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When Covid struck in early 2020 Dubai’s City Walk was just three years into its operations as a shopping and leisure destination. But it wasn’t performing as well as expected, with a less-than-middling occupancy and not very high visitor traffic. Three years later the destination has been revitalized because of the way City Walk has expanded its tenant mix to take in education service providers, office tenants and co-working options.
City Walk opened in 2017 and after 3 years had around 41 per cent occupancy. Some of the original tenant mix and target groups had just not worked out well.
The place has a very large trade area with some of the most affluent people in the city. So City walk repositioned itself, focusing on education, health and co-working. And that started with the introduction of Canadian University. It was followed by the conversion of a three storey department store into offices, where now the delivery services company Talabat have their regional head offices. That means there are about 2,000 people on a daily basis at CityWalk, so the place is always busy.
Rolls-Royce has always been at City Walk, but by introducing concepts such as car showrooms the Mercedes-Benz super-performance brand, AMG took space. For AMG it was an ideal location because they loved the exclusivity part of it. Now others have joined them - Cadillac, Alfa Romeo, FIAT, Abarth and TechArt, which is a Porsche brand.
The City Walk boulevard is about 170 units in total. At the end of 2020 occupancy was about 30 per cent, but by December 2022 it had leapt to about 81 per cent. City Walk attributes this to re-tenanting much of the retail space with professional services: clinics, wellness, gyms, etc. These are also the types of businesses that have a bespoke customer base rather than hundreds of ‘impulse buyers’.
Looking to maintaining growth in the future City Walk has factored in all the surrounding developments such as Central Park, which by 2028 it will be a major residential hub with a significant population.
City Walk is a three-phase mixed-use regeneration of the beachside Jumeirah district.
The project is spread across more than 900,000 square metres and constitutes urban infill on what was vacant land close to the Downtown Dubai district and in the shadow of Burj Khalifa.
City Walk is a self-contained shopping and dining area that is more a town centre community than a mall, combining ‘chic European fashion and a London edge’.
Boulevards underneath a glass roof criss-cross in natural light and subtle air-conditioning. They are flanked by high-end boutiques such as Karl Lagerfeld, Chantelle, and Ralph Lauren.
While the interior boulevards are typical of Dubai’s glossy malls, the exterior streets are pastiche London architecture, complete with sash windows and British street furniture.
Food and beverage outlets include Rice Creamery, Yoku Moku, Ferre Chocolate Bar Concept, Il Cafe De Roma, Hummingbird Bakery, La Postretria, Jessica, Earth Fruits Yogurt, Hollywood Burger, Mo’s Restaurant, Pappa Roti, Brandi Pizzeria, Miskeh, Silver Fox, Paul, Just Falafel, Butcher’s Shop, Pei Wei, Starbucks, Subway, Sapori Di Bice, Nar, the Noodle House, Edo Sweets, Y by Yabani, Burger Joint and a Spinney Supermarket.
Retail stores include Zmilelee, Crea & JNBY, Sauce in the Hood, She Moves, Rivoli, Roberto Cavalli Décor, Designer’s Club, Michelle Belau, Al Jabr Optical, Mothercare, Toushih, Caboodle and Early Learning Centre.
Health and beauty outlets include Poupa Salon & Nail Spa, 1847, Sephora, N. Bar, Physique 57, Boots and Holland & Barrett.
The development includes a unique water feature as well as a children’s play area that can be transformed into a venue for concerts, weekly markets or exhibitions. There are around 600 parking spaces.
City Walk also includes 34 apartment buildings of five and six floors built close to The Avenue shopping and leisure scheme.
La Ville Hotel and Citywalk Apartments is an eight-storey 5-Star boutique hotel containing 86 rooms and 68 serviced apartments.
City Walk is located on Safa Road between Al Wasl Road and Sheikh Zayed Road at the Dubai Mall interchange and is about 15 minutes walk from the Burj Khalifa metro station.
The developer was Meraas, the Dubai-based real estate company responsible for The Walk at JBR and Bluewaters Island.
Dewan Architects and Engineers were consultants to the project.
From City Walk it takes roughly 7 minutes to drive to Dubai Mall, 19 minutes to Palm Jumeirah, 17 minutes to Burj Al Arab and 22 minutes to The Walk JBR.*
Dubai International Airport (DXB) is roughly 16 minutes' drive and the new Al Maktoum International Airport is roughly 45 minutes' drive.*
Car Parking is ample, with nearly 2,000 spaces available in the underground car park. There is also a valet service.
Metro Burj Khalifa and Dubai Mall Metro station are a five-minute walk away.
There are four sub-communities in City Walk. Learn more in the following guides.
THE GREEN PLANET
The Green Planet is a rain forest attraction consisting of a bio-dome housing rain forest plants, birds, and animals. The bio-dome is housed in a 30m x 30m cube built over a single basement. Three of its sides are concrete and the fourth side has a glazed façade and an atrium roof.
