My Neighborhood: Dubai, A Modern Marvel

In a real estate career spanning 30 years, Issam Galadari has earned a reputation for developing iconic projects around the globe. Closer to home, Galadari has launched some of the most recognizable real estate landmarks, including the Burj Khalifa and Dubai Mall. Now the CEO of Ithra Dubai, Galadari previously served as real estate director for Investment Corporation of Dubai; as CEO of Emaar Properties, where he oversaw the development of Downtown Dubai; and as managing director of Emaar International, a business he expanded into 11 countries. Although his work has taken him around the world, Dubai remains the city closest to Galadari’s heart. “It’s one of the best cities in the world,” he says of his hometown. “It’s an incredibly vibrant modern metropolis with over 200 different nationalities living and working here. It offers great amenities, schooling, safety, and lifestyle—not to mention year-round sunshine.”

—Kathy Passero

Palm Jumeirah
Palm Jumeirah


After living in Dubai all my life, it has been wonderful to watch the city evolve,” says Galadari. “If I had to pick one favorite area, it would be the Palm Jumeirah. This man-made island has become a world-renowned address that is home to some of the best prime real estate in the city. It boasts a range of best-in-class hotels, amazing restaurants, a new mall, endless beaches, and beautiful waterfront views of the Arabian Sea. It is also home to the first super-prime residential development, The Royal Atlantis Resort & Residences (971.4.426.2888 ). When completed in 2020, it will offer homeowners wonderful architecture and interior design, and private pools and beaches. Residents will also have some of the best global restaurants at their doorstep, such as Dinner by Heston Blumenthal (, Jaleo by José Andrés (, and Hakkasan.” Atlantis, The Palm, 971.4.426.2626

Salmon tartare with caviar at Nobu, Dubai
Salmon tartare with caviar at Nobu


“A favorite of mine is Nobu at Atlantis, The Palm (Ground Level, The Avenues, Atlantis, 971.4.426.2626 ). It not only has amazing food, but it also has a fantastic atmosphere. Another favorite is Bread Street Kitchen by Gordon Ramsay, which is a wonderful experience for couples and families alike.” Atlantis, The Palm, Crescent Road, 971.4.426.2626

Burj Kalifa


“We are incredibly fortunate that Dubai is home to some of the world’s most iconic buildings. The tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa, is a must-see (1 Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Blvd.). Alongside the beautiful Dubai Fountain (created by the team at WET in LA, who designed the Bellagio fountains in Las Vegas) and the Dubai Mall (one of the largest in the world), Downtown Dubai is incredible to experience.

Ambassador Lagoon, Atlantis, Dubai
Ambassador Lagoon, Atlantis


“We are spoiled for choice when it comes to shopping in Dubai. The Mall of the Emirates not only has an amazing plethora of shops but is also home to an indoor ski slope (Sheikh Zayed Rd., 971.4.409.9000). At the other end of the spectrum, we also have traditional souks in the old town, where visitors and residents can meander through the avenues of gold and spices at their leisure, while gazing over the beautiful clear waters of the Dubai Creek.”

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