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Dubai Festival City – Your Full Guide

Dubai Festival City | The Vacation Builder

A house of entertainment coupled with world-class food and functions; Festival City is a must visit when visiting Dubai.

Thousands of eager tourists make the atmosphere of this city a grand party mood. If you are a travel freak, then at least once in life, you must take a dive into the grand Dubai Festival City to experience life beyond limits.

In a city full of retail outlets and cinema theatres, Festival City stands out in the crowd against all its competitors. Tourists consider this as a hub of entertainment rather than just a shopping complex.

The micro city houses a green golf course, grand cinema theatres, shopping malls, dining spots, and more. The most popular attraction is the Festival Bay’s waterfront which gives unlocks your star-gazing senses amidst Dubai’s busy city. 

Unlike its name, Dubai Festival City welcomes you to lay down on its young green grass beside the waterfront to enjoy some quality time yourself amidst the hustle and bustle.

Next time you’re in Dubai, make sure to head to this destination to loosen your heart and fuel your eyes.

Where is Dubai Festival City

Festival City is located at 2 kilometres from Dubai International Airport, on the banks of historic Dubai Creek. The city welcomes you with an astounding view which you’re sure not to forget.

Well connected by buses and private taxis, the mall and the cinema theatre of the Festival City provide a sense of relief to the always busy locals. Dubai Festival City is in the heart of the city and hence people from all corners find their ways to visit here often and easily.

To be precise, Dubai Festival City is a compressed version of the entire city of Dubai. From free ranging colours which enlightens a party mood, it all comes at your fingertips once you step into this majestic entertainment hub. 

Things to do at Dubai Festival City

If you want to know what you can do in Dubai Festival City, then there will be a list of infinite things for you to explore and enjoy. But to ignite the fire of tourism in you, we have made a brief list of the most exciting things to do in one of the biggest hubs of entertainment. 

Ranging from magical water shows to beguiling cinematic experience, this city assures you limitless fun in a limited time.

Let us take a quick look at some must do things in Dubai Festival City.

Dubai Festival City Cinema

Dubai Festival City - Things to Do - Festival City Cinema | The Vacation Builder
Photo courtesy of GulfNews.com

You must have been to many cinema halls and theatres in your lifetime. But to get a different experience of watching a movie you must head towards the cinema at Festival City.

Not only does it host the finest cinema hall in the world with the best quality picture and sound but there has recently been an outdoor cinema open. Moreover, the comfy seats, air-conditioned room and spacious leg room allure people to book their seats here.

Apart from Arabic films and animations, English language contents are also put up on the screen. 

Book your tickets here


Dubai Festival City - Things to Do - Shopping Mall | The Vacation Builder

A tourist always wanders for shopping of local but quality products and the best destination for tourists is Dubai Festival City.

With the best shopping centres within the complex, this City beats its competitors in satisfying potential buyers. So, if you are a fashion freak and loves going on shoes for shopping then this is the best place for you. 

Website: Dubai Festival City Mall

Lounge and Eat

Dubai Festival City - Things to Do - Eat & Lounge - Cheesecake Factory | The Vacation Builder

There are limited business class lounges available for those who never wish to compromise their comfort. To add spice to the experience of living in the Festival City, mouth-watering food is available in the food courts too. You can hop into any of them and grab whatever you like; choice is at the plenty.

There are street food outlets around too which gives you a chance to explore local Arabic Food. 

Faby Land

Dubai Festival City - Things to Do - Faby Land | The Vacation Builder

For those looking to bring out the child in them, or alternatively those looking for entertainment for their young families, look no further than Faby Land.

From small indoor theme park rides to the latest state of the art gaming, Faby Land is sure to keep your kids running wild for hours!

Other Things Close by to Festival City

Dubai Festival City is adjacent to many tourist hotspots. These tourist attractions include the famous Dubai Fountain and the Dubai Mall. Moreover, the main tourist attraction Burj Khalifa is also close by.

Metros connect these tourist spots and with a Nol Card, you can avail any transport to cover the distance between two places. With fun and entertainment stuffed in every corner, you will certainly turn on party mood once you are inside Dubai Festival City.

Hotels Near Dubai Festival City

Dubai Festival City - Hotels Close by - Crowne Plaza | The Vacation Builder

There are lots of hotels both for high and low-end budgets nearby. Make sure to pre-book your hotel before landing in the city to enjoy hassle-free travel. 

Due to the central location of this tourist hot spot, hotels are available and at the plenty. Budget hotels are available too so you can book one according to your level of comfort and the weight of your wallet. 

Below is a brief overview of the hotels near Dubai Festival City.

  • Palazzo Versace Dubai is 1.1 kilometres away. This is a high-end budget hotel which costs something around 600AED for a single night stay per couple.
  • Crowne Plaza Dubai Festival City is nearby at 0.3 kilometres from the City. It costs approximately 350AED for a single night stay. 
  • Premier Inn Dubai International Airport Hotel will cost you only 200AED for one night. It is situated at 2.5 kilometres from the mall.
  • Arabian Park Hotel is exactly at 2.4 kilometres from the Dubai Festival City. The cost of staying here is 150AED for a night. 
  • Royal Continental Hotel is a low budget hotel with a rent of160 AED for a night. It is a bit further away though and sits at a distance of 3.7 kilometres. 

How to get to Dubai Festival City

Many of you may be planning to stay in Jumeirah Beach Residence on your visit as it is a popular tourist place to stay.

From JBR, you can avail metro, bus, taxi or drive a car to reach the entertainment hub. Dubai Festival City is located just 34 kilometres from JBR.

