Dubai Marina is one of the most beautiful residential districts of Dubai: it is a canal city that rises around one of the most exclusive marinas in the world, always well frequented by wealthy entrepreneurs, famous people and owners of luxurious yachts.
But what makes Dubai Marina a place to visit are its skyline made of over 200 skyscrapers and the Dubai Marina Walk which is a long pedestrian path that goes around the Marina and is one of the best places to go for an evening stroll in Dubai.
The skyline is truly impressive, especially at night it gives an amazing feeling! In addition, this neighborhood is particularly popular with expats, making it one of the most cosmopolitan and vibrant places in Dubai. At night there are parties, clubs, discos, you certainly won’t be bored!
All You Need to Know Before Visiting Dubai Marina
Dubai Marina is located along a 3 km long beach and is crossed by an artificial navigable canal, where it is not uncommon to see dozens of luxury yachts.
Dubai Marina is strategically located at the southern end of Dubai, in an area that is still expanding. Abu Dhabi is only 1 hour away by car. Near Dubai Marina there are Dubai Media City and Dubai Internet City, modern neighborhoods occupied by the offices of the most important companies in the media and information technology industry.
In Dubai Marina there are over 200 skyscrapers concentrated in a relatively small area, for this reason it is also called “The Tallest Block in the World”. Among these skyscrapers the best known are the Cayan Tower, the Ocean Heights, the Marina Pinnacle and the incomplete Pentominium designed to be the second tallest skyscraper in Dubai, with a height of 516 meters (1,693 ft).
Locals love to stroll along its promenade, while visitors here find plenty of activities to do, restaurants for alfresco dining and a vibrant nightlife.
If you are lucky you can sometimes spot whales and sharks swimming in the Dubai Marina canal. This is due to the proximity to the coast and the tranquility of the canal waters.
On the opposite side of Sheikh Zayed Rd from Dubai Marina there are prestigious residential areas, with ponds, villas and golf clubs. This contributes to making this area one of the most beautiful places to live in Dubai.
The most exclusive part of Dubai Marina is called Jumeirah Beach Residence. This luxury residential neighborhood includes 40 towers, an avenue full of restaurants and shops (The Walk) and a trendy beach full of entertainment and with a beautiful promenade (The Beach) which is the heart of Dubai Marina’s nightlife.
In addition to the other residential complexes, such as those of Al Sahab, Al Majara and Marina Quays in Dubai Marina we can also find a large shopping center: the Dubai Marina Mall.
In Dubai Marina you can take long walks along the Marina Promenade, the avenue that runs alongside the canal and try some of the most fun activities you can find in Dubai. Let’s see what are the most interesting things to do!
The Best Things to See in Dubai Marina
Dubai Marina Promenade
Go there in the evening or early in the morning and you will understand why many expats have chosen to live in Dubai Marina. This 7km walkway around Dubai Marina is the ideal place for a stroll and is a favorite destination for joggers.
It is an easy and pleasant walk as the Dubai Marina Promenade is flat and looping, so you can also enjoy a beautiful view of the skyscrapers and billionaires’ yachts.
Dubai Marina Walk
The Walk is the trendiest area of Dubai Marina and is a long avenue where you can find over 300 shops and more than 60 places to eat.
From morning to evening The Walk attracts locals and visitors who come here to enjoy the beaches of Dubai Marina and the many sporting activities that can be done, or to enjoy a good cocktail or lunch overlooking the Gulf or the Marina.
On weekends events and shows are held here and the avenues are teeming with people. Couples or families here can try the unforgettable cruise experience in the Dubai Marina, enjoying a dinner cruise in a dream setting.
Dubai Marina Mall
This mall is one of the most famous in Dubai, it has over 140 shops that mainly sell clothing, electronics, food and souvenirs and more than 20 eateries, good for a quick meal or for a coffee while admiring the Marina.
Near the Dubai Marina Mall you will also find boarding for the Water Buses and for the canal cruises that animate Dubai Marina in the evening.
The Best Things to Do in Dubai Marina
Dubai Speedboat Tour
This is one of the absolutely must-do things in Dubai! Speedboat tours take you to see all the wonders of Dubai from a different angle.
