International City Dubai Area Guide 2023

Dictricts International City Dubai Area Guide 2023
~21 min


The International City in Dubai is a vibrant and diverse community that reflects the city's cosmopolitan nature. Located in the heart of Dubai, this unique district is a melting pot of cultures, bringing together people worldwide. Its striking architecture and beautifully landscaped surroundings create an inviting atmosphere for residents and visitors alike. The International City is divided into themed clusters, each representing a different country, offering a truly global experience. From Chinese-inspired architecture in China Cluster to the Mediterranean vibes of Spain Cluster, the International City showcases the beauty and diversity of various nations. Residents can explore an array of international cuisines, indulge in shopping at specialty stores, and immerse themselves in a rich tapestry of cultures. With its well-planned infrastructure, excellent amenities, and lively atmosphere, the International City in Dubai is a testament to its commitment to embracing diversity and fostering a global community.

History of International City

Dubai International City was established as a residential and business community by Nakheel Properties, one of Dubai's leading real estate developers. The project was launched in the early 2000s as part of Dubai's vision to create a global city that attracts people from different.

Over the years, Dubai International City has evolved into a thriving and cosmopolitan community over the years. The development has seen the addition of various residential clusters, each representing different countries, such as the Spain Cluster, China Cluster, England Cluster, France Cluster, etc. These clusters have unique architectural designs and offer diverse residential options.

Dubai International City has also witnessed the expansion of commercial and retail spaces, including Dragon Mart, a popular shopping destination for Chinese products. The community has attracted a wide range of businesses, from small shops to large-scale enterprises, further enhancing its economic vitality.

Additionally, Dubai International City has undergone infrastructure improvements to cater to the needs of its residents and visitors. The community features a well-connected network of roads, public transport options, and essential amenities such as schools, clinics, and recreational facilities.

Throughout its history, Dubai International City has remained committed to providing affordable housing options, making it attractive for individuals and families seeking competitively priced accommodation in Dubai.

Geography and Architecture of International City Dubai

Geography and Architecture

International City is strategically located in the Al Warsan region of Dubai in close proximity to the Dubai Central Fruit and Vegetable Market. It spans an extensive area, covering approximately 800 hectares. The community is divided into various clusters, each designed to represent different countries and regions around the world. The International City in Dubai is divided into ten distinct clusters, each dedicated to showcasing a specific country's architecture and cultural elements. These clusters include Persia, Greece, Spain, Morocco, England, France, Italy, Russia, China, and the United Arab Emirates.

Low-rise buildings and residential complexes characterize the physical layout of International City. The architecture within each cluster is inspired by the respective country it represents, incorporating distinct design elements and cultural influences. For example, the Spain Cluster features vibrant colors, intricate detailing, and ornate balconies reminiscent of Spanish architecture, while the China Cluster showcases traditional Chinese motifs and styles.

One of the unique aspects of Dubai International City is the Dragon Mart, which is the largest trading center for Chinese products outside mainland China. It is a massive shopping complex located within the community, offering a wide range of merchandise, including electronics, textiles, furniture, and more. Dragon Mart has become a major attraction for both residents and tourists alike, contributing to the diverse and international character of Dubai International City.

Another distinctive feature of Dubai International City is the presence of various residential clusters representing different countries. This creates a multicultural environment where residents can experience the diversity of global cultures right within their own neighborhoods.

Moreover, Dubai International City is conveniently located near other key areas of Dubai, including Dubai Silicon Oasis, Dubai Festival City, and City Centre Mirdif. This provides residents with easy access to additional amenities, entertainment outlets, and shopping destinations.

Dubai International City's geography and architecture contribute to its unique character. The community's layout is organized into clusters, each showcasing distinctive architectural elements that reflect the culture and aesthetics of different countries. The presence of the Dragon Mart and the multicultural environment further enhance the appeal of Dubai International City as a vibrant and cosmopolitan destination.

