Districts in Dubai
Like most major cities in the world, Dubai is divided into several districts or municipalities with each offering its peculiar glitz and glamour. Depending on your purpose of visit, knowledge of each district and what you can or cannot do is paramount. So far there are dozens of districts in Dubai. However, we shall explore some of the most popular districts, highlighting their key features and general info about each area.
Business Bay Dubai
As Manhattan is to New York and Tokyo is to Japan, Business Bay aspires to become the international business hub of the country. Set within the lustrous waters of the Dubai Canal, Business Bay is one of the most prestigious Districts that houses some of the finest residential and office buildings. Business Bay covers a massive area of over 80 million square feet and it is located in the heart of the city. It shares boundaries with other prestigious locations like Downtown Dubai and is only a few minutes away from top attractions such as the Dubai Fountain, Burj Khalifa and the Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo.
High-rising apartments in Business Bay. Photo credit: Bayut
Properties in the District
Business Bay is one of the city’s prime locations offering a mix of iconic high rising buildings that serve as residential and office buildings. One of the major outstanding properties in the region is the Al Habtoor City. This region spans over 10 million square feet along the prestigious Sheik Zayed road. It comprises several five-star hotels and luxury residential towers.
Another notable property in the region is the Marasi Business Bay which is a novel development that comprises a collection of several floating ‘water homes. This region is similar to the Dubai Marina except that it is located in the heart of the city thus offering you the perfect blend of business and fun.
These locations offer a mixture of properties such as large studios, luxury apartments and penthouses. If you are looking to invest in Business Bay, there are several off-plan properties that include private residences such as Paramount Towers by DAMAC and Millenium Residences by Binghatti. The rental trend varies from AED 28000 for a studio to as much as AED 1.5 million for a five-bedroom apartment. However, these prices are not static and could increase or decrease along with the current market trends.
Amenities in Business Bay
For a location looking to become the business hub of the entire city, there is no doubt that it’s got to have all the finest amenities. Schools, healthcare facilities, temples, churches, mosques, transportation, hotels and many more. Some of the popular hotels in the region include Radisson Blu Hotel Waterfront, The Oberoi, JW Marriot Marquis Hotel, Taj Dubai and many others.
In terms of transportation, Business Bay is only a few minutes away from other popular locations within the city. For example, it is about nine minutes from the Dubai Mall, 43 minutes from the Al Maktoum International Airport, 32 minutes from the Dubai International Airport and the same goes for other key locations. The region is connected to the Al Khail Road in the South and the Sheik Zayed Road in the North so getting around is not a problem. There is also the Business Bay Metro Station as well as taxis and buses for public transportation.
For those who need to take care of their spiritual needs, Business Bay offers easy access to several mosques like the Jumeirah Mosque and Al Ghafoor Mosque. Churches close to the area include St Mary’s Catholic Church, Meanwhile, Hindu residents are not left out as they can also access several temples like the Shiva and Krishna Temples with ease.
In terms of healthcare, the Emirates Hospital Clinic is at your beck and call. Likewise, there are other prestigious hospitals in the area. In the end, Business Bay is most suitable for those looking to set up businesses in Dubai as its location offers a lot more advantages to business owners.
Famed for its impressive array of stunning luxurious residences and high rising skyscrapers, Downtown Dubai is the city’s bustling hub. Downtown Dubai is home to some of Dubai’s most iconic structures thus making it one of the most visited districts in the entire city. The region features Emaar’s flagship mega-development projects covering the most prestigious two square kilometers in the city. This dynamic region is flanked on one side by the Sheik Zayed road and the other side by the Financial Center Road. S far, the region is known to provide the best cosmopolitan lifestyle for residents and tourists alike as it features the best of luxury, several world-class landmarks and entertainments spots that have helped cement Dubai’s position as one of the most visited tourist destinations in the world.
Overview of Downtown Dubai from Burj Khalifa. Photo Credit: Bayut
Iconic properties and sights in Downtown Dubai
Downtown Dubai is home to some of the most exclusive addresses in the entire city. The location offers the perfect community experience to both residents and tourists with its collection of villas, apartments and stylish penthouses. The Dubai Mall, Dubai Opera, Souk Al Bahar Market, Burj Khalifa, Dubai Fountain and Burj Khalifa Lake are some of the iconic structures that make this region stand out in the entire city. Certainly, there is no way you’re going to miss the sight of the tallest building in the world or the world’s largest shopping mall. All of these put together makes Dubai Downtown a must-visit for tourists.
Downtown Dubai has it all. The region is home to some of the finest hotels, hospitals, schools, malls, and many more. As one of the major center attractions in the city, you will find the best five-star hotels like The Address Boulevard, Armani Hotel Dubai, Palace Downtown and many others. The Armani Hotel Dubai will catch your attention as it occupies 11 floors of the Burj Khalifa which happens to be one of the most visited destinations in the city for tourists.
In terms of shopping, the Dubai Mall offers you everything in one place. However, the region also offers you other options such as Spinneys as well as other smaller grocery stores. If you are looking for a place that offers a more specialized shopping experience for authentic local brands then the Souk Al Bahar is your best option. Meanwhile, finding your way around is pretty easy. There are various transportation options which include buses, taxis as well as the world first hydrogen-powered trolley transportation system.
