The Dubai Fountain is the world’s largest musical fountain and the city’s most popular free tourist attraction.
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, dancing in harmony with the music and illuminated by over 6,000 powerful lights, lasers, and 50 colour projectors.
Performances are held daily and last up to 5 minutes. In 2021, evening shows begin at 6 pm and are every half hour until 11 pm.
Songs and music synchronised to the displays include contemporary pop, classical, and Arabic. The repertoire includes Kiss Goodbye by Han Yimiao, I Will Always Love You by Whitney Houston, Time to Say Goodbye by Sarah Brightman and Andrea Bocelli, Bassbor Al Fourgakom by Hussain Al Jassmi, The Prayer by Andrea Bocelli and Celine Dion, Symphony No. 9 in E minor by Antonin Dvorak, Ensan Aktar by Abdul Majeed Abdullah, I’ll Never Love Again by Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper, Power by Exo, and Baba Yetu by Chirstopher Tin. The song list changes regularly.
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.
A couple of paid viewing options for evening shows are also available. The Dubai Fountain Lake Ride offers visitors the chance to see the fountains up close by taking a traditional Arabic boat (abra) trip on the Burj Khalifa Lake.
A cheaper paid option is the Dubai Fountain Boardwalk. This floating viewing platform allows visitors to walk within 10 meters of the fountain.
At the time of writing (May 2021), tickets for the Lake Ride cost 68.25 AED. Tickets for the Boardwalk cost 20 AED.
Another option for a fantastic view of the fountains is to dine at one of the restaurants with outdoor seating areas overlooking the lake and fountain. Advance booking or early arrival is recommended.
Restaurants with good views at the Dubai Mall include TGI Fridays, Wafi Gourmet (Lebanese), Carluccio’s (Italian), and Joe’s Café. 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 Baker & Spice and Bice Mare (Italian). Many restaurants here serve alcohol.
The Apple Store at the Dubai Mall boasts a huge balcony. It’s also a good place to watch the Dubai Fountain.