The adventure begins in the Dubai Marina, where you can admire the Yacht Club and the incredible scenery of skyscrapers overlooking the water. Then you will pass by Bluewater Island, which is located off the coast of Jumeirah Beach, and you will head towards Palm Jumeirah for a breathtaking view of the famous Atlantis The Palm.
You will admire the skyline of Dubai from the sea, up to the Burj Al Arab, one of the most iconic buildings in Dubai. You will also have the rare opportunity to admire the island of the Sheikh and if you are lucky to see his incredible private yacht.
I recommend that you book in advance, as this is a very popular experience!
Dubai Marina Luxury Cruise (with unlimited alcohol included!)
Enjoy a romantic dinner cruise with your loved ones. These luxury ships sail on the calm waters of the Dubai Marina and allow you to enjoy the best view of the night skyline.
Onboard you can have your own reserved table and enjoy an excellent buffet dinner enlivened by local musicians. The menu offers typical local specialties and international cuisine. You can also enjoy the treatment of unlimited drinks, including alcohol, which is a real luxury in Dubai! So, drink responsibly!
Helicopter Tour over Dubai Marina and Palm Jumeirah
If Skydive isn’t your thing, don’t worry, you too can admire the incredible view of Dubai Marina and Palm Jumeirah from above. How? With a helicopter tour!
Helicopter tours depart from the Dubai Police Academy and allow you to see the whole city from a very unique angle! The flight takes about 12-15 minutes and contrary to popular belief the price is quite affordable.
Jet Ski Experience between Dubai Marina, Palm Jumeirah and the Burj Al Arab
The funniest way to explore the Dubai coast is with jet skis!
Guided jet ski tours depart not far from Dubai Marina and allow you to explore the whole area, including Palm Jumeirah, the amazing view of the Atlantis The Palm and Burj Al Arab, and you can also see the island of the Sheikh and all the wonders of the coast.
The guides will guarantee you a perfect and safe experience, also suitable for beginners.
Skydive on Dubai Marina and Palm Jumeirah
Without a doubt the craziest and most electrifying experience you can have in Dubai. They will take you by plane to over 4000 meters above Dubai Marina and then you will launch in free fall at over 200 km/h.
After about 60 seconds you will open the parachute and then you can gently descend towards Dubai Marina, enjoying a superb view of Dubai and Palm Jumeirah.
The staff will follow you throughout the experience and will make a video of your performance for you that you can show everyone!
Dubai Marina Zipline
Adrenaline lovers have what they need! On the Dubai Marina there is a record zipline: the XLine.
XLine is famous for being the longest urban zipline in the world and one of the steepest and fastest around the globe. A kilometer of pure adrenaline traveling with an average speed of 80 km/h at 170 meters high.
From the zipline you will enjoy an incredible view of the Dubai Marina, its skyscrapers and yachts. The staff provides all participants with a GoPro included in the helmet, and they send you the video edited for free the next day by email.
For couples or friends there is the possibility of a tandem flight. There are two parallel ziplines to live this electrifying experience together!
The Best Restaurants in Dubai Marina
Dubai Marina is known for being one of the best places to dine alfresco in Dubai. Its bars and restaurants attract excellent chefs and bartenders from all over the world, international cuisines mix with exotic flavors and cosmopolitan atmospheres.
The whole area of Dubai Marina is full of restaurants and clubs, there is something for all tastes and budgets. The offer is so wide that it is almost impossible to summarize in one post. However I will try to reveal to you what are my favorite restaurants in Dubai Marina!
Let’s start with Operation Falafel The Beach Mall JBR, a great place to taste a nice variety of local specialties. It is the best for a quick meal, the portions are generous and the prices are cheap!
Zafran Indian Bistro is located in the Dubai Marina Mall and serves Indian cuisine. The food is tasty and of good quality. The affordable price.
If you want to have a special “MasterChef experience, the TV Experience” is the right restaurant for you. Here you can savor the best of international gourmet cuisine, with the best recipes from the famous TV show. The prices are quite high.
Among the Middle Eastern restaurants (mostly Lebanese), try Zaroob, which serves generous portions at affordable prices, Al-Maeda, which serves exquisite traditional dishes and the Bahar Persian Restaurant, which among these is the most elegant and expensive.
In the JBR one of the most popular eateries is the Catch 22, which serves the best of international fusion cuisine, generous portions and affordable prices.
