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Dubai Walking Guide: Urban art walk

Art and retail merge in a walking tour of Dubai's most creative districts
Plan an off-the-wall walking tour of Dubai and get acquainted with the growing body of public art that is dotting the city’s streets and creative developments such as City Walk. There’s plenty of surprises to discover along the way too.
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Urban art

Dubai’s street culture

Urban art

Dubai’s street culture

Time: Four to five hours

Discover a whole new side to the city – one that marches to its own creative beat. Follow our trail to uncover open green spaces, bustling streets and the chic lifestyle destination, City Walk, which combines the best of art and retail in a sleek contemporary setting.

Start point: Al Khazzan Park, Al Safa Street
End point: 2nd of December Street, Satwa
Directions to starting point: The easiest way to get to Al Safa Street is by taxi. Hail one from any roadside or book one by calling +971 4 208 0808
Best time to walk: Morning and afternoon
Major landmarks: Al Khazzan Park, City Walk, Hub Zero, Green Planet, 2nd of December Street, Etihad Museum and Union House


Contact Details

Top tips:

  • Carry a bottle of water and a hat. Don’t forget your camera or selfie stick! 
  • Pack a few sandwiches to enjoy a picnic at Al Khazzan Park

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Park life

Al Khazzan Park

Park life

Al Khazzan Park

A natural escape in the midst of the city

Start your day at Al Khazzan Park on the edge of Dubai’s bustling Satwa neighbourhood. The park is entirely powered by solar energy and is instantly recognisable by its towering 40m-high blue and white water tank.

For a creative spin on café culture, stop by Inn the Park. Order a coffee and cake at Dubai’s first solar-powered café as you browse through the fantastic selection of Arabian-themed books and magazines at the onsite open-air library. With a nod to Dubai’s maritime history, the eco-friendly café also features walls carved from reclaimed native coral. 

Contact Details
  Al Safa Street, Al Satwa
  +971 800 900

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Art appreciation

City Walk

Art appreciation

City Walk

Art meets retail at Dubai’s newest shopping district

Head southwest on 22D Street to Al Safa Street and wander over to City Walk. Surrounded by LED screens and bustling with activity at all hours of the day, the central plaza is the epicentre of one of the world’s most futuristic lifestyle districts.

City Walk seamlessly blends entertainment, shopping and dining, alongside boutique hotels and chic residential apartments. The area is also home to the Dubai Walls Project, where 15 of the world’s best-known urban artists have made their mark on the city’s eclectic art scene.

With striking architecture reminiscent of European streets, take a stroll and explore City Walk’s designer stores, such as Antonio Marras, Diane von Furstenberg and Ralph Lauren, while admiring the work of street artists from around the globe.
Contact Details
  Al Wasl and Al Safa Road junction
  +971 4 317 3999

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Virtual canvas

Hub Zero

Virtual canvas

Hub Zero

Where real and virtual worlds collide

Near City Walk’s central plaza is Hub Zero games arcade, the walls of which are adorned by the work of American contemporary artist Ron English in his signature POPaganda style. With time on your side, find your inner child by entering the indoor entertainment complex for a gaming experience like no other. Appealing to those aged 10 and up, the park has it all from laser tag and adventure climbing and 4D cinemas to a virtual arena where you fight off zombies – the only virtual reality experience like it in the world.

Afterwards, turn left from Hub Zero and circle the central plaza to view Beau Stanton’s stunning shifting maritime mural. Have your camera at the ready for a selfie next to the work of British graffiti artist, Nick Walker, titled ‘I Heart Dubai’ or New York artist Aiko’s colourful lady wearing a kimono. Continue your tour past works by Eelus, whose image of a girl with an umbrella under a rainbow rain shower is another top Instagram pick. 

Contact Details
  City Walk
  +971 800 637227
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Fuel up

Gourmet gems

Fuel up

Gourmet gems

Creative expression at every turn

Pop down the next street to French cafe Demoiselle by Galvin to decode the carnival-esque statement adorning its walls (you’ll have to visit to see what it says). Head indoors to admire the luxe interiors of the modern-day tea parlour, and indulge in a spot of dessert on the side.

Circle back to the central plaza and follow the twinkling lights down the path towards La Ville Hotel & Suites. Dine at Chival, a cosmopolitan restaurant with a carefully-curated menu that celebrates ‘global social’ cuisine or head upstairs to LookUp, a rooftop lounge with spectacular views of Burj Khalifa

Contact Details
  Demoiselle by Galvin
  +971 4 590 5076

  La Ville Hotel & Suites
  +971 4 403 3111

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Street eats meet street art

2nd of December St

Street eats meet street art

2nd of December St

Arabian art tells the UAE’s story

Step outside the hotel and walk along Multaqa Street to admire the transformative calligraphy artwork by el Seed on the facade of The Green Planet, an impressive indoor rainforest in Dubai. If you’re short on time, take a taxi to the 2nd December Street nearby or carry on walking to see the home of local graffiti-inspired art. The street presents a series of 12 large-scale building murals, woven around the theme of the UAE’s history and heritage, thanks to the Dubai Street Museum Project.

A 30-minute loop around both sides of the street showcases the talent of acclaimed international artists including photorealist pioneer Case Maclaim, who crafted a close-up of qahwa (Arabic coffee) and German artist 1010’s 3D mural, Hole in the Wall, that symbolises the country in shape and colour: yellow for sun and sand; blue for sea and sky.

Don’t miss the delectable food on offer at the street’s low-key eateries (see our picks here), including Al Mallah Restaurant before wrapping up the tour at the other end, close to the new Etihad Museum. Come back another day to explore this complex by the Union House, where the United Arab Emirates was formally established as a country in 1971.

Image courtesy: @joycaasi 

Contact Details
  2nd of December Street, Satwa

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