The Dubai Fountain
Whether you are visiting Dubai for the first time or the umpteenth, you are bound to enjoy the majestic display of the Dubai Fountain. What makes it different from any other fountain show is its grand display of synchronized sights and sounds which makes it stand out as the world’s largest fountain.
What is so special about the Dubai Fountain?
The largest fountain in the world is located in the world’s largest mall and showcases the world’s tallest building as its background. That’s one confusing statement, but the actual view is simple and elegant. The Dubai Fountain never disappoints its tourists, even the most skeptical ones leave fully convinced. The music (often popular songs), lights and choreography of the fountain keep on changing after every few days. This ensures a unique experience even if you go there more than once during your holiday.
The precision with which water dances to the rhythms of music, with different shades of light adding grace and glory to this beautiful theatrical performance, and the water touching the sky at the highest pitch of music is enough to give you goosebumps. Nothing can mesmerize you in few minutes as much as the Dubai Fountains do.
Who is it for?
From a 2-year-old to someone reaching 100, who doesn’t like fountains? Whether you are visiting with your family or are on a honeymoon, the magical display of the Dubai Fountain will leave no heart untouched. You can find it thrilling, mesmerizing, romantic, entertaining or soul-touching – whatever state your heart wants to go in.
Is the entry free of cost?
Yes, it is. You can witness the most amazing fountain show without spending a single penny. There are no tickets for the show and the entry to the Dubai Mall is also free (not to forget free parking). How good can it get?
Having said that, there are small boats (locally known as Abra) that float across the Burj Khalifa lake – where the fountain show takes place. In case you want to witness the grand display from the boat (that’s like the front seat at a stadium), you can contact “The Dubai Fountain Abra Ticket Counter” or book online from the mall’s official website.
How to get the best seats?
There are no seats! It’s a “first come, first served” terrace-like place where people stand and watch the spectacular display. You will find few benches here and there, but they hardly are of any use. As soon as you enter the Dubai Fountain premises, you need to rush to the railing that has the Burj Khalifa lake in front of it (whether in front of the mall’s backdoor or towards The Souk). As the showtime approaches, the place quickly fills up by people and you will have to stick to your place, otherwise, you can lose it. Since a large number of people come to see the fountain show (and also because it’s free), you may find yourself in a massive (but controlled) crowd.
Here’s a secret: A good way to have a decent seating arrangement while witnessing the glorious fountain is to go to a nearby restaurant that has a terrace or balcony overviewing the fountains. You can find many such restaurants but you may need to have a reservation prior to your visit.
And of course, you can always watch the show by paying a little extra while you enjoy the ride of “Abra”.
What are the show timings?
The Dubai Fountain can be enjoyed every evening from 6:00 pm to 11:00 pm, every 30 minutes. That’s the best time to witness the fountain shows as you may prefer a darker sky to fully enjoy the dazzling lights that the fountain displays. Moreover, during the night shows, the magnificent building of Burj Khalifa also gets “shimmery” when its own lights start dancing to the rhythm of the music. This can only be seen at night time, though the afternoon shows are very enjoyable as well.
In case you cannot make it in the evening, the Dubai Fountain has two shows in the afternoon every day. On Fridays, the show timings are 1:30 pm and 2:00 pm. Friday is a public holiday all across the UAE (the weekend starts from Thursday evening till Saturday), and Sunday is the first working day of the week here. From Sunday to Thursday, the afternoon shows are at 1:00 pm and 1:30 pm.
How long is the show?
Each performance is of 5 minutes which is an ample amount of time to mesmerize the crowd. There is a 25 minutes’ break in which one set of crowd leaves and the new arrives. Some people are so awe-struck by the fountain’s grandeur that they decide to watch another one and stick to their places waiting for the next show to start.
Tips for a better experience
Try to reach there early to get a front place to watch the performance.
Keep your camera ready but make sure you hold it tightly as a sudden jerk from the crowd may make your camera dive into the lake. Everyone wants a better viewing position, so people tend to over-take and push. It’s quite normal and there is nothing to worry about.
Reserve a balcony table at one of many restaurants in the mall to enjoy the food with complimentary fountain show!
Since the fountain show is in the open, make sure your clothing is according to the outside weather (and not the mall temperature). You may notice that the malls, cars and all indoor places are quite cold here due to central air-conditioning – Dubai still is a desert. The summer is year-round (except for a couple of pleasant months from late November to early January), so it may get quite hot, humid and sweaty in front of the fountain.
In case you have done some shopping and don’t want to drag it to the fountain area, the mall offers you free delivery services in which you can deposit your stuff at one of their collection centers and they can deliver it when you are about to leave. You only need to call them and inform them about your location when you are done.
You can always log on to the mall’s free internet and live stream the fountain show to those who couldn’t make it to Dubai.
How to get there?
There are 4 ways to reach the Dubai Fountain: Car, Bus, Metro and Taxi (or Uber/ Careem).
If you plan to come by car from the center of Dubai, you need to take the first interchange and proceed through Financial Centre Road. From there you can see the approach road to The Dubai Mall on the right side. If you are coming from Abu Dhabi, you will need to take the exit to Financial Centre Road from the first interchange. Program your satnav device with coordinates: 25°11.922, 55°16.805. Proceed to the carpark by following the signs and enjoy free undercover parking. They also have a valet service. The Dubai Fountain can be found on the Ground floor, and the mall’s directions can easily guide you to it.
If you are coming by bus, you can find two buses reaching The Dubai Mall every 16 minutes – route 27 from Deira Gold Souk bus station and route 29 from the Ghubaiba station.
The Dubai Metro is quite easy to use – the nearest station to the fountain is the Burj Khalifa/ The Dubai Mall station. From there you can either reach the mall via bus (known as feeder bus) or walk through the Metro Link Bridge which is a glass tunnel between the Burj Khalifa/ The Dubai Mall station and Dubai Mall itself.
If you are new in Dubai, the easiest way to reach Dubai Fountains will be by taxi. You will not have to open any online maps as all taxi, Uber and Careem drivers know where Dubai Mall is.
What else can I do while I am there?
You may go to the Dubai Mall to witness the Dubai Fountain, but that’s not the only thing you can do there. Apart from shopping and dining, you can head to the Reel Cinemas to watch movies. The Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo can keep you glued to nature for few hours. You can also enjoy the excitement of Emirates A380 Flight Simulator where you can be the pilot of a large passenger airline! Or how about polishing up your skating skills at the Dubai Ice Rink? If you are traveling with kids, your inquisitive-ones will love you for taking them to Dubai Dino (where the remains of a 155-million-year old dinosaur are kept) and to KidZania, where children act as grown-ups, do jobs and earn money. And of course, you can go “At the Top” of Burj Khalifa to get a 360-degree view of Dubai from the tallest building in the world.
The Dubai Fountain is definitely a once in a lifetime experience. It is one of the highlights of Dubai, and something you cannot find any other place in the world. Don’t miss it – you will always cherish the memory.