Dubai area guide: Five things to do in Burj Plaza
An open plan terrace with restaurants, cafés, gaming centres, and a world first in the shadow of Burj Khalifa.
1. Downtown Slide
— Downtown Dubai (@MyDowntownDubai) June 3, 2016
We’ve got dozens of slides in Dubai, but all of them are at waterparks. All except for the Downtown Slide, that is. Opening at the beginning of Ramadan, the 19-metre-long tube is located just at the corner of Burj Plaza. But if you’re worried about going down a giant metal tube during a Dubai summer day, don’t be. This state-of-the-art installation is the first insulated stainless steel outdoor dry slide in the world, which means it’s always kept cool, even in extreme temperatures. Phew.
Burj Plaza, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard, Downtown Dubai, Dubai, daily 4pm to 1am, free. Metro: Burj Khalifa/Dubai Mall. emaar.com
2. Aurora Gaming [Coming soon]
Dubai’s first virtual reality gaming lounge will be 300 square metres of futuristic fantasy thanks to Aurora Gaming. Featuring active, racing and seated virtual reality experiences, Aurora’s most coveted game will be the special omnidirectional treadmills that allow players to physically immerse themselves into a virtual world. twitter.com/auroragamingae
3. Gérard Café
A firm favourite with long-time Dubai residents and locals, the French-inspired Gérard Café has been serving coffee with a smile since 1981. Mornings are best here, when tourists and Downtown residents swoop in for the coffee and three pastries deal for Dhs25. In cooler temperatures, the alfresco seating isn’t half bad either.
Burj Plaza, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard, Downtown Dubai, Dubai, daily 6.30am to 12.30am. Tel: (04) 4548354. Metro: Burj Khalifa/Dubai Mall. gerardcafe.com
Follow the signs off Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Blvd for ample underground parking. It’s free to park and typically empty.
Yeldizlar might mean ‘star’ in Turkish, but don’t expect the same cuisine here. This is actually a Lebanese restaurant. Well, it’s a Lebanese restaurant that also serves pasta and other European dishes. In fact, if you were looking for a Jack-of-all-trades restaurant, Yeldizlar is it. However, its most popular feature is the shisha served every day from 10am to the early hours.
Burj Plaza, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard, Downtown Dubai, Dubai, daily 10am to 2am. Tel: (04) 4470670. Metro: Burj Khalifa/Dubai Mall. yeldizlar.com
5. Lake ride
The docking point for the scenic Dubai Fountain Lake Ride is situated at the top of Burj Plaza. Hop aboard at night to catch the dancing fountain in all its glory. Just be prepared to get wet.
Burj Plaza, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard, Downtown Dubai, Dubai, daily 5.45pm to 11.30pm, Dhs65. Metro: Burj Khalifa/Dubai Mall. burjkhalifa.ae
Illustration by Karen Evans