Is it possible to use iCloud drive like Dropbox? What I want to do is create a symbolic link to Desktop, Documents and perhaps my Downloads folder in iCloud Drive, similar to how I'd do it in Dropbox. I don't want to use the 'Desktop and Documents' setting in iCloud. It does some weird stuff with my Desktop and Documents folder locally.
Apple has a built-in setting to do basically exactly what you want. It's not technically a symlink, but it accomplishes the same functionality. It also gracefully handles different desktops on different machines. And it all works as expected in the Files app on iOS:
I faced the same issue with symlinks. It seems, unfortunately, iCloud doesn't support symlinks (except these desktop and documents folders).
But it's possible with Dropbox:
UPD. Whoops, they dropped support of symlinks. Nobody supports symlinks :(