If you love buffets like me then you must try The Talk which at a reasonable price allows you to try the best of international cuisine, or Sloane’s which offers a buffet of meat, fish and vegetarian options of good quality at a fixed price, all you can eat, drinks not included.
One of my favorite places in Dubai is the Observatory Bar & Grill, elegant, refined, with a crazy view! Located on the 52nd floor of the Marriot Harbor Hotel, it serves sensational cocktails and good food.
If you want to eat good pizza go to Luigia – The Best of Italy which is an excellent Italian restaurant and makes a really delicious pizza.
Near Dubai Marina there is an excellent fish restaurant, the Fish Beach Taverna.
The most famous place in terms of food in Dubai Marina is Pier 7, a reference point for fine dining in Dubai. A palace dedicated to gastronomic experiences, 7 floors, a restaurant on each floor.
The 7 restaurants offer 7 different concepts of modern cuisine: at the Atelier M restaurant you can enjoy the pleasures of contemporary French cuisine reinterpreted with an Asian-fusion flair, has a lounge inspired by the Art Deco style and a magnificent rooftop from which you can enjoy a beautiful view on the Dubai Marina.
The Asia Asia Restaurant & Lounge is inspired by the flavors of the ancient Orient and allows you to make a gastronomic journey from Asia Minor through to the Far East.
At the Abd el Wahab restaurant you can enjoy Lebanese specialties as well as excellent fresh seafood dishes.
The Scene by Simon Rimmer is the most informal, suitable for young people and groups of friends, offering excellent specialties of contemporary British & European cuisine. Unlike the others, it is also open for breakfast and lunch.
On the second floor there is the eclectic Amazon-inspired Mama Zonia serving exotic fusion specialties, mixing Latin and Asian flavors. It serves excellent cocktails and hosts popular DJ sets in the evening.
The Fumé restaurant is loved by young people who choose it for its informal atmosphere, good cocktails and an offer of good quality food at not too high prices.
The Cargo is a well-known social hub in Dubai Marina, popular with young people for its parties, DJ sets and happy hours. It offers an excellent selection of cocktails, beers and finger foods inspired by the Asian style.
The Best Beach Clubs in Dubai Marina
If you want to spend a day full of sun and fun, or if you want to try the crazy nightlife of Dubai these are the right addresses:
DRIFT Beach Dubai
It is one of the most exclusive beach clubs in Dubai and offers everything you need for a day of relaxation and fun. The service is impeccable and the clientele is well selected. You can drink excellent cocktails or eat something. The prices are quite high.
Azure Beach is one of the most chic beach clubs in JBR, and offers very comfortable sunbeds, a heated swimming pool, good food, beautiful music: a great place to spend a nice day in the sun!
Getting Around in Dubai Marina
Dubai Marina is really easy to reach and once there the best way to explore it is on foot. This is in fact one of the few pedestrian friendly areas of Dubai and its promenade allows you to make beautiful walks, especially at sunset or early in the morning.
You can reach Dubai Marina with the Dubai Metro Red Line.
There are two metro stations: Damac Properties and DMCC. Both are located on the opposite side of Sheikh Zayed Road, but are well connected to the Marina by covered pedestrian bridges.
Getting around the neighborhood is easy thanks to the Dubai Tram, with its 11 tram stations, stretching from Jumeirah Beach Residence (JBR) to Al Sufouh. The tram connects Dubai Marina with Burj Al Arab, the Mall of the Emirates and the Palm Jumeirah Monorail.
From Dubai International Airport to Dubai Marina by metro it takes about 45 minutes. By taxi or car it takes 25 to 45 minutes depending on traffic.
Dubai Marina can be easily reached with the Hop On Hop Off Buses that pass right in the heart of the Marina (JBR) and stop in all the most interesting points of the neighborhood.
Things to see and do around Dubai Marina
Dubai Marina is a great starting point to visit Palm Jumeirah and maybe spend a day at the amazing Atlantis Aquaventure.
From here you can also easily reach the Burj Al Arab, or the Dubai Mall and Burj Khalifa area.
Planning your trip to Dubai? Then you should check out the GUIDE TO THE BEST THINGS TO DO AND SEE IN DUBAI.