The Green Planet recreates the world of a tropical forest with a rich biodiversity of over 3,000 plants and animals. Its centerpiece is a giant 25-metre tree rising six storeys high inside the bio-dome and surrounded by a spiral ramp to allow visitors to view the exhibits.
There’s also a Mattel Play Town, an ‘eduplay’ attraction themed around five popular children’s characters from Mattel. ‘Geek Nation will appeal to your inner nerd and anyone with a penchant for comics, movies or video games won’t want to miss out’, it says here...
The Green Planet opened in 2016.
Opened in July 2016, Hub Zero is the region’s first immersive entertainment park that offers experiences created in association with video game developers including Electronic Arts, Capcom, Konami, Microsoft and Square Enix.
Hub Zero is located at City Walk and comprises a total of 18 attractions, rides and experiential zones, with a substantial number exclusively developed for Hub Zero.
As the region’s first indoor theme park based on video games, Hub Zero addresses the increasing global demand for innovative and distinct gaming experiences.
Several rides are powered by artificial intelligence and feature real-time engines to provide an unmatched interactive and non-predictive gaming experience.
Spread over an area of approximately 15,000 square metres on two floors, the immersive entertainment park also features an e-Sports LAN gaming zone and a children’s play area.
Valiant Clinic, is a AED300 million facility spread across 15,000 square metres. It was developed by Meraas and is managed by Houston Methodist Global Health Care Services, the international subsidiary of Houston Methodist Hospital in the United States.
A 150-bed hospital is set to be built opposite the Valiant Clinic.
The Coca-Cola Arena is a multipurpose indoor arena with a capacity of around 20,000 people under construction near City Walk.
The Arena covers an area of around 46,000 square metres (500,000 square feet) and was completed in June 2019.
The air-conditioned stadium can be transformed from a theatre to a stadium depending on the scale of the event and has been described as ‘the future go-to venue for all international music concerts as well as other sporting and entertainment events’.
The venue is managed by AEG Ogden, part of Anschutz Entertainment Group, which owns or is affiliated to other entertainment venues such as The O2 in London, the Staples Centre in Los Angeles, the Mercedes Benz Arena in Shanghai and Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney.
There are 77 outlets currently open in City Walk including a coffee shop, three cafés, 17 fashion shops, 27 restaurants, a children's nursery, a ladies' salon, two cosmetics shops, two pharmacies, a men's salon, two jewellery/watch shops, a smoking accessories shop, two sweet shops, two art galleries, two bookshops, six perfume shops, two optician & eyewear shops, a mini mart, a comic book shop and a learning centre.
For a full list and analysis of shops and services in City Walk visit our City Walk amenities page.
The map below shows the location of City Walk and just below are summaries of the nearest attractions, parks, beaches, golf clubs and cinemas. For a more in-depth look at the local attractions, and to see what's on in and around City Walk, visit our Things to Do guide.
City Walk has many schools nearby including Citizens School at 0.5 km and Japanese School Dubai at 1.5 km.
In terms of performance there are seven schools nearby that have achieved either of two highest government inspection rating of 'Very Good' or 'Outstanding' including Horizon English School Dubai which has a rating of 'Outstanding' and Jumeirah English Speaking School which also has a rating of 'Outstanding'.
We've partnered with LadiesNightDubai.com and BrunchCrunch.ae to give an overview of the current Ladies Nights and Brunch offers in the vicinity of City Walk. For full nightlife listings and to see what else is happening nearby see the Things to Do page.
Explore communities that are either adjacent or close to City Walk.
A look at the original masterplan published by the developer at the time of the launch of City Walk.
City Walk Phase One, 'The Avenue', was launched at Cityscape in September 2011. At the crossroads of Al Wasl Road and Safa Road it comprises a 350m stretch of commercial outlets incorporating a range of retail brands, a major supermarket complex, various food and beverage outlets, and a healthcare clinic.
Supporting the retail outlets are external seating with extensive landscaping, water features and various green spaces. The development covers 12,800sq m of the 53,000sq m plot.
Phase Two, launched in March 2014, comprises an estimated one million square feet of high-quality family entertainment and retail development.
Opened on 14 February 2016 to the public, the extended space has been let to 60 new tenants that include shops, restaurants and attractions. The Green Planet, a first-of-its-kind bio-dome built to resemble a tropical forest, with more than 3,000 real plants and animals, opened in September 2016.
In February 2019 Meraas launched Central Park at City Walk as part of Phase Two. The 230,000 sq m park will be surrounded by mid-rise apartment buildings.
Phase Three includes 34 apartment buildings, the Dubai Arena, a mosque and green spaces and corridors among the residential buildings. The five- and six-storey residential buildings were completed in February 2019.
Video from ASGC showing the completed residential buildings:
See the development of City Walk in photos:
There are 41 building developments in City Walk. For a full list of all City Walk buildings visit our Buildings Guide.
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