City of Arabia Dubai Area Guide 2023

Dictricts City of Arabia Dubai Area Guide 2023
~21 min


The City of Arabia is a self-contained community in Dubai, part of the Dubai Land Project. It features stylish apartments, residential buildings, outdoor cafes, and various attractions. The development is known for its elite towers and vibrant shopping mall under construction which is called the Mall of Arabia. The Mall of Arabia will be one of the largest malls globally, offering a wide range of shops, restaurants, and facilities.

Initially, Mall of Arabia was projected for completion in 2008, the Dubai real-estate market downturn impacted the mall's timeline. Due to these circumstances, the opening of the mall faced postponement. In 2016, an alternative plan emerged: the mall's revival within a decade, as the priority shifted to the opening of IMG Worlds of Adventure.

The Dubai Tourism Development Company manages the city of Arabia in close liaison with Dubai Holding. The overall managers of this project, including its residential and commercial aspects, strive to create a dynamic city within Dubai. The Mustafa Galadari Group owns the development and is in a prime catchment area.

One of the distinctive upcoming features of the City of Arabia is its monorail system, which will help residents and visitors navigate the community with ease. This monorail system will be a part of Dubai's commitment to efficient transportation infrastructure. The City of Arabia also features an executive office, offering essential services to residents, property owners, and the group behind the project.

The City of Arabia is a key component of the Dubai Land Project, a visionary initiative that aims to transform the region into a global hub. This project aligns with Dubai's vision of becoming a world-class city with cutting-edge amenities and attractions. Dubai Holding is owned by Mohammed Al Gergawi, the Minister for Cabinet Affairs and the Future of the UAE. This holding plays a key role in the project and is engaged in the creation of residential, public, and entertainment international-class facilities.

History of the City of Arabia

The history of the City of Arabia within DubaiLand dates back to its inception in 2004. The project was conceived as a visionary urban development to create a self-contained community with diverse residential, commercial, and entertainment offerings. With ambitious plans, the project embarked on its journey toward completion.

Following the global financial crisis in 2008, the City of Arabia faced substantial challenges that led to a transformation in its trajectory. Most of the development, initially set to be completed by 2008, experienced delays and setbacks due to the economic downturn. As a result, the project's evolution over time took a different course than initially envisioned.

By 2019, a few key elements of the project had materialized. Notable among these were the completion of IMG Worlds of Adventure, GEMS Heritage School, and an ENOC petrol station. These achievements underscored the resilience and adaptability of the project in the face of adversity. The landmark Wadi Tower IMG was also nearing completion, symbolizing progress and determination amid challenges.

However, certain sub-components of the master plan, such as Restless Planet, were initiated but later placed on hold due to the changing circumstances and the need to prioritize resources effectively. The development's journey continued, shaped by the evolving economic landscape and strategic decisions to navigate uncertain times.

Geography and Architecture in City of Arabia Dubai

Geography and Architecture

The City of Arabia, situated at the gateway to Dubailand in the United Arab Emirates, is a grand endeavor valued at $20 billion. This multifaceted destination encompasses retail, residential, commercial, and entertainment components. While some segments of this extensive project are still being built, its layout and architectural elements offer a glimpse into its grandeur.

One of the distinctive characteristics of the City of Arabia is its concept as a self-contained community with an emphasis on minimizing car usage. This notion is realized through the project's monorail system, which efficiently transports residents and visitors within the community. This monorail network facilitates seamless connectivity to a designated Dubai Metro station, allowing convenient movement around the site.

The City of Arabia is subdivided into six distinct sub-communities:

  1. Avenue 353 - under development (progress slow)

  2. Bianca Townhouses by Reportage Properties - planned

  3. California Village - under development (in progress)

  4. Dubai Bazaar - under development (canceled)

  5. Pacific Village - under development (canceled)

  6. Wadi Walk - under development

Upon completion, the City of Arabia will consist of 8,200 residential components, ultimately accommodating a community of 32,800 residents. The development's strategic positioning will give rise to a catchment area encompassing 1.87 million individuals, signifying its potential influence on a substantial population.

