The site to some of Dubai's historical landmarks and affordable housing, explore Bur Dubai with our complete area guide.
23 February 2020| Last updated on 26 February 2020
A bustling residential and commercial district that is popular among cost-conscious UAE expats
Sitting on the West side of Dubai Creek and across from Deira, lies one of the emirate's oldest established districts. Bur Dubai, which means "Mainland Dubai" in Arabic, has long been one of the most attractive locations to live in by residents.
Home to a wide array of historical and heritage sites such as the Al Fahidi Fort and Dubai Museum, Bur Dubai has witnessed the city's rapid development over the years. Residents will see new and modern buildings alongside establishments that are decades old.
The area features a variety of hotspots including the souks, dhow cruises, international restaurants and cafes, and the latest tourist attraction - the Dubai Frame. This neighbourhood is also where a good number of amenities, facilities, and local government offices can be found like the Ruler's Courts.
Residents who choose to live in Bur Dubai will be happy to know that His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, calls the place his home. The Zabeel Palace, located in Bur Dubai, is His Highness' official residence.
On top of the area's abundance in amenities, things to do, historical spots, and site of the Zabeel Palace, the district is favoured for its budget-friendly accommodation.
To find out more about Mainland Dubai, have a look at our complete area guide, detailing everything you need to know about Bur Dubai, from what amenities are available to the average annual cost of rent.
Public transport in Bur Dubai
Pedestrians and residents who don't have a car will be pleased to know that Bur Dubai has plenty of public transport options in the area, linking commuters to various parts in the city.
The nearest Dubai metro stations in Bur Dubai are Al Jafiliya station, World Trade Centre station, and Emirates Towers station.
Commute times by car from Bur Dubai
- to Downtown Dubai: 10 minutes
- to Dubai International Airport (DXB): 11 minutes
- to Jumeirah: 13 minutes
- to Dubai Internet City: 19 minutes
- to Academic City: 19 minutes
- to Al Qusais: 27 minutes
- to Dubai Investments Park: 33 minutes
Amenities and facilities in Bur Dubai
- Supermarkets and smaller grocery shops, such as West Zone.
- Hospitals, clinics, and other health and wellness centres.
- Restaurants, cafes, and eateries with a diverse menu at different price points.
- Vetinerary hospitals and clinics.
- Zabeel Park.
- Zabeel Palace.
- The Nad Al Sheba Horse Course.
- Hotels and other short-stay accommodation.
- Government offices and consulates, including the Ruler's Court, Dubai Municipality, the Federal Authority For Identity And Citizenship, etc.
- Near the Dubai World Trade Centre.
- Near the Dubai Mall.
- Near the Dubai Creek.
Bur Dubai offers an abundance of amenities and facilities, making life in this area an incredibly convenient one.
The district is surrounded on all sides by established localities such as Downtown Dubai, Oud Metha, and Al Satwa, so if you can't find what you're looking for in Bur Dubai, you'll likely find it in the neighbouring areas.
One of the city's largest parks, the Zabeel Park, is less than 10 minutes away by car and brings plenty of opportunities for outdoor and sports activities.
For prayer and worship facilities, the nearest churches for those of the Christian and Catholic faith can be found in Oud Metha. Bur Dubai features two mosques for Muslim residents and citizens. The nearest temples are located in Al Fahidi, which is only a short Dubai metro ride or a 16-minute drive away.
What's life like in Bur Dubai?
- Plenty of daily-needs amenities such as schools, hospitals, grocery shops, salons, etc.
- Affordable to mid-range cost housing.
- Lively night scene.
- Plenty of hotspots for residents and visitors.
- Daily queues on the road due to rush hour.
Almost everything you need is available in the area, so most of the time you needn't venture out of the community. Families can find plenty of schools in Bur Dubai, offering international curriculums such as the UK National, CBSE, American, and even the French curriculum.
Although it may not seem like a family-friendly locale at first or even second glance, parents and children can still live a peaceful and safe lifestyle in the district. Most new buildings feature 24-hour security and children's playgrounds, and the Zabeel Park is a popular weekend day out for couples and families.
Whether you prefer to commute or you own and drive a car, many other districts in Dubai are easily accessible from Bur Dubai thanks to the main roads and public transport available.
Although there's decent enough space for outdoor jogging, strolls, and cycling, Bur Dubai may not be the most pedestrian-friendly location due to all the roads and developments. Pet owners may also find it a bit difficult to take their dogs out for walks as the area tends to be busy most days.
It's also worth noting that because the neighbourhood is surrounded on all sides by other popular localities, drivers may experience the daily rush hour traffic in the morning and in the evening.
Bur Dubai by day
Morning sees working adults and students heading out for their day, while stay-at-home household members are running errands, or enjoying their free time. It's not as busy in the area, especially during the hot summer months, but come winter Bur Dubai will experience more activity.
Bur Dubai by night
By the time the sun sets, Bur Dubai is a bustling spot in Dubai. If they're not relaxing at home, residents would be outside having dinner at a local restaurant or cafe, squeezing in a hair appointment, shopping, going to the gym, jogging, or enjoying some leisurely activities.
Who lives in Bur Dubai?
- Singles, couples, and families.
- Mostly expats, but with some Emiratis.
- Majority of residents are South Asian or South East Asian expats from India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, the Philippines, and Pakistan.
- Low to mid-income households.
Bur Dubai is one of the emirate's established neighbourhoods teeming with history. It's not an unusual sight to see residents who were born and/or brought up in this area are now living in Bur Dubai with their own families.
The affordable housing, availability of amenities, and accessibility to other parts of Dubai makes it a lovely place to call home for some expats.
Properties for sale and rent in Bur Dubai
Average annual rental prices in Bur Dubai are as follows:
- Studio apartment: AED 30,000
- 1 bedroom apartment: AED 50,000
- 2 bedroom apartment: AED 75,000
- 3 bedroom apartment: AED 100,000
- 4 bedroom villa: AED 150,000
Average property sales prices in Bur Dubai are as follows:
- Studio apartment: AED 500,000
- 1 bedroom apartment: AED 990,000
- 2 bedroom apartment: AED 1,650,000
- 3 bedroom apartment: AED 2,500,000
What are properties like in Bur Dubai?
While Bur Dubai is mostly affordable, there are certain sub-communities that come with well-developed residential units and, to be expected, a higher price tag. This includes Oud Metha, Mankhool, and Al Jaddaf, as housing can be more expensive compared to other sub-districts such as Raffa and Al Fahidi.
Apartments in Bur Dubai come in studios and 1 to 3-bedroom units, varying in price, amenities offered, and design. Newer buildings typically have 24-hour security, centralised air-conditioning, rooftop swimming pool, indoor gym, and spacious hall for activities such as parties, meetings, and prayer for its residents.
The villas in Bur Dubai aren't as modern as the newer units in other neighbourhoods such as Jumeirah or Umm Suquem, but these properties are spacious and affordable. Popular among larger families, these budget-friendly houses come in 4 to 6 bedroom units, and depending on when it was built, would sometimes have a private swimming pool and additional storage space outside.
What are noise levels like in Bur Dubai?
As a popular neighbourhood in the city, Bur Dubai can get quite noisy from late morning until the evening. During rush hour, you'll hear the typical noises of traffic, car engines, and honking.
Some parts of the area see an active night scene, so you might encounter loud music and voices.
However, there are a few points in Bur Dubai, namely the residential apartments, where it can get pretty quiet. Noise levels within a building differ per apartment, as the older units tend to have less sound-proofing.