The Dubai Fountain is the world’s largest musical fountain and the city’s most popular free tourist attraction. It is set on the Burj Khalifa Lake in Downtown Dubai, between the Dubai Mall, Souk Al Bahar, and the Burj Khalifa.
The fountain consists of a 275 metre long central arc of jets, joined to a smaller arc and 5 circles of jets. When the performance begins these powerful jets shoot water sprays to heights of up to 150 metres in harmony with the music and illuminated by over 6,000 powerful lights and 50 colour projectors.
Performances are held daily and last up to 5 minutes. Evening shows begin at 6 pm and are every half hour until 10 pm (11 pm Thursday to Saturday). There are also 2 performances in the daytime; at 1 pm and 1.30 pm.
Songs and music accompanying the displays range from contemporary pop to classical. The repertoire includes Thriller by Michael Jackson, I Will Always Love You by Whitney Houston, All Night Long by Lionel Ritchie, Baba Yetu by Christopher Tin, The Magnificent Seven by Elmer Bernstein, and Time To Say Goodbye by Andrea Bocelli and Sarah Brightman.
Performances are completely free and can be seen from various locations around Downtown Dubai. The most popular spot is the Waterfront Promenade outside the Dubai Mall. Just before the performance begins, thousands of people pour out from the mall and the area gets extremely busy. Visitors wishing to view it from here should arrive early to ensure a spot at the front.
The walkway around Souk Al Bahar is far less crowded and offers a more pleasant viewing experience. Spectators coming from the Dubai Mall will need to set off around 15 minutes before the performance begins to avoid the crowds at the Dubai Mall exit and the Souk Al Bahar Bridge.
For a really fantastic view, book a table or arrive early at one of the restaurants with outdoor seating areas overlooking the lake and fountain.
Restaurants with good views at the Dubai Mall include TGI Fridays, Wafi Gourmet (Lebanese), Carluccio’s (Italian), Joe’s Café, More (International), Madeleine (French), and Burj Al Hamam (Lebanese). Visitors should note that none of the restaurants at the Dubai Mall serve alcohol.
Several restaurants at Souk Al Bahar also offer fantastic views. These include Dean & Deluca Café, Baker & Spice, Rivington Grill (British), Urbano (Italian – side view of fountain), Margaux Restaurant (French), Mango Tree (Thai), and Bice Mare (Italian). The Rivington Grill, Margaux, Mango Tree, and Bice Mare serve alcohol.