Key Attractions

  • IMG Worlds of Adventure. This fully operational attraction offers an immersive experience as one of the main draws of the City of Arabia. It's the world's largest indoor theme park, featuring various entertainment zones based on popular brands like Marvel, Cartoon Network, and more. Visitors can enjoy thrilling rides, interactive experiences, and encounters with their favorite characters.

  • Mall of Arabia. An upcoming centerpiece of the City of Arabia, the Mall of Arabia aims to become one of the world's largest malls. Anticipated to feature a vast array of retail outlets, dining options, and entertainment venues, it promises to be a hub for shopping and leisure.

  • Global Village. A multicultural festival park that celebrates the diverse cultures of different countries through pavilions, entertainment shows, shopping, and dining options. It provides a unique opportunity to explore various international cultures in one place. Global Village is usually open from October to April.

  • Plation Equestrian & Polo Club. It is a symphony of elegance and passion 10 minutes away from the City of Arabia. This prestigious club isn't just a haven for equestrian enthusiasts; it's a testament to the rich heritage of the sport and a tribute to Dubai's commitment to excellence. With world-class facilities and a backdrop that seamlessly blends nature with architectural brilliance, the club invites individuals to witness the timeless charm of polo and equestrian pursuits.

  • Trump International Golf Club, Dubai. Golf enthusiasts can look forward to the Trump International Golf Club, Dubai, offering a world-class golfing experience amid lush landscapes and top-tier facilities.

Tips for visiting Dubai and the City of Arabia include:

  • Best Time to Visit. The best time to visit the City of Arabia's attractions is during the cooler months, typically from November to April, when the weather is more comfortable for outdoor activities.

  • Ticket Information. For IMG Worlds of Adventure, check the official website for ticket prices, availability, and package deals.

  • Plan Ahead. Given the potential popularity of the attractions, consider arriving early to avoid long lines and ensure you have ample time to explore each interest.

  • Stay Hydrated and Sun-Protected. The UAE's climate can be hot, so remember to stay hydrated and use sunscreen to protect yourself from the sun's rays.

  • Check Operating Hours. Confirm the operating hours of each attraction before your visit to ensure you have sufficient time to enjoy all they offer.

Culture and Lifestyle in City of Arabia Dubai

Culture and Lifestyle

The City of Arabia's culture and lifestyle reflect the broader cultural tapestry of Dubai and the United Arab Emirates. Rooted in traditional values and modern aspirations, the community embraces a fusion of old and new, creating a unique way of life.

Dubai's multicultural environment is celebrated within the City of Arabia as residents and visitors experience an array of cultural influences from around the world. This diversity is mirrored daily, from cuisine and fashion to art and entertainment. The city's modernity is underpinned by a deep respect for its historical roots, resulting in a harmonious blend of contemporary living and traditional values.

Here are some noteworthy local customs or practices:

  1. Hospitality. Emirati hospitality is a very popular part of the local culture. Visitors and residents alike are welcomed with warmth and genuine friendliness. Offering refreshments and creating a comfortable environment for guests is common in homes and public places.

  2. Ramadan. Ramadan is a significant month in the Islamic calendar, observed with reverence and devotion. During this time, Muslims fast from dawn until sunset and engage in acts of charity and reflection. Non-Muslims are encouraged to respect these practices, refraining from eating, drinking, or smoking in public during fasting hours.

  3. Dress Code. While Dubai has a cosmopolitan atmosphere, there is an expectation of modesty in dress, particularly in more traditional areas. Emiratis often wear traditional clothing, such as the abaya for women and kandura for men. Visitors are advised to dress respectfully, especially when entering religious or cultural sites.

  4. Friday as a Holy Day. Friday is considered a holy day for Muslims, equivalent to Sunday in Western cultures. It's a day of communal prayers, and many businesses operate reduced hours or remain closed during the Friday midday prayer time.

  5. Respect for Elders. Respect for elders is deeply ingrained in Emirati culture. Younger generations defy their elders in various ways, including standing when they enter the room and seeking their advice and guidance.

