, located between the old and new Dubai. Although the district has an area of only 26 909 776 sq. ft, it is a home to the main sights of the city, which are recognized as the “record holders” of the world: the tallest skyscraper on the planet Burj Khalifa, the world’s largest light and music fountains The Dubai Fountain, as well as The Dubai Mall, the largest shopping and entertainment complex in the UAE.
Downtown Dubai is a mixed-use development, with Emaar Properties acting as the master developer. The district has been existing for over 20 years and combines both traditional oriental architecture and ultra-modern buildings with futuristic design, such as The Dubai Opera and the adjacent residential complex IL Primo.
The construction of the district started in 1998 and continues to this day. The area of the district include cultural and entertainment centers, social infrastructure facilities, residential towers, luxury hotels, offices of world-famous giant companies, shops, restaurants, temples, shopping centers and walking paths. Downtown Dubai is a home to more than 140 nationalities and over 100 residential buildings, with more to come.
The district remains lively throughout the year, the flow of tourists here does not stop. It boasts a well-developed transport, social and entertainment infrastructure, as well as a luxurious lifestyle and world-class amenities. All real estate in Downtown Dubai belong to the premium class – the budget segment is practically not represented here.
Along with property in Burj Khalifa, where a studio can be rented for at least AED 70 000 (USD 19 100) per year or one-bedroom apartment for AED 100 000 (USD 27 500), tenants often choose other buildings by Emaar Properties.
For example, Boulevard Heights, which is located in a 20-minute walk from Burj Khalifa and The Dubai Fountain, offers 1-4-bedroom apartments for sale. The residential complex comprises two towers – Boulevard Heights Tower 1 and Boulevard Heights Tower 2. Each unit has a balcony and a wide range of amenities: central air conditioning, swimming pool, covered parking, fitted wardrobes and a fully-equipped kitchen. The minimum rental cost for one-bedroom apartment in Boulevard Heights is AED4 99 000, USD 27 000.
A more low-budget option is to rent an apartment in Burj Views Podium. It is a part of the residential complex by Emaar Properties, which consists of three towers connected by a podium. The complex is located in 20 minutes’ walk from Burj Khalifa. Burj Views Podium offers studios, 1- and 2-bedroom apartments for rent. Amenities include central air conditioning, 24-hour concierge and security services, swimming pool, covered parking, barbecue area and gym. One-bedroom apartments in Burj Views Podium can be rented for AED 65 000, USD 18 000.
The convenient location of the district along Sheikh Zayed Road provides easy access to all residential and commercial areas of the city. Downtown Dubai is bordered by other popular districts: Business Bay, Za’abeel, Al Wasl and DIFC, Dubai’s free economic zone.
The nearest airport, Dubai International Airport (DXB), can be reached in 15-20 minutes, while Al Maktoum International Airport is located in 40 minutes’ drive. It takes 20-25 minutes to reach Dubai Marina, an entertainment hub with its own marina and all kinds of water sports.
In Downtown Dubai, one can use any type of public transport, including metro, bus and tram, or use a taxi service.
On the border of the district there is Burj Khalifa / Dubai Mall Metro Station, which is located on the red metro line. An air-conditioned covered walkway leads from the metro station to The Dubai Mall. The length of the bridge is slightly more than 2624 ft, but it is not necessary to walk along it – a horizontal escalator will take you to the iconic places of the region.
One can get to Downtown Dubai by bus – the closest bus stop to attractions is The Dubai Mall (DM1), where buses No. 27, 28, 29, 50, 81, F 13 and X22 stop by.
Tram station is located on Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard there. It is the world’s first transport of its kind with a hydrogen engine. The tram carries passengers between the popular destinations of Downtown Dubai.
If one prefer to travel by a personal car or a taxi, there will be no problem with parking in the area. When purchasing a property in Downtown Dubai, parking spaces are automatically provided for every residential unit. Guests of the district can use one of the numerous paid parking spots or an underground parking lot along Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard.