Key Attractions

  • The famous Dragon Mart is a popular shopping destination within Dubai International City. It is the largest shopping center for Chinese products outside mainland China. Visitors can explore a wide array of merchandise, including electronics, clothing, furniture, and more. Dragon Mart is open daily and does not require an entry fee. It is best to visit during weekdays to avoid larger crowds. Bargaining is common, so be prepared to negotiate for better prices.

  • Dubai International Academic City is a hub for higher education institutions located near Dubai International City. It houses various universities and colleges, offering a range of educational programs. Visitors can explore the campuses and attend events organized by the universities. Check the websites of specific institutions for more information on visiting hours and events.

  • Dubai Safari Park. Although not directly located within Dubai International City, Dubai Safari Park is a nearby attraction worth visiting. It is a wildlife park that offers a unique safari experience, allowing visitors to observe various animal species in their natural habitats. Plan your visit during cooler months (October to April) to enjoy the outdoor experience comfortably. Entry fees and ticket information are on the park's official website.

  • Dubai Mall, located a short distance from Dubai International City, is one of the world's largest shopping centers. It features an extensive range of retail outlets, entertainment options, and dining establishments. Wear comfortable footwear to make the most of your visit, as the mall is vast. Visit during weekdays to avoid larger crowds. You can check the mall's website for special events, promotions, and ticketed attractions.

  • Dubai Silicon Oasis is a technology park and free zone situated close to Dubai International City. It hosts various technology-based companies, educational institutions, and innovation centers. Explore the technology exhibitions and events organized within the park. Some companies and institutions may offer guided tours or open houses, so check their websites or contact them for more information.

Dubai International City is accessible throughout the year. Still, the best time to visit is during the cooler months (October to April) when the weather is more pleasant for outdoor activities. Entry to Dubai International City is free as it is a residential and commercial community.

Culture and Lifestyle of Dubai International City

Culture and Lifestyle

  1. Islamic Traditions. Islam is the dominant religion in the UAE, and Muslim customs and traditions are widely observed. Visitors and residents are expected to respect Islamic practices, such as dressing modestly, particularly in religious sites and public areas.

  2. Ramadan. Ramadan is an important month in the Islamic calendar, during which Muslims observe fasting from sunrise to sunset. It is a time of reflection, prayer, and acts of charity. Visitors should be mindful and refrain from eating, drinking, or smoking in public during daylight hours.

  3. Friday Prayer. Friday is the holy day for Muslims, and Jumu'ah (Friday) prayers are held at mosques. Being respectful and considerate during this time is recommended, avoiding loud noise or disturbances near mosques.

  4. Greetings and Hospitality. Emiratis are known for their warm hospitality. It is customary to greet others with "As-salamu alaykum" (peace be upon you) and respond with "Wa alaykum as-salam" (and upon you be peace). Accepting offers of tea or coffee as a gesture of hospitality is also common.

  5. Cultural Sensitivity. While Dubai is a cosmopolitan city, respecting local customs and cultural sensitivities is important. Public displays of affection should be limited, and modesty in dress and behavior is appreciated, particularly in more conservative areas.

Dubai International City is home to a multicultural community comprising residents from different countries and backgrounds. This diversity contributes to a rich cultural tapestry within the community. Residents celebrate their own traditions and customs while also embracing the multicultural environment.

The community often hosts cultural events and festivals that showcase the traditions, music, dance, and cuisines of various countries represented in Dubai International City. These events provide opportunities for residents and visitors to immerse themselves in different cultures and experience the vibrant atmosphere.

The lifestyle in Dubai International City is dynamic and cosmopolitan. The community offers a mix of residential, commercial, and recreational spaces catering to its residents' diverse needs and preferences. It is a lively and bustling environment, with residents enjoying a range of amenities, including parks, shopping centers, restaurants, and entertainment outlets.

Culinary Scene

Residents and visitors of Dubai International City enjoy a range of dining options to satisfy every craving. Here are a few notable establishments:

  1. Dragon Mart is a shopping destination and a place where you can find various food outlets serving Chinese, Asian, and international cuisines.

  2. Located in International City, Hamor Seafood & Grills specializes in fresh seafood and grilled dishes. They offer a variety of delicious seafood options cooked to perfection.