  6. Eid Celebrations. Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha are two major Islamic holidays celebrated joyfully. Families come together, exchange gifts, and partake in communal feasts during these times. It's a time of unity and gratitude.

Culinary Scene

The culinary scene in the City of Arabia reflects the diverse gastronomic landscape of Dubai and the UAE. With influences from Middle Eastern, Asian, and international cuisines, the local dining experience offers an enticing array of flavors and dishes.

Emirati cuisine is a delightful blend of traditional dishes and modern innovations. Local favorites include dishes like harees, a hearty porridge made with wheat and meat, and machbous another notable dish featuring fragrant rice cooked with flavorful meat and spices.

Here are some notable restaurants and cafes in the City of Arabia:

  1. Wingstop IMG Worlds. Within IMG Worlds of Adventure, Wingstop tastes American-style cooked wings and other dishes.

  2. Mama Italian Scanos. Located within IMG Worlds of Adventure, Mama Italian Scanos offers a delightful Italian dining experience. Guests can savor classic pasta dishes, wood-fired pizzas, and Italian specialties.

  3. Chang's Golden Dragon IMG World. For those seeking Asian cuisine, Chang's Golden Dragon in IMG Worlds of Adventure presents a menu featuring a fusion of Chinese and Asian flavors. This restaurant promises a satisfying culinary journey from dim sum to aromatic stir-fries.

  4. 1085 ENOC. Located in the City of Arabia, 1085 ENOC restaurant serves a wide variety of dishes to suit different tastes, from quick appetizers to hearty lunches.

Shopping Experience in the City of Arabia Dubai

Shopping Experience

While the City of Arabia is taking time for Mall of Arabia development, citizens and guests f the city can visit shopping malls and souqs in neighborhoods:

  1. Cityland Mall. A shopping destination just in 8 minutes that combines retail with entertainment, Cityland Mall offers a range of stores, dining options, and attractions. It's designed to provide a comprehensive shopping and leisure experience for visitors.

  2. Silicon Central Mall. This mall in 12 minutes from City caters to the needs of a tech-savvy clientele, featuring electronics stores, fashion outlets, and various dining establishments. It embraces the modern lifestyle of Dubai's residents.

  3. Souq Extra. This souq is 15 minutes away and offers a blend of retail, dining, and community spaces. It's a contemporary take on the conventional marketplace concept.

While haggling is not common in modern retail environments like malls, it's often expected in traditional souks or markets. Here are some tips on how to haggle on local markets:

  1. Research. Before visiting a traditional market, research the items you want to purchase. This will give you an idea of reasonable prices and help you avoid overpaying.

  2. Start Low. When haggling, start with a price significantly lower than the asking price. This leaves room for negotiation and can lead to a more favorable deal.

  3. Be Respectful. Approach haggling with respect and a friendly attitude. It's a cultural practice, and maintaining politeness is key.

  4. Walk Away. If the seller's price isn't meeting your expectations, be prepared to walk away. Sometimes, this can lead to the seller offering a better deal to retain your business.

  5. Comparison Shop. If possible, visit multiple vendors for the same item to gauge the average price and potential discounts.

  6. Be Patient. Haggling can take time, so be patient and willing to engage in friendly back-and-forth negotiations.

Accommodation Options

The City of Arabia offers diverse accommodation options to cater to various preferences and needs. From spacious villas and townhouses to modern apartments, residents and visitors can choose accommodations that align with their lifestyles and requirements.

  1. Villas and Townhouses. For those seeking a spacious and luxurious living experience, villas and townhouses provide privacy and exclusivity. These options are ideal for families or individuals who value expansive living spaces, outdoor areas, and greater independence.

  2. Apartments (WADI Tower IMG). The WADI Tower apartments present a contemporary living option within the self-contained community. With various sizes and configurations available, these apartments cater to individuals and families seeking convenient access to amenities and a dynamic urban lifestyle.