If one are planning to move to Downtown Dubai with small children, they can easily find a kindergarten nearby. The most popular kindergartens are Blossom Downtown Nursery Dubai, Pinocchio Nursery and Hummingbird Nursery. The first one is located directly in Downtown Dubai, the other two are in the neighboring areas within 5 minutes by car.
For older children, well-rated schools can be found near the district. For instance, JSS Private School is situated in 10-minute drive from Downtown Dubai, in Al Wasl (Al Safa microdistrict). The institution has received a rating of “very good” in the ranking of the Education and Human Development Authority of the Dubai government (The Knowledge and Human Development Authority, KHDA). The school operates according to The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) program developed in India. A little further, about 15-20 minutes from Downtown Dubai, is the famous Kings’ School Dubai. It is the only school in the Emirates to be awarded the highest “outstanding” mark annually by the KHDA. The institution is located in the Umm Suqeim and operates on a British curriculum.
In terms of higher education, there are two campuses within a 20-minute drive from Downtown Dubai – Dubai International Academic City (DIAC) and Dubai Knowledge Park (Dubai Knowledge Village). These zones are home to dozens of universities, colleges and innovation centers of various thematic areas.
The Dubai Mall is a home to a branch of the major health center Mediclinic. It covers an area of 69 965 square feet. The clinic has a day surgery department, rooms for endoscopy, diagnostics, outpatient consultations and procedures, as well as a physiotherapy gym.
Another major hospital, the Emirates Hospital Clinics, is located in the nearby area of Business Bay, in 5 minutes’ drive from Downtown Dubai.
As for the pharmacies, they operate throughout the district.
Downtown Dubai itself is a home to several mosques, including the Souk Al Bahar Mosque and the Dubai Mall Mosque. Christians can drive 15-20 minutes to churches located in Oud Metha. Among them are St. Thomas Orthodox Cathedral, St. Mark & Ava Bishoy Coptic Orthodox Church, and St. Mary’s Catholic Church.
In addition to the large-scale Waitrose hypermarket in The Dubai Mall, Downtown Dubai has several other supermarkets, including Spinneys and Al Maya. Moreover, the residential towers are home to small grocery stores that often offer home delivery services to residents.
Downtown Dubai has entertainments for all tastes, from art galleries to shopping and ice skating. The main cultural and entertainment sites in Dubai include:
Burj Khalifa is a 160-storey skyscraper of 2755 ft height, with two observation decks offering views of the entire Emirate. It is one of the symbols of Dubai. The building houses the Armani Hotel Dubai, a restaurant, offices, as well as premium private real estate (some of the apartments and the penthouse are for sale).
The cost of visiting the tower starts at AED 149, USD 40. One of the most popular events in Burj Khalifa, which attracts tourists from all over the world, is the New Year’s light and laser show with grand fireworks.
An artificial lake Burj Khalifa Lake with a size of 129 166 square feet, located at the foot of the tower of the same name. The world’s largest singing and dancing fountain has been built in the reservoir, and a free show is held daily.
The design includes 6600 light sources, and the jets of water rise higher than 492 ft. During the show, up to 83 thousand liters of water simultaneously take off into the air.
The cultural center of Dubai is the Dubai Opera, a 2000-seat musical theater. It is a glass-walled, boat-shaped building with a transformable stage structure. Performances, concerts, exhibitions, international shows are held here throughout the year.
The area of the world’s largest shopping center is 10 763 910 sq. ft, which is almost half of Downtown Dubai. The Dubai Mall is a kind of “city within a city”, where in addition to shopping areas, one can also find all kinds of entertainments:
The Dubai Mall is a home to international, regional and local brand boutiques that cover all product lines from fashion to literature and technology. The Fashion Avenue shopping gallery sells products from Chanel, Prada, Louis Vuitton and other luxury brands.
Another iconic mall in Downtown Dubai is Souk Al Bahar. It is a small shopping mall with the unique design of an oriental bazaar (its name is translated from Arabic as “sailors’ market”). There are about 100 small shops, including local perfumes, spices and dried fruits, as well as over 20 restaurants.
Downtown Dubai is located east of Sheikh Zayed Road, which separates it from the Persian Gulf. Because of the highway, it’s impossible to reach the sea on foot, although the distance between the border of the district and the coast is less than two miles.