  3. Thai Sabai Restaurant Dubai is known for its authentic Thai cuisine. They serve a wide range of traditional Thai dishes, including flavorful curries, stir-fries, and aromatic soups.

  4. Bahay Cusina offers Filipino cuisine, bringing the flavors of the Philippines to International City. They serve classic Filipino dishes, such as adobo, sinigang, and lechon.

  5. Dyar Al Sham Restaurant offers a taste of Syrian cuisine. They serve various dishes, including shawarma, kebabs, falafel, and flavorful mezze.

Shopping Experience in Dubai International City

Shopping Experience

Dubai International City offers a variety of options, including malls and local markets, where visitors can indulge in a diverse retail experience. Here's an introduction to the malls and nearby markets in Dubai International City:

  1. The Pavilion is a popular mall located in Dubai International City. It features a range of retail outlets, including fashion stores, electronics, beauty, and lifestyle brands. The mall also offers a selection of dining options, entertainment facilities, and a supermarket for convenience.

  2. Dragon Mart is a well-known shopping destination in Dubai International City. It is a massive mall dedicated to Chinese products, offering a wide array of items such as electronics, household goods, clothing, accessories, and more. Dragon Mart is divided into sections, making it easy to navigate and explore the various products available.

  3. City Centre Mirdif is a prominent mall located in close proximity to Dubai International City. It offers various retail outlets, including fashion, electronics, home furnishings, and various dining options. The mall also features entertainment facilities, a cinema, and a children's play area.

  4. Dubai Festival City is another nearby mall that offers an extensive shopping experience. It houses an array of international brands, boutique stores, and a wide range of dining options. The mall also features entertainment attractions, including an indoor theme park and a stunning waterfront promenade.

These malls, including The Pavilion and Dragon Mart, provide residents and visitors with abundant shopping options, dining experiences, and entertainment facilities within Dubai International City. In addition, City Centre Mirdif and Dubai Festival City, located nearby, offer further opportunities to explore a diverse retail scene and enjoy a comprehensive shopping experience.

Accommodation Options

  1. Apartments. Dubai International City primarily consists of apartment buildings, offering a wide range of options from studios and one-bedroom apartments to larger units with multiple bedrooms. These apartments often come with amenities such as gyms, swimming pools, and parking spaces.

  2. Residential Clusters. Dubai International City is divided into clusters representing different countries, each with its own distinct architectural style. These clusters feature residential buildings and complexes that provide a unique living experience, showcasing the community's cultural diversity.

  3. Affordable Housing. Dubai International City is known for its affordable housing options, making it an attractive choice for individuals or families on a budget. The community strives to provide reasonably priced accommodations without compromising on quality and convenience.

While Dubai International City is predominantly known for its affordable options, individuals seeking a luxurious experience can explore nearby areas like Dubai Marina, Downtown Dubai, or Jumeirah Beach Residence. These areas offer upscale apartments and serviced residences with high-end amenities, stunning views, and proximity to popular attractions.

Getting Around

  1. Bus Services. The Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) operates an extensive bus network that serves Dubai International City. Several bus routes connect International City to different parts of Dubai, providing an affordable and efficient mode of transportation. Bus stops are conveniently located throughout the community, making it easy to access public transportation.

  2. Dubai Metro. While Dubai International City itself does not have a direct metro station, the nearby Centrepoint Metro Station and the Etisalat Metro Station are easily accessible. From Rashidiya Station, you can use the bus service or taxis to reach Dubai International City. The metro system connects various key locations in Dubai, making it a convenient option for traveling within the city.

Accessibility and Navigating the Area

  1. Taxis and Ride-Hailing Services. Taxis are readily available in Dubai International City, providing a convenient way to travel within the community and to nearby areas. You can easily hail a taxi from designated taxi stands or book a ride through ride-hailing apps like Uber or Careem. Taxis are metered and provide a comfortable and reliable mode of transportation.

  2. Driving and Car Rentals. Dubai International City is well-connected to the major road networks in Dubai, including Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Road (E311) and Emirates Road (E611). If you prefer to drive, renting a car is a viable option. Several car rental agencies operate in Dubai, offering a variety of vehicles to suit different needs and budgets.

