Walk out of the back of the Dubai Mall at you’re at the beginning of the area known as Downtown Dubai, built at the same time as the Burj Khalifa in an attempt to provide it with an appropriately lavish setting. Immediately in front of you is a large lake (home to the Dubai Fountain), with the Burj rising majestically to your right.
Head over the small footbridge to reach the small Souk al Bahar, which provides a dash of intimate, traditional Arabian styling in contrast to the oversized Dubai Mall next door. There are much better faux-Arabian souks in the city, admittedly, although Souk al Bahar is normally pleasantly quiet compared to the Dubai Mall, and boasts a good selection of Arabian souvenir and handicraft shops, plus several good places to eat and drink.
The souk’s best feature is its lakeside terrace, lined with a string of restaurants and cafes, some offering with outside terraces offering stupendous views of the Burj Khalifa and the Dubai Fountain.