The fastest way is by taxi, which costs something around 70AED and takes 25 minutes. The cheapest way to travel is to take a bus. One trip for one person costs something around 15AED which is an affordable cost. However, the time taken to travel by bus is 1 hour and 30 minutes.

There are no direct buses plying between the two places. You must take buses of Line 53 and then Line 8 to reach Dubai Festival City. Buses run every 10 minutes and with minimal crowd. The nearest bus station is Festival Centre Station which is a minute walk from the main gate of the Festival City.

Metros are also available at an interval of 10 minutes from and to Jumeirah Beach Residence. The nearest metro station to Dubai Festival City is merely 2 minutes from the main gate. A metro ride costs something around 6AED for one person and will take just over an hour to reach your destination.

While using public transportation in Dubai, it’s important to keep track of your nol card balance. You can visit our guide on how to check your Nol Card balance for quick and easy methods.

For those heading to Festival City from other popular area’s of Dubai check out our quick transport table below.

Downtown Dubai61mins10mins46mins
Palm JumeirahNA26minsNA
Jumeirah Beach (Umm Suqeim)84mins17minsNA

You can take a combination of Palm Monorail, Metro and Bus from Palm Jumeirah if you wish.

Tip: A great website for planning trips around destinations you aren’t familiar with is Rome2Rio.com

Dubai Festival City Restaurants

Dubai Festival City is the home of branded restaurants which offer delicacies from all over the globe. The dining area remains open from 10am to 11pm on weekdays and 10am to midnight on weekends.

This beautifully decorated City with the attractive aroma of food is a perfect dining place for both families and couples. Apart from meal specialised restaurants, you also get access to confectioneries, cafes and sweet shops.

There are more than hundred food serving restaurants which serve high-quality mouth-watering food at your table. If you want to taste royal food from all over the world, then you must dine in the food court of Dubai Festival City.

Some of the restaurants which are known for serving tastiest food are given below:

  • Al Fanar
  • Apple Bee’s
  • Café Bateel
  • California Pizza Chicken
  • Chily’s
  • Eataly
  • Famous Dave’s
  • Five Guys

For snacks, you can hop into the world class cafes inside. Some of the famous cafes and bakeries inside the campus are:

  • Caffe Divino
  • Caffe Nero
  • Be. K Dessert Café
  • Costa Coffee
  • Cinnabon
  • Godiva
  • MC Coffee
  • M & S Café

These cafes and restaurants are renowned for providing high quality food to satisfy your hunger. They maintain utmost hospitality to the visitors and that is the reason why people complement them with a five-star rating. 

Most of the food outlets here prefer a cashless mode of payment. So make sure you have your Nol card while you dine. And remember to maintain a minimum balance of 8.75 AED, otherwise you will not be allowed to use the card. 

Dubai Festival City Mall

The Dubai Festival City is the shopping hub for tourists as well as local people. From gems to grains, you can get anything and everything from these shops. The shopping section remains open from 10am to 11pm everyday.

A major part of the shopping complex is dedicated to Dress and Fashion. You can easily get fashionable dresses at an affordable cost here. Dress stores spanning all over the world have opened their dedicated outlets here. Be it a western outfit or traditional saree, you will enjoy shopping here.

Some of the clothing outlets from where you can certainly get trendy Arabic dresses are:

  • Robinsons
  • Marks and Spencer
  • Atlas
  • Diva Abaya
  • Louzan
  • H & M
  • Zara
  • Old Navy

Apart from dress to clad, you get to buy home décor accessories from the world class outlets of Dubai Festival City. Last but not the least, there are also toy and sports outlets, from where you can get all types of sports equipment and aids.

Website: Dubai Festival City Mall 

Dubai Festival City Villas

There are many exclusive villas inside the Dubai Festival City which are available to rent for tourists hitting this spot from all over the world. Mostly rents are from high to medium range.

Some of these villas feature open balconies while others come with studios. You can get to see a mesmerizing view of the magical city of Dubai from the top of these skyscrapers. Apart from lodging, you also get to access to in-room services like room furnishing and so on.

Events at Dubai Festival City

The Dubai Festival City goes big on any special occasions. Many events are celebrated here to entertain the heavy inflow of tourists throughout the year.

The entire area is decorated beautifully with bright lights. The reflection of these lights in the waterfront is the best part of these parties and celebrations. 

There are bundles of events celebrated here every year. These events are celebrated with live music, light shows and open dining spaces which makes these programs huge success. Some of the events are:

  • Tomorrowland- Around the World featuring science and technology
  • Emirates Airline Festival of Literature for the literature lovers
  • The Santa Run for the Real-Life Santa
  • Gulf Car Festival for exhibiting swiftly moving cars
  • Flowers of Tolerance to showcase the tolerance of people belonging to United Arab Emirates
  • Mini Mudder for the sporty kids
  • New Years Eve to welcome in the New year

These parties offer you a bunch of attractions which include drinks bars, live music, stand up comedians, fashion shows, dance performance and games of light and shadows. These highly diversified parties will certainly give you a taste of the world at in compressed version. 


Dubai Festival City is a hub of entertainment which welcomes the tourists all through the year. Adorned with colourful lights and stylish colours, this place is a world class house which brings together a shopping complex, villas and restaurants.

Construction started in the 2003 and it took twelve long years to finish this entertainment hub. Ever since then, this place is visited by thousands of people every day. Apart from tourists, local people also visit regularly and for events.

Dubai Festival City presents just another example of how Dubai gives you access to all seven continents at your fingertips.

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