Tips for Navigating the Area

  1. Plan Ahead. Before setting out, familiarize yourself with the bus routes and schedules for public transportation. Make a note of the nearest bus stops and their respective routes to ensure a smoother journey.

  2. Use Mobile Apps. The Dubai RTA provides mobile apps like Wojhati and S'hail, which offer route planning, real-time bus schedules, and other useful information. These apps can help you navigate the public transportation system and find the most efficient routes.

  3. Consider Peak Times. Remember that during peak hours, traffic congestion may occur on major roads. If possible, plan your travels outside of peak times to avoid delays.

  4. Be Mindful of Cultural Norms. When using public transportation or taxis, it's important to be respectful of local customs. Dress modestly and adhere to etiquette guidelines, especially during religious holidays or when visiting more conservative areas.

Special Events

Special Events in Dubai offer a vibrant and diverse cultural experience. While Dubai International City may not have specific events within its community, Dubai as a city hosts numerous events, festivals, and celebrations throughout the year. Here's an overview of some of the notable events in Dubai and the general timeframe when they typically occur:

  • Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF). The Dubai Shopping Festival is a shopper's paradise, held annually, usually in January and February. This month-long extravaganza features incredible discounts, promotions, and entertainment across various shopping malls, offering a unique retail experience.

  • Dubai Food Festival. Celebrating the city's culinary scene, the Dubai Food Festival takes place in February or March. It showcases the diverse flavors of Dubai through food-related events, celebrity chef demonstrations, food markets, and dining offers.

  • Dubai Summer Surprises (DSS). Taking place during the summer months, usually from July to August, Dubai Summer Surprises offers a host of entertainment, shopping discounts, and family-friendly activities. It includes exciting events such as fireworks displays, live performances, and exclusive retail promotions.

  • Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF). Typically held in November or December, the Dubai International Film Festival showcases a diverse selection of international and regional films. It attracts renowned filmmakers, actors, and cinema enthusiasts from around the world.

  • Dubai Jazz Festival. Known for bringing top international jazz artists, the Dubai Jazz Festival takes place in February. This multi-day event features live music performances, including jazz, blues, and other genres, creating a vibrant atmosphere for music lovers.

  • Eid Celebrations. Dubai enthusiastically celebrates the two Islamic festivals of Eid Al-Fitr and Eid Al-Adha. Family gatherings, feasts, fireworks, and traditional activities mark these festivals. The dates of Eid celebrations vary each year based on the Islamic lunar calendar.

  • National Day Celebrations. On December 2nd each year, Dubai and the UAE commemorate the National Day, celebrating the union of the Emirates. Festivities include parades, fireworks, cultural performances, and displays of national pride.

Practical Information

  • Currency. The local currency in Dubai is the United Arab Emirates Dirham (AED). Having some local currency for small expenses is recommended, although credit cards are widely accepted in most establishments.

  • Language. Arabic is the official language of the United Arab Emirates, including Dubai. However, English is widely spoken and understood, especially in tourist areas, hotels, and restaurants.

  • Time Zone. Dubai operates on Gulf Standard Time (GST), which is UTC+4. There is no daylight saving time observed in Dubai.

  • Electricity. The standard voltage in Dubai is 220-240 volts AC, 50Hz. The power outlets typically feature three-pin rectangular plugs. It is advisable to bring a universal adapter if your devices use different plug types.

Safety Considerations and Emergency Contacts

  • General Safety. Dubai is considered a relatively safe city for tourists. However, it is always important to exercise general caution and take common-sense precautions, such as keeping an eye on your belongings, especially in crowded areas. Avoid displaying excessive amounts of cash or valuable items in public.

  • Emergency Services. In case of emergencies, the general emergency contact number in Dubai is 999 for police, fire, or ambulance services. The operators typically speak English and can assist you accordingly.

  • Health and Medical Services. Dubai has a well-developed healthcare system. In case of non-emergency medical needs, you can visit clinics or hospitals which provide quality medical care. It is advisable to have travel insurance that covers medical expenses. Remember to carry any necessary prescription medications with you.