In the end, you can never run out of options when it comes to things that you can do in Downtown Dubai. If you are a fan of classical music, the Dubai Opera is available for you. Other places include restaurants, beaches, community events and many more.
Set over a two-mile stretch facing the Arabian Gulf, Dubai Marina is one of the City’s most pristine and exclusive neighbourhoods. There are several landmark talking points about this region as it boasts several luxurious high rising apartments hinged on the stunning framework of the marina. Since it opened its doors in 2020, the region offers residents and tourists several options This region is home to some top spots like Vida residences, Marina Vista, Emaar Beachfront, etc. Dubai Marina has offers some of the best retail outlets, the best villas, apartment mix, dining, shopping and many more.
Blocks of high-rising buildings in Dubai Marina. Photo Credit: Bayut
Properties in Dubai Marina
Since the region opened for business, there are over 200 residential towers with each offering an amazing view around the harbour and the entire city. While this might not be home to the tallest building in the world, Dubai Marina is home to a collection of several tall buildings. This has earned it the name as the “tallest block in the world” with many amazing high rising buildings that forms a huge part of the amazing Dubai skyline. Apartments in the area include studios, different bedroom apartments as well as luxurious penthouses. Some of the most popular buildings in the area include Marina Diamonds, Marina Pinnacle, Manchester Tower, DEC Towers, and Marina Pinnacle which each offering a collection of luxurious apartments, penthouses and studios. The Marina Diamond is the most popular residential complex in the region closely followed by the DEC Tower and Marina Gate.
Amenities in Dubai Marina
From hotels to hospitals, transportation networks, schools, churches, malls, mosques, temples, Dubai Marina has it all. Some of the best hotels in the region include Le Verda Suites & Villa, Grosvenor House, Address Dubai Marina and many others with each offering a class of its luxury services.
While there is a good road network as expected, Dubai Marina also has two metro stations that offer alternative transportation to residents and tourists. So, whenever the road gets a little busy especially in the evenings, you can try using the DMCC Metro Station or the Sobha Realty Metro Station depending on your location and personal preference. Likewise, you can use the boat rides if you are up for some adrenaline pumping.
If you are looking to do some shopping, the Dubai Marina Mall is a nice option. You can also shop for your favourite designers, catch a movie or dine and wine with family and friends. Another option is the JBR’s The Beach Mall which is another close option to residents in Dubai Marina.
With all of this in place, there is no doubt that you can never run out of options in terms of things to do. You can decide to hit the beach and catch the cool evening breeze while enjoying some amazing seafood options. Likewise, you take an evening stroll and explore the eye-catching view of the amazing waterways and high-rise buildings. Feeling like that snot enough for you? Wrap up your evening by exploring the amazing nightlife in any of the amazing nightclubs.
Located directly on the Persian Gulf, west of the Dubai Creek and Southwest of Bur Dubai is the Jumeirah District. This is one of the most modern districts in Dubai that is home to some of the most luxurious and expensive residential apartments and villas in the city. While Jumeirah no doubt has so many centers of attraction, this coastal residential area is known for its magnificent manmade island that currently ranks as the largest in the world to date. The Palm Jumeirah is one of the most popular landmark structures in the district built like the shape of a palm tree. Living in this district is quite fulfilling as it boasts several world-class facilities that will surely take your breath away.
Palm Jumeirah showing key areas of interest. Photo credit: Bayut
Properties in Jumeirah
The Palm Jumeirah is divided into three sections; the crescent, Trunk and Fronds. The view from above is unbelievable, a must-see especially if you’re visiting the city for the first time. You can never get tired of the view over and over again. Most of the apartments are located on the trunk while residential villas are located along the fronds. Some of the popular properties in the region include Marina Residences, Oceana, Tiara Residences, Signature Villas, Garden Homes, Shoreline Apartments, and the Crescent with each offering an amazing view across the Arabian Gulf. The prices of these apartments differ depending on your preference in terms of size and amenities.
Popular hotels in the region include Anantara The Palm, Hotel Fairmont The Palm, Atlantis The Palm, Five Palm Jumeirah Hotel and many others. While all of these represents some of the finest five-star hotels in the region, Atlantis The Palm is one of the most popular and major highlights of the area.
A world-class manmade island is not just a ceremonial title that this region enjoys for its flamboyant look. Palm Jumeirah is self-sufficient in terms of world-class amenities. Transportation, shopping malls, hospitals, churches, mosques, temples and schools are all available to residents and tourists.
One of the most popular means of transportation in the region is the Palm Monorail. Currently operating from four stations, Al Ittihad Park Station, the Palm Gateway Station, Nakheel Mall Station and Atlantis Aquaventure Waterpark Station, the 5.5km monorail line offers tourists and residents an easy way to explore the region at a glance. Other means of transportation include taxis and trams.
