Dubai is an emerging city on the international scene and is the most populous city in the United Arab Emirates. It is also undoubtedly the most culturally rich city and home to some of the most impressive examples of modern architecture, including the tallest building in the world.
In Dubai, you’ll find towering skyscrapers made of twisted metal and glass, vast hotels that can accommodate thousands of distinguished guests and the world’s largest marina. In fact, you’ll find that much of Dubai’s architecture is among the tallest, largest and most massive you’ll ever see.
Here are some of the most impressive examples of architecture in Dubai that are worth a visit if you ever make it to this interesting city:
Atlantis, The Palm
One of the most impressive hotels in the world. Atlantis is a resort located near the coast on Palm Island and is themed after the legend of the sunken city it is named after. It is a gigantic building with 23 floors and 23 restaurants, as well as over 1500 rooms for tourists. The structure is large for a hotel, standing 93 meters high. It is a popular destination for many celebrities and distinguished guests from around the world.
Burj Al Arab
Another hotel, the Burj Al Arab announces some incredible figures. It is officially 321 meters tall, making it the 3rd tallest hotel ever built, and has 56 floors in use. It features a 180 meter high atrium and a trendy restaurant that offers a nice view of Dubai. The Burj Al Arab is built on its own artificial island in the Persian Gulf.
An example of truly modern architecture, Cayan Tower is recognizable by its twisted look that looks incredibly complex. It is a multipurpose building that was just opened to the public in 2013. The building is as beautiful as it is operational, with its glass windows designed to mitigate the effects of solar radiation. It has 73 floors of residences and is built on the outskirts of the Dubai Marina.
No list of architectural wonders is complete without mentioning the Burj Khalifa, currently the world’s tallest building and the tallest skyscraper ever built. Skirting the clouds at a maximum height of 282 meters, this prodigy has 154 operating floors and 57 elevators and was designed in a neofuturistic style by American architect Adrian Smith, who also designed several other superstructures around the globe.
While the building is impressive from the outside, it is also useful as a business building, shopping center and residence. Outside the first floor is the impressive Dubai Fountain, the largest choreographed fountain in the world. It features daily sound and light shows for those watching the Burj Khalifa from the ground.
Near the top of the skyscraper is an observation deck where tourists can view the Dubai skyline from one of the world’s highest man-made vantage points.
Another spectacular example of engineering, the Dubai Marina consists of a man-made canal and a multitude of buildings both commercial and residential. While still under construction, it is intended to house over 100,000 people when completed, making it the largest marina in the world. Although the lake and canals are cut off from the rest of the ocean, some animals swim along its waters, making this place a sort of fusion of the natural and the man-made. Once completed, the Marina will undoubtedly be one of Dubai’s main attractions and one of the best places to live.
The Emirates Tower
An immediately recognizable part of the Dubai skyline, the Emirates Towers are also tall buildings even if they don’t rival the immensity of the Burj Khalifa. Inside these towers, you can find pleasant gardens, waterfalls, shopping centers, and plenty of places to sit and enjoy the view. From the outside, these distinctive buildings are the symbol of the city of Dubai and represent two of the first skyscrapers that rose in the city during its rise as an economic powerhouse.
Dubailand is the UAE’s answer to Disney World in Florida, and it plans to be twice the size of Disney (which is currently the largest theme park in the world). It will feature several regions, including Eco-Tourism World, Sports and Outdoor World, Vacation World among others. Although construction began in 2003 and has been delayed several times since, it looks like it will be completed by 2020.
Several companies, including some American ones like Dreamworks, were involved in its construction at the beginning of the development, but as the delays accumulated, they seem to have lost interest in the project. Dubailand was seen for a time as another victim of the UAE’s overambition in architectural projects. However, after several changes in management, the project seems to be back on its feet. Perhaps in the not too distant future, Dubailand will be open to the public and the world will have a new gigantic theme park.
The wonders of Dubai
So if you’re thinking of heading to this growing city in one of the richest regions of the Middle East, be sure to visit these spectacular monuments. They are true works of modern art and many of the wonders you’ll find here are among the best examples of neo-futuristic architecture, designed by some of the world’s best architects. A gallery for all kinds of extreme architecture, Dubai is a city to see at least once in your life.