Dubai is a place that is known for pushing the boundaries of architecture, being full of some of the tallest, oddest, and most extreme buildings in the world today. It is packed