One of Dubai’s most stunning and unmissable modern attractions is watching the Dubai Fountain Show on the Burj Khalifa Lake, Downtown Dubai.
In yet another Dubai world-record-breaking build, it is the largest dancing fountain show in the world (or it was, until the Palm Fountains opened in October 2020!)
Watching the Dubai Fountains is one of the best free things to do in Dubai at night – check out all of Dubai’s free attractions here.
Dubai Fountain Timings
- Daily Evening Shows 6:00 PM – 11:00 PM every 30 minutes
Over Eid & Public Holidays extra shows may be scheduled to run all afternoon through to midnight. The lunchtime performances are no longer running over summer.
The dancing fountain show itself runs for about 5 minutes at a time.
Burj Khalifa light show timings
It’s nice to catch the first fountain show at dusk then return for a nighttime show when you can also capture LED lighting displays on the Burj Khalifa from 7.45 PM. The Burj Khalifa light show runs every 30 minutes on Thursday, Friday, Saturday through until 10.45 PM. On weekdays every hour from 7.45 PM (Program subject to change).
This is a great stop-gap entertainer while you’re waiting for the fountains. Often there are special themed lightings on the Burj Khalifa for national and international celebrations, awareness campaigns and special occasions – you can’t get a much bigger announcement than printing it on the Burj Khalifa!
Where can I watch the fountain show in Dubai?
The Dubai Fountain is built on a 30-acre lake, called Burj Khalifa Lake, or simply Burj Lake that sits between the Dubai Mall, Souk Al Bahar and Burj Khalifa. The fountains are choreographed to music to make it look like they are dancing, hence they are often called “the Dancing Fountains of Dubai”.
The waterfront promenade in front of Dubai Mall is the most popular and easy to access locations to see the Dubai Fountains – for free. It’s also one of the busiest. Most people tend to exit Dubai Mall from the central exit (underneath the mega Apple store – which also has an outdoor viewing balcony!)
With COVID-19 measures now in place, there are marked spots on the promenade where guests are now allowed to stand to avoid crowding around the railings – but you can be sure many are flouting the rules.
This can be exceptionally crowded at peak times of the evening, 10 to 15 minutes before every show. Unless you are looking to cut across the bridge to Souk al Bahar we DO NOT recommend you take this exit. If you are travelling with strollers, young children, disabled or elderly be really conscious of this.
Instead, if you head to the Lower Ground Floor exit near to “At the Top”, at the Fashion Avenue end of the Dubai Mall, the exit here is far less crowded and you will be in a better position to see the fountains and the Burj Khalifa.
There are plenty of other ways to ensure a good view of the Dubai Fountains, including:
- Taking a fountain lake ride on a traditional abra around Burj Lake (see more below!)
- Walk on to the Dubai Fountain Boardwalk (see more below!)
- Dining at one of the nearby restaurants with outdoor seating over the lake (see more below!)
- From the walkway around Souk Al Bahar
- From up above in one of the city’s towering skyscrapers, including the Burj Khalifa
Do note, it’s best to plan to be in position around 15 minutes before the show. The water will start to twinkle around 10 minutes before then the promenade lights will be dimmed in preparation.
Fountain Lake Ride – seeing the Dubai Fountains from the water
You can get up close to the performance on a wooden abra that circles Burj Khalifa Lake. The boats depart in timed slots 15 minutes before each show (so quarter past and a quarter to the hour) and last for 30 minutes.
Note that these tickets are collected from At the Top (the Burj Khalifa ticketing counter) in the lower ground floor of Dubai Mall). You will need to be organised well in advance as it takes several minutes to get from the ticketing counter back to the “Lake Ride” entrance point on the promenade.
You can enhance your water experience by taking a Dubai Canal Cruise. This is on a much larger dhow boat and will include a 5-star dinner buffet, seeing the Dubai Canal highlights lit up at night, including the new waterfall under Sheikh Zayed Road as well as the dancing fountains.
(NB the dinner cruise departs from Dubai Festival City Mall, not Dubai Mall)
See the fountains on a night tour of Dubai
Another touring option is to see the Dubai Fountains as part of a combined nighttime tour of the city’s highlights. This 4-hour private tour (available in English, Spanish, Italian, French, Portuguese or German) includes a stop at the Dubai Fountains.
Dubai Fountain Boardwalk
The Dubai Fountain Boardwalk (also known as the Dubai Fountain Walk Bridge) is a brand new floating platform from Burj Park, Downtown Dubai which provides one of the most up-close experiences for viewing the fountains, at it’s the closest point you are only 9 metres away!
There is an entry charge on to the Dubai Fountain Boardwalk of 20AED but you can stay on the 272m long boardwalk as long as you like. Open 5pm to 11pm daily, over 4-years old.