One can get to popular public beaches, such as Jumeirah Beach, in just 15-20 minutes by car or in 45 minutes by bus #81. A trip to Open Beach by car or taxi will take 15 minutes, by bus #81 – less than 40 minutes. In addition, there are many swimming pools in Downtown Dubai, since they can be found in almost every residential complex.
Burj Park is a small park where one can go jogging or for a simple walk, even with a pet. For active residents, Downtown Dubai has a bike rental system: one takes a bike at one station and leaves it at the next station. There are also several fitness centers in the area, including the popular Fitness First Al Manzil Platinum, Fitness 360 and Flywheel Sports Dubai.
The developers of Downtown Dubai called it “The Center of Now”. It constantly attracts tourists from all over the world, and the most visited attractions of Dubai are The Dubai Fountain and The Dubai Mall.
Due to its central location, well-developed infrastructure and a continuous flow of tourists, which ensures a high demand for short-term rental housing, the district is of great interest to investors. In addition, Downtown Dubai has many offices, which guarantees a demand for apartment rentals from expat workers.
Downtown Dubai belongs to the freehold zones, which means foreigners can buy real estate in full ownership. In 2019, the district become the second most trending area in Dubai (Business Bay is the first one) by the number of transactions. In 2020, Downtown Dubai has become the Emirate’s leader in luxury apartment sales.
At the end of 2020, the highest ROI in the district of 5.9% was recorded for studios. This is the type of accommodation preferred by young expats for rent. The average ROI for one-bedroom apartments was 5.1%, two- and four-bedroom apartments were 4.7%, and three-bedroom apartments were 4.3%.
However, in case of renting out the apartments to tourists for a short term, ROI can be much higher – from 10% per year. A good option for an investor in this case could be hotel apartments. In fact, it is more like a hotel room: the company that works with the operating hotel will help to rent out the apartment. The tenants will be provided with the same service as all hotel guests, and owners will be able to receive income from the rental on a permanent basis.
Among the finished real estate, Burj Khalifa is particularly in demand among investors. In addition to the unique views that open from the apartments, residents of the world’s tallest tower have access to all kinds of amenities: private and communal swimming pools, sauna and jacuzzi, 24-hour concierge service, laundry, central air conditioning system, children’s playground, restaurant and underground parking with services valet parking. All apartments and penthouses feature modern interior design – residences have wooden floors, fitted wardrobes and fully-equipped kitchens. Prices for one-bedroom apartments in Burj Khalifa start at AED 1 750 000, USD 476 000.
Foreign investors often choose off-plan projects. Downtown Views II and Il Primo are the most popular off-plan properties in the district.
IL Primo is a residential tower by Emaar located in the Opera District – a 5-minute walk from Burj Khalifa and a couple of minutes from the Singing Fountains and The Dubai Opera. The tower has 77 storeys and offers luxury 4-6-bedroom apartments and penthouses for sale. One can also buy a whole floor in the tower. Apartments with spacious terraces and panoramic windows are equipped with a smart home system and audio equipment that is synced with the dancing fountains. Other amenities for residents include indoor and outdoor pools for adults and children, a cigar lounge, a cinema, a library, restaurants, a spa, gyms and a golf course. Shops will be located on the lower floors of the tower. The minimum cost of a four-bedroom apartment in IL Primo is AED 16 295 000, USD 4 436 000. The construction of the tower is nearing completion.
Downtown Views II is a new residential complex from Emaar, which consists of three multi-storeyed towers. The buildings offer luxury apartments with 1-4-bedrooms, as well as penthouses and entire floors. The residences feature contemporary design and panoramic windows that provide natural light and overlook Burj Khalifa, the singing fountains and the city’s skyline. Numerous amenities are available to residents of the complex: adult and children’s heated pools, a fitness club, a spa, a playground for kids, recreation and barbecue areas, central air conditioning, concierge services and 24-hour security. The minimum cost of one-bedroom apartment is AED 1 300 000, USD 354 000.
Sign up for our weekly newsletter for market updates!