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The Best Places to Live for Expats in Downtown Dubai

From the Dubai Mall to the Burj Khalifa, we’ve listed the best places for expats to live in Downtown Dubai in this article. Dubai is a perfect place for expats to relocate thanks to the city’s business, tourism, and entertainment landscape.

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If you are an expat planning to move to Dubai with your family, then Downtown Dubai must be on the top of your list. Note that the cost of living here may be high compared to Dubai’s other neighborhoods given its location and amenities.

So without further ado, let’s take a look at all the various pros and cons of the best places to live in Downtown Dubai for expats.

Curious about other family-friendly neighborhoods in Dubai? Check out our articles on Mirdif and Dubai Marina! 

Why is Downtown Dubai Good for Expats?

Downtown Dubai is a bustling neighborhood with upscale restaurants, entertainment centers, international food markets, and more. There are many benefits to living in Downtown Dubai, including its proximity to iconic landmarks and attractions.

Did you know that Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, and Dubai Mall, one of the largest shopping malls in the world, are located in Downtown Dubai? So as an expat living here, you can be sure to wake up to some of the best views of Dubai’s skyline.

Living in Downtown Dubai also means having access to world-class amenities. These include high-end restaurants, hotels, and entertainment venues. The district is also home to a vibrant and diverse community, making it easy to meet new people and make friends.

Here are some of the best places to live in Downtown Dubai for Expats:

  1. Burj Khalifa
  2. Dubai Mall
  3. Dubai Opera
  4. Old Town
  5. City Walk

Burj Khalifa

The Burj Khalifa area is one of the most popular locations in Downtown Dubai for expats. The location is packed with stunning views of the Dubai Fountain and Dubai Mall and is home to the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa.

Properties available in this area include luxury apartments, penthouses, and duplex apartments. With access to high-end amenities such as a fitness center, swimming pool, and concierge service, living at Burj Khalifa is basically experiencing luxury living at its finest.


  • Proximity to landmarks and popular attractions
  • Access to world-class facilities and amenities
  • Luxury living


  • High cost of living
  • Traffic congestion during peak hours

Sky view of Downtown Dubai at night with Burj Khalifa in the background

Dubai Mall

Another popular location for expats in Downtown Dubai is the Dubai Mall area. It offers direct access to the Dubai Mall, one of the largest shopping centers in the world, and is adjacent to the Burj Khalifa area.

Residential properties in the Dubai Mall include luxury apartments and penthouses. That’s not it; you also get to use modern and world-class amenities such as a fully equipped gym, a well-maintained swimming pool, and concierge service, as well as get to be at the center of it all.


  • Located close to Dubai Mall
  • World-class amenities
  • Vibrant lifestyle


  • High cost of living
  • High traffic during peak hours

Dubai Opera

The Dubai Opera Area is a relatively newly developed area within the city center of Dubai that many expats enjoy residing in. The area houses the Dubai Opera, a premier performing arts venue which hosts a wide range of cultural events throughout the year.

Properties in this area include luxury apartments and penthouses. Dubai Opera is a cultural destination where you can indulge in the arts and festivities and access some of the city’s finest facilities.


  • Proximity to Dubai Opera
  • Access to world-class amenities
  • Cultural events


  • Limited availability of real estate
  • High cost of living

Old Town

Downtown Dubai’s Old Town is a charming and historic area that makes it an ideal place for expats to call home. It is home to a variety of shops, cafes, and restaurants and features traditional Arabic architecture. Real estate here includes apartments and townhouses.

With access to local shops and restaurants, living in Old Town means experiencing an authentic lifestyle. While life in Old Town might not be as luxurious as staying at the Burj Khalifa, you will be surrounded by the charm of Dubai’s culture.


  • A charming and historic neighborhood
  • Access to local shops and restaurants
  • Relatively affordable compared to other areas in Downtown Dubai


  • Limited availability of properties
  • Limited access to first-class amenities

Sky view of Downtown Dubai in the day time with Burj Khalifa in the background and body of water

City Walk

Another luxurious area located in Downtown Dubai, the City Walk area is a modern and trendy development ideal for expats. It offers various shops, cafés, and restaurants and houses the City Walk Mall. Properties in this area include luxury apartments and penthouses.

City Walk offers a modern and trendy lifestyle, including top-of-the-line amenities. If you are looking for a classy and vibrant upscale locality then you must add City Walk to the top of your list of places to live in Downtown Dubai.


  • Modern and trendy lifestyle
  • Access to world-class amenities
  • Proximity to City Walk Mall


  • High cost of living
  • Limited availability of properties


From Burj Khalifa to Old Town, there are many places that are ideal for expats to live in Downtown Dubai. Before you decide where to live, it is a good idea to analyze your needs and budget and then choose a place that meets both.

Another important thing to note before moving to Dubai is that health insurance is mandatory for both visitors and residents. Now, navigating the world of insurance can be challenging. But fortunately for you, Pacific Prime is here to help.

Pacific Prime Dubai has over 20 years of experience in the industry and has helped numerous expats, retirees, and others navigate the complexities of Dubai’s health insurance landscape.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Can you live in Burj Khalifa?

Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building located in Downtown Dubai, offers residential accommodation along with many other facilities. If you are planning to visit Dubai soon, it is worth looking into staying here for the world-class amenities and breathtaking views.

Is Dubai Downtown safe for expats?

Living as an expat in Dubai is quite safe as the government places great emphasis on the safety of its residents. You can feel safe going about your daily life as the city has an extremely low crime rate.

Is Downtown Dubai a good place for expats to live?

Downtown Dubai is a great place to call home if you’re looking for a dynamic and diverse community. You’ll have the opportunity to meet people from all backgrounds and interests, as it’s a top choice for people from all walks of life.

Does Downtown Dubai get noisy at night?

Downtown Dubai is home to some of the world’s most famous tourist attractions such as the Burj Khalifa, Dubai Mall, City Walk, and more. People from all over the world come here to get a glimpse of these landmarks, so the noise level in Downtown Dubai is high.

Senior Copywriter at Pacific Prime Dubai
Jantra Jacobs is a Senior Copywriter at Pacific Prime with over 10 years of writing and editing experience. She writes and edits a diverse variety of online and offline copy, including sales and marketing materials ranging from articles and advertising copy to reports, guides, RFPs, and more.

Jantra curates and reports on the results of Pacific Prime’s monthly newsletters, as well as manages Pacific Prime’s Deputy Global CEO’s LinkedIn posts. Complemented by her background in business writing, Jantra’s passion for health, insurance, and employee benefits helps her create engaging content - no matter how complex the subject is.

Growing up as a third-culture kid has given her a multicultural perspective that helps her relate to expats and their families while 8 years of working remotely have given her unique insight into hybrid work arrangements and enthusiasm for employee benefits.
Jantra Jacobs