Near the City of Arabia there are some good hotels:

  • Samaya Hotel Apartments - Wadi AL Safa. Situated nearby in the Majan area, these hotel apartments offer a comfortable and convenient stay, ideal for short and extended stays. They provide a blend of home-like comfort and hotel services.

  • Al Habtoor Polo Resort. For a luxurious retreat, Al Habtoor Polo Resort offers a tranquil environment, upscale amenities, and a polo-themed ambiance, making it suitable for leisure and relaxation.

  • Premier Inn Dubai Silicon Oasis Hotel. This hotel provides a convenient and budget-friendly option for travelers seeking comfortable accommodations. It's suitable for both business and leisure stays.

  • Radisson RED Hotel Dubai Silicon Oasis. With its vibrant and modern design, Radisson RED offers a contemporary stay experience, combining comfort and style in a dynamic setting.

Getting Around

Getting around the City of Arabia and its surroundings is facilitated by various transportation options, both public and private. While the community is not directly connected to the metro system, there are accessible alternatives for residents and visitors.

  • Driving. With the convenience of personal vehicles, navigating the city is made easy. From the City of Arabia, going to key destinations like Dubai Mall, Palm Jumeirah, Burj Al Arab, and The Walk JBR takes approximately 24 to 31 minutes. Dubai International Airport (DXB) is about a 32-minute drive, while the new Al Maktoum International Airport is also around a 32-minute away.

  • Metro. Although the metro station is not within proximity to the City of Arabia, the Business Bay metro station serves as the nearest option. It provides access to the Dubai Metro's Red Line, connecting you to various parts of the city.

  • Buses. Public buses offer an economical way to get around Dubai and connect different neighborhoods, including the City of Arabia. Utilizing the bus system provides an alternative for those without a private vehicle.

Note these tips for navigating the area:

  1. Plan Ahead. Familiarize yourself with the routes and schedules of public transportation options like buses and the metro. This will help you make efficient travel plans.

  2. Use Ride-Sharing Apps. Ride-sharing apps like Uber and Careem are widely used in Dubai and offer a convenient way to get around, especially when public transportation is less accessible.

  3. Check Traffic Conditions. Dubai's traffic can vary depending on the time of day and events. Use navigation apps to check real-time traffic conditions and plan your routes accordingly.

  4. Nol Card is a prepaid travel card that can be used for various modes of public transportation, including buses and the metro. It's a convenient and cost-effective way to pay for rides.

  5. Carpooling. If traveling with others, consider carpooling to share transportation costs and reduce environmental impact.

  6. Exploring on Foot. Some areas of interest within the City of Arabia and nearby locations can be explored on foot. Walking can provide a unique perspective and allow you to discover hidden gems.

  7. Respect Traffic Rules. Dubai has strict traffic rules and regulations. Follow speed limits, wear seat belts, and adhere to all traffic laws for a safe journey.

Special Events

Dubai is very famous for its amazing festivals around the year. While in City of Arabia can be some small local celebrations only, for big Dubai festivals you should visit neighborhood districts around:

  1. Dubai Shopping Festival. One of Dubai's most famous events, the Dubai Shopping Festival, takes place annually, usually in January and February. It offers incredible discounts, entertainment, and various activities, making it a shopper's paradise.

  2. Dubai Food Festival. Celebrating the culinary diversity of Dubai, the Dubai Food Festival occurs annually in February and March. It features gourmet experiences, food trucks, and unique dining events.

  3. Dubai Summer Surprises. Held during the summer months, usually from June to August, Dubai Summer Surprises offers special promotions, family activities, and entertainment to beat the heat.

  4. Eid Celebrations. The Islamic holidays of Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha are celebrated with joy and festivity in Dubai. The dates vary based on the Islamic lunar calendar, including prayers, feasting, and community gatherings.

  5. National Day Celebrations. The UAE National Day is celebrated on December 2nd each year. This day marks the founding of the United Arab Emirates and is commemorated with parades, fireworks, and cultural displays.

  6. Dubai International Jazz Festival. The Dubai International Jazz Festival features world-class jazz performances in a lively outdoor setting in February.