The Dubai Fountain Boardwalk is included in the “Dubai Pass” Select, Flexi Attraction and Unlimited packages
Water Experiences at Dubai Fountains
A new set of experiences have been added to the waterfront line up by Emaar Entertainment. Kids and families can enjoy motorised and self pedal boats and kayaks on an extension to the Burj Lake. Pop over to our complete guide here of Dubai Fountain Water experiences for pricing and to learn more.
Restaurants overlooking Dubai Fountain
Both the Dubai Mall and Souk Al Bahar have many restaurants overlooking Burj Khalifa Lake. There are also nearby hotel restaurants (licenced) where you can catch a glimpse.
Our favourite Dubai Mall restaurants with fountains views
- On lower ground level try; Social House – casual international dining, Carluccios – Italian, Wafi Gourmet – Lebanese. For some quick bites lookout for Nandos, Pizza Hut, KFC.
- Level 1 – OFK (Open Flame Kitchen) – upscale international
- Level 2 – TGI Fridays – American dining, Tribes – casual African
NB restaurants within Dubai Mall are all dry – i.e. they do not serve alcohol while hotels and those within Souk Al Bahar are licensed.
Our favourite Souk Al Bahar restaurants with fountain views
- Bice Mare – Italian Seafood
- Serafina – Italian
- Karma Kafe – Pan Asian
- Smaller bites you can grab from Deluca Café and Baker & Spice
Our favourite nearby restaurants with fountain views
- At.Mosphere – Level 122 Burj Khalifa
- Thiptara at Palace Downtown – Thai food with arguably the best terrace views! (Check it out in our guide to most romantic restaurants in Dubai!)
Dubai Fountains – How to get there
If you are not taking a taxi or self-parking, the most convenient way to access Dubai Mall is via Metro.
The most convenient stops are both on the red line: the Burj Khalifa / Dubai Mall Metro Station is the closest, albeit can be incredibly busy in peak times (around a 10-minute walk). Business Bay Metro is a further away walk (around 15 minutes) but can be less busy in the evenings if you want to avoid walking through the mall.
You could easily combine in one evening a trip to At the Top Burj Khalifa and seeing the fountains at ground level. It’s spectacular to see Downtown lit up from above but the more atmospheric and to hear the music you need to be nearby.
Nearby attractions to Dubai Fountains
The Dubai Fountains really are at the tourist epicentre of the city. If you only have one night to spend exploring Dubai this is probably where your night will start or end.
- You are immediately adjacent to the Dubai Mall and the Burj Khalifa
- Easy to access from the fountains “At The Top” Burj Khalifa observation deck
- The Dubai Opera house is within easy walking distance
- Within Dubai Mall, there are several family attractions including The Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo, kids edutainment centre Kidzania, VR Park for all your virtual reality games and the giant Ice Skating Rink.
Where to stay near the Dubai Fountains
Those looking to stay close to Downtown and the fountains there are plentiful accommodation options – it all; depends on the size of your group and budget.
- Best Views – Palace Downtown – sensational contemporary Middle Eastern luxury and views you will never want to leave.
- Value pick – Rove Downtown – a 10 minute walk away and a crossing over Financial Centre Road but prices as low as $86 USD a night make this an excellent central options.
- Family Pick – Roda Al Murooj Residences – this is our top pick for families as it includes apartment options with the luxury and facilities of a resort, about 8 minutes to Dubai Mall using the sky bridge attached to the Address Boulevard.
- Best proximity – Address Dubai Mall – accessible from right within the mall this is the best for ease of access, especially if you have elderly or disabled in your group.
- Most luxurious – Armani Hotel Dubai within Burj Khalifa.
See all your nearby Downtown Dubai hotel and Airbnb options here:
Dubai Fountain Facts
First operational in May 2009, the Dubai Fountains pre-date even the opening of the Burj Khalifa! Here are just a few fun facts to know about the Dubai Fountains
- The fountains cover over 900 feet in length
- High-pressure shooters are what make the fountains “dance”
- Super shooters can fire 240 feet into the air
- Water from the extreme shooters can shoot as high as 500 feet (a 50 story building!!)
- Up to 22,000 gallons of water can shoot into the air at any one point
- There are 6,600 Superlights and 25 colour projectors.
- The songs played vary between classical Arabic and contemporary hits
- The fountains were designed by WET Design, who also designed the Bellagio Fountains in Las Vegas
Before you go… More important things you should know when planning a trip to Dubai
- Pop into our essential planning information page, it includes everything you need to know about getting around Dubai, a handy guide on what to pack and top tips for first-timers on the do’s and don’ts, laws and customs to be aware of.
- Check out this incredible list of 150+ places you should visit when you’re in Dubai.
- Pick up a Dubai Pass to save up to 50% on top Dubai attractions
- Don’t forget to pack your travel insurance!!!
- Discover the best areas to stay in Dubai, or bag a bargain on your accommodation here:
Please note we are not a travel agency. This site is a travel blog to help newcomers to the UAE self plan their trip, we cannot book your flights, hotels, visas or connections for you. We may make a small commission if you click on any of our hotel or tour recommendation links.Dubai Travel Planner