Barely a decade ago, you’d drive past the rows upon rows of nondescript homes and a detention centre on Al Wasl Road in Al Safa without a second glance. Today, the place is one of Dubai’s trendiest neighbourhoods and, perhaps, also its hottest tourist attraction.
Welcome to City Walk, a mixed-use development that resembles a chic European city with cobbled streets, iconic red telephone booths and striking wall paintings and murals.
A Bohemian vibe courses through the innumerable funky boutique stores and eateries dotting the area that spans over 10 million square feet.
Meraas, the developer and a Dubai-based holding company, describes City Walk as an “urban living concept”.
It’s not hard to understand why.
Located in the heart of Jumeirah, this endlessly vibrant neighbourhood is full of things to do — shopping, eating out, leisure, art and culture, and easy commutes.
And surprisingly, it’s still not prohibitively expensive — for now. Apartment rentals here have dropped by 10 per cent lately, according to Bayut and dubizzle’s combined market report for this year’s third quarter, making it a popular choice for Dubai’s elite.
City Walk consists of 34 mid-rise sleek residential buildings, featuring one-to-four-bedroom apartments, including penthouses and duplexes.
Each apartment has spacious hallways and glazed windows that offer residents spectacular views of the city’s stunning skyline. Some homes overlook the Burj Khalifa, which is located just a little over two kilometres away.
Set amongst tree-lined avenues and contemporary street art murals, all residential buildings have retail stores on the ground floor.
Residents have access to more than a dozen swimming pools and several gyms. The community also has a unique water feature, known as the “fountain show”.
Curiously, City Walk is the only freehold area in Jumeirah. The price of a two-bedroom apartment hovers around the Dh2.5 million mark, while a three-bedroom unit may cost upwards of Dh4 million.
A European expatriate who lives in one of the buildings here, said there’s never a dull moment at City Walk.
“No matter what time of the year, you will always find something fun and Instagram-worthy happening here. But it’s during the Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF) when this place comes truly alive. My wife and I can’t wait for the entertaining family-friendly activities that take place here during this time of the year,” he said.
A British expatriate who moved here from Jumeirah Village recently, said he’s excited to learn that City Walk has been shortlisted as one of 10 areas in Dubai where people will be able to ride e-scooters on designated tracks from early next year.
“It’ll be great to explore the area on an e-bike,” said the father of two. “We absolutely love it here. The Dubai Mall and Burj Khalifa are just a short drive away, as are the beaches,” he said.
City Walk may look like a bustling metropolitan street, but it is exclusively for pedestrians. Vehicles are not allowed inside the area.
Like many other diverse neighbourhoods of Dubai, the place boasts of a plethora of restaurants to tickle all palettes. You can find Indian culinary delights with a modern twist at Farzi Café, classic lamb chops served with butternut squash at Butcha Steakhouse and authentic Lebanese street food at Aloo Beirut.
Then, there’s Sikka Café, a homegrown restaurant that serves a delightful mix of Emirati, Indian and Persian cuisine. Other firm favourites include P.F. Chang’s and Sugar Factory.
Movie buffs can enjoy the latest releases at Roxy Cinemas where they can pick from three different seating options.
Since its opening in 2013, City Walk has undergone massive expansion. A fairly new addition is the Coca Cola Arena, which opened in June 2019.
Sprawling over half a million square feet, the indoor arena routinely hosts international concerts and can accommodate around 17,000 spectators.
Another big attraction is The Green Planet, a tropical rainforest within a semi-dome that is home to more than 3,000 animals and plants.
City Walk is also home to two hotels — La Ville Hotel and Suites and Rove City Walk both of which are hugely popular with tourists.
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