Practical Information

When visiting the City of Arabia and Dubai, knowing practical information is important to enhance your experience and make your stay more convenient.

  • Local Currency. The currency used in Dubai and the United Arab Emirates is the UAE Dirham (AED). Having some local money on hand for small purchases is advisable, although credit cards are widely accepted in most places.

  • Language. While Arabic is the official language, English is widely spoken and understood throughout Dubai. This makes communication with locals and navigating the city much easier for international visitors.

  • Weather. Dubai has a desert climate characterized by hot summers and milder winters. Summer temperatures can be extremely high, while winters are more pleasant and comfortable. Packing lightweight and breathable clothing for the warmer months and bringing a light jacket for cooler evenings during winter is recommended.

  • Time Zone. Dubai operates on Gulf Standard Time (GST), UTC+4.

  • Electricity. The standard voltage is 230V, and the standard frequency is 50Hz. Power outlets typically accommodate the Type G plug with three rectangular prongs.

Dubai is generally considered a safe destination for travelers. However, following basic safety guidelines is essential to ensure a trouble-free visit.

  • Local Laws and Customs. Dubai has strict laws and regulations. When visiting religious sites, it's essential to respect local customs and traditions, including dress codes. Public displays of affection, offensive language, and inappropriate behavior in public places are not tolerated.

  • Emergency Contact Information:

    • Police - 999

    • Ambulance - 998

    • Fire Department - 997

  • Consular Services. If you're a foreign national, make sure you know the location of your country's embassy or consulate in Dubai for assistance in emergencies.


The City of Arabia, also known as Arabia City, is a captivating destination that masterfully blends contemporary charm with cultural richness. This visionary urban development within DubaiLand welcomes you into a world where innovation and aspiration meet.

Despite the fact that the project faced difficulties due to the global crisis in 2008 and some of the construction projects were frozen, many significant projects have been completed so far: IMG Worlds of Adventure, GEMS Heritage School, and Wadi Tower.

The concept of a self-contained community comes to life within the City of Arabia. Amidst the waterfront community of Wadi Walk, stylish apartments, and modern offices, you glimpse the future Dubai envisions. The promise of the Mall of Arabia and the excitement of a potential bowling alley adds to the city's allure, while educational institutions ensure a holistic environment for families.

The City of Arabia Dubai stands as a testament to the grand ambitions of the Dubailand project. With its self-contained community concept, stylish apartments, and modern offices, this dynamic city encapsulates the essence of contemporary living. The waterfront community is a serene escape, while schools and educational opportunities ensure a well-rounded environment for families.

To truly appreciate the magic of the City of Arabia Dubai, it's an experience best savored up close. Embrace the promise of finding your dream apartment, whether for sale or rent, within this ever-evolving landscape. As you explore the streets, venture into the chic offices, and engage with the vibrant community, you'll realize that Arabia City is more than just a place it's an experience that uplifts the soul.



  • 1.

    When is the Mall of Arabia expected to be completed?

    Originally announced to be completed in 2008, the opening of the Mall of Arabia was delayed due to the collapse of the Dubai real estate market. However, as of an announcement in 2016, plans were made to revive the project within a 10-year timeframe, suggesting a potential completion date within the next few years.

  • 2.

    What happened to the City of Arabia?

    The City of Arabia, a prominent urban development project within DubaiLand, faced challenges and changes over the years. Initially envisioned as a grand and ambitious mixed-use community, the global financial crisis in 2008 heavily affected the project. This economic downturn resulted in delays, altered timelines, and a slower pace of development.

    As for today, the City of Arabia has seen a limited number of completed structures, including IMG Worlds of Adventure, GEMS Heritage School, and an ENOC petrol station. The development of the project's other components, such as the iconic Wadi Tower and the Mall of Arabia, were ongoing or nearing completion.

  • 3.

    Are there educational facilities within the City of Arabia?

    Yes, the City of Arabia recognizes the importance of education within its community. The area offers educational options such as schools to provide residents with quality learning opportunities for their children. These schools are designed to cater to the diverse needs of families residing in the city.

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Update date: 04/09/2024