  • Dress Code and Cultural Etiquette. While Dubai is a cosmopolitan city, it is respectful to dress modestly, particularly when visiting religious sites or more conservative areas. Revealing or excessively casual clothing may be considered inappropriate. Also, respect local customs and traditions, such as refraining from public displays of affection.

  • Travel Documents. Ensure that you have a valid passport with at least six months of validity remaining. Check visa requirements for your country before traveling to Dubai, as some nationalities may require a visa prior to arrival.

  • Local Laws. Familiarize yourself with Dubai's local laws and regulations to avoid any legal complications. This includes respecting local customs, refraining from public intoxication, and avoiding public displays of affection.


International City in Dubai offers a unique and vibrant experience for residents and visitors alike. Its diverse clusters inspired by different countries create a truly global atmosphere. From the bustling central business district to the convenient proximity to Dubai International Airport, International City provides a well-connected and accessible location for both business and leisure.

The area is enriched with various educational institutions, such as Gems Modern Academy and local universities, catering to the educational needs of families residing in the residential districts. Amenities like the Dragon Mart Mall, vegetable markets, and office equipment shops ensure that residents have access to their daily necessities.

International City also offers a glimpse into different cultures, with restaurants serving a variety of cuisines, including authentic Thai flavors at Thai Sabai Restaurant Dubai and delicious seafood and grills at Hamor Sea Food & Grills. Kids World International and the Anchor Entertainment Center provide ample opportunities for fun and excitement for those seeking leisure and entertainment.

Exploring International City and its nearby attractions can be an enriching experience. Whether you're strolling through the picturesque Lake District or enjoying the vibrant energy of the largest shopping centers, such as The Pavilion and Dragon Mart, there's something for everyone.

We encourage you to visit International City and immerse yourself in its unique blend of cultures, vibrant atmosphere, and diverse offerings. Experience the welcoming community, indulge in culinary delights, and discover the rich tapestry of this international hub. Whether you're a resident or a visitor, Dubai International City promises an unforgettable experience.


  • 1.

    What is the cost of living in Dubai International City?

    The cost of living in Dubai International City can vary depending on various factors, such as the type of accommodation, lifestyle choices, and personal preferences. However, International City is generally known for its relatively affordable housing options compared to other areas in Dubai. Rental prices for apartments in International City can range from moderate to lower compared to more central and upscale neighborhoods in Dubai.

  • 2.

    Which metro station is International City?

    The closest metro stations to International City are the Centrepoint Metro Station and the Etisalat Metro Station. If you are using the Dubai Metro, it is recommended to alight at the Centrepoint Metro Station and then take Bus 365 to reach International City. This combination of metro and bus will provide a convenient and efficient way to access International City from the nearest metro station.

  • 3.

    Is Dubai International City a good place to live?

    Dubai International City is a good place for many individuals and families to live. It offers a diverse and multicultural community, affordable housing options, and a range of amenities. The community is well-planned, with various clusters inspired by different countries, creating an interesting and vibrant atmosphere. However, like any other place, the suitability of living in International City may vary based on individual preferences and requirements.

  • 4.

    Which cluster is best to live in Dubai International City?

    The choice of the best cluster to live in Dubai International City can vary depending on individual preferences and needs. Each cluster in International City represents a different country or theme and offers its own unique characteristics and amenities. Some clusters may have more residential buildings, while others may have a mix of residential and commercial spaces.

    It is advisable to visit and explore different clusters in International City to understand better their ambiance, facilities, and suitability for your lifestyle. Consider factors such as proximity to amenities, transportation options, preferred architectural style, and community atmosphere when deciding on the best cluster to live in.

  • 5.

    Which RTA bus goes to International City?

    The RTA (Roads and Transport Authority) bus routes that serve International City are:

    Route 366. This bus route connects International City with Rashidiya Metro Station.

    Route 365. This bus route connects International City with Dubai Silicon Oasis and the Union Metro Station.

    Route F43. This bus route connects International City with Dubai Festival City.

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Update date: 06/19/2024