The best of Downtown Dubai

There’s far more to Downtown than the world’s tallest building Discuss this article

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When the Burj Khalifa began its rise out of the desert towards the Dubai sun in 2004, the city was starting to boom. And by the time the fireworks crowned the tower’s record-breaking opening in January 2010, Dubai was a very different place. Yet despite being surrounded by the world’s largest mall, the tallest fountains and increasingly stylish hotels, many doomsday experts – commenting soon after its opening, amid the global financial crisis – predicted that the tower would become the world’s largest white elephant, and would cast a long shadow over the surrounding area.

They couldn’t have been more wrong. Today, queues twist around the block with buyers hoping to snap up apartments and residences in the surrounding towers. Sales at The Dubai Mall rocketed by 25 percent last year, and the shopping magnet will soon make a start on a multi-million dollar expansion. Buses give tours of the area and classic cars whizz past excited shoppers on rented bicycles, while residents debate whether to meet friends at the local writers’ club or head to Burj Park for an al-fresco yoga class.

What was once considered a business-driven and slightly soulless area has gained character, style and a proud group of residents. Here we round up some of the recent highlights and reveal exciting future developments, taking in the Burj Khalifa area, DIFC, Emirates Towers, Business Bay and along Sheikh Zayed Road.

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By Shane McGinley
Time Out Dubai,

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