At the heart of New Dubai, Dubai Marina is an enormous development stretching from the city’s arterial Shaikh Zayed Road to the shore-lining Jumeirah Beach Residence development. While it may be one of the city’s best known neighbourhoods by name, it’s also one of the worst of the newer parts of town for traffic and congestion.

Read the updated Dubai Marina Area Guide on

But it’s not all bumper-to-bumper traffic and roadworks. Among the high-rise hotels and twisted (literally) residential buildings lies the man-made water channel from which the area draws its name and has been built around. A wide, smooth and entirely pedestrianised pathway lines the entire perimeter of the water, which connects to the sea at each end. Throngs of runners, rollerskaters and residents walking their dogs populate the path every morning, evening and weekend, while an increasing amount of cafes and restaurants line the route to cash in on the area’s many visitors.

Tourists take boat cruises, pose for snaps with superyachts and get charged the Earth for below-average Chinese food, but savvy Marina-ites know there’s much more to this area than meets the eye – look a little closer and you’ll find community running clubs, boutique bakeries and even camel meat burgers.

Where Dubai Marina is situated between Jumeirah Lakes Towers and the coast, between Dubai Media City and Jebel Ali Freezone.

Good for

Dining - the area has a huge number of both unlicensed and licensed eateries, spanning cuisines from across the world and many of them overlooking either the Marina itself or the beach.

Shopping - specifically in the Dubai Marina Mall. It’s by no means the most comprehensively stocked in the city, but it’ll do the trick if you’re in need of an emergency outfit. Grocery shopping around the area is also convenient as there are plenty of supermarkets within walking distance including Spinneys, Waitrose and Blue Mart.

Walking - specifically along the wide, smooth pedestrian footpaths that line the waterway.

Watersports - A number of wakeboarding, fishing and yacht charter companies operate from the area.

Nightlife - Outdoor bars such as XL Beach Club, Barasti, Wavebreaker and Chill Lounge are popular in cooler months, while indoor nightspots such as The Observatory in the Marriott Harbour Hotel & Tower, Aquara Lounge in the Dubai Marina Yacht Club and Pure Sky Lounge in the Hilton Dubai Jumeirah Residences draw a crowd year-round.


Bad for

Traffic and driving - There are usually only four traffic lines in total, so driving along the roads of Dubai Marina is a constant battle against traffic lights that are green for 10 seconds and red for another 2 minutes. Congestion is especially worse after 6pm on the weekends.

Construction – This seems to be a never-ending problem for Dubai Marina, or even Dubai itself. There are still many ongoing projects along the Marina, often leaving residents with problems of dust and noise pollution.

Parking - Many Marina apartment blocks do not have sufficient spots for the number of tenants and owners in residence.

Other details

Transport - Accessible from both Damac station (formerly known as Dubai Marina Metro Station) and Jumeirah Lakes Towers Metro Station.

Public transport and accessibility - with Phase 1 of Dubai Tram completed, public transport is generally accessible within 10 minutes from anywhere in the Marina. There are 11 tram stations in and around Dubai Marina, spanning from Jumeirah Beach Residence 1 (JBR 1) to Al Sufouh. Shaikh Zayed Road is also easily reachable.

Read our guide to bus routes and timetables here.

Taxi Taxis are relatively plentiful in the area, though due to construction works there are few places for drivers to stop safely, with the exception of along The Walk in JBR and in designated places such as that outside of Dubai Marina Mall.

Rent As of January 2016, the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Dubai Marina is Dh90,000 to Dh110,000 per year, according to the Dubai Land Department’s rent calculator.

Four to try in Dubai Marina

1. S’Wich

This gourmet shawarma shop is setting tongues wagging (not to mention salivating) with its refined take on the classic streetfood. As well as classic meat and chicken fillings, diners can also get their chops around duck and veal, and even create their own sandwiches, to be uploaded to the community menu for all to order.

Location Marina View Towers Contact 800 79424

2. Cargo

Head to the third floor of the cylindrical Pier 7 building, adjacent to Dubai Marina Mall, where you’ll find this buzzing nightspot. Since opening, the casual, friendly bar-lounge-restaurant has attracted an impressive following – and with breathtaking views of the Marina, not to mention some mean scotched quail’s eggs and mixed drinks, it’s not hard to see why.

Location Pier 7, next to Dubai Marina Mall Contact +971 4 361 8129

3. Baker & Spice

An upmarket café with an ethos that aims to bring fresh, local produce to the dining table, this waterside spot is popular among breakfasting Marina-ites. If you’re visiting at lunchtime, the gnocchi won’t disappoint.

Location Marina Promenade Contact +971 4 362 4686

4. TribeFit

Describing itself as a ‘social gym’ members of this state-of-the-art facility not only get access to top equipment but a whole roster of different classes, plus regular gatherings including movie nights, mini concerts and brunches.

Location Silverene Tower Contact 800 87423