For shoppers, Palm Jumeirah is no stranger as it provides a haven for various shoppers from across the world. Some of the popular malls in the region includes the iconic Golden Mile Galleria with over 70 retail outlet shots from various brands. There is also the Nakheel Mall and The Pointe by Nakheel. These malls offer world-class shopping facilities that guarantee you enjoy your shopping experience, a cinema complex, a rooftop dining plaza among others.
If you are considering relocating with your family, Palm Jumeirah also offers some of the best schools that covers the British Curriculum and accommodates other international students. Popular schools include Redwood Montessori Nursery, GEMS Wellington International School, American School of Dubai and many more. Likewise, Park Jumeirah is just next to Dubai Knowledge Park which is home to some of the best educational institutions like the American University of Dubai, University of Wollongong and Middlesex University.
There are also several clinics and hospitals in the area. Likewise, for religious enthusiasts, Palm Jumeirah also houses a few to cater for the interest of all with other options only a few minutes away.
If you are planning to visit Palm Jumeirah, there are dozens of things to look out for whether you are planning to visit for fun or looking to explore business opportunities. One thing is certain, you are going to enjoy every moment. The breathtaking view of endless waterfronts, beaches, shopping malls, luxurious villas and apartments will stretch your taste for luxury and fun.
Located west of Dubai Creek, Bur Dubai offers a blend of history and contemporary architecture and lifestyle. The historic district is home to several historical monuments in the city. If you are a fan of history and culture then this is one district you cannot afford to miss on your next visit to Dubai. It houses historical structures like the blue tiled Iranian Mosque, the Dubai Frame which is a popular attraction for tourists, the Grand Mosque with the tallest minaret in the city, Al Fahidi which is the oldest house in the city and houses the historic Dubai Museum among others. In addition to its historical and cultural attachments, Bur Dubai is also one of the cheapest places to rent affordable apartments.
Bur Dubai. Photo Credit: Bayut
Bur Dubai Properties
You won’t find those high rising apartments at Bur Dubai. However, there are several decent apartments at affordable prices for residents and tourists. The majority of the apartments in this district are located in Al Jaddaf, Oud Metha, Al Raffa and Al Hamriya. Usually, the apartments are not furnished so you’ll have to get your furniture while also scouting for amenities nearby.
Al Jaddaf is the most popular in the Bur Dubai district. The area features several iconic leisure spots like the Jaddaf Waterfront and Zabeel stadium. Even more, there are a few residential towers, some luxury hotels and an exhibition center. Popular hotels include Palazzo Versace Dubai, Grand Hyatt Dubai, XVA Art Hotel, Raffles Dubai and many others.
Bur Dubai also features several amenities like schools, hospitals, transportation, shopping malls, and religious centers. Owing to the blend of old and new apartments, the parking arrangement is not clear as most old buildings do not make arrangements for dedicated parking spaces. In terms of transportation, the city is well-connected and can be accessed via taxis, trains and buses. Metro stations in the area include Oud Mehta Metro Station, Al Jaddaf Metro Station, Al Fahidi Metro station, Burhuman Metro Station, Ghubaiba Metro Station and ADCB Metro Station. All of these metro stations are spread across the different sub-communities that make up the district. The district is easily linked to popular roads like the Al Khail Road, Al Ain Hatta Road and Sheikh Zayed Road.
In terms of shopping, you won’t find the luxury shopping malls in the other highbrow districts. However, the region has its mall and several supermarkets where you can get the basic thing you need. The Burjuman mall is the most popular in the region. Also, if you are looking to shop for some cultural materials then you will find a lot of them here.
Of course, you will find several mosques around including the historic Grand Mosque Dubai that dates back to 1900. There are a few churches and temples as well.
For residents looking to give their children quality education, Bur Dubai also houses some great schools. Popular options include Indian High School, Dubai Gem Private School, St Marys Catholic High School, Lycee Francaise International and many others. The district is also well connected to allow access to schools in the Knowledge Park, Dubai Silicon Oasis and the Dubai International Academic City.
This district does not come into mind as a tourist attraction except for those who desire to explore the complete Dubai experience. Usually underrated in terms of luxury destinations but this district is home to one of the largest ports and industrial landscape, not just in the UAE but in the world. It houses more than 7000 companies that cut across logistics, manufacturing and trade among others. Owing to its industrialization, the region paid little attention to housing and luxury until in recent years. So far, the waterfront canal is currently home to some luxury villas and apartments that have changed the face of the region from a mere industrial hub and seaport to a place where people can reside and also have fun.
Jebel Ali seaport. Photo credit: Dubai Experience
Attractions and amenities
For those who work and live in the area, there is a limited option when it comes to side attractions and fun spots. However, Jebel Ali is home to the world largest themed shopping mall, IBN Battuta. It features six courts to depict China, Tunisia, Persia, Andalusia, India and Egypt, the only IMAX screen in the whole of Dubai, plenty of shops and restaurants.
While this might still limit your options, the region is properly linked to nearby locations as well. There is are several metro stations with access to the airport and Dubai Mall which is only 60 and 30 minutes away respectively. Abu Dhabi is only 65 minutes away while the airport is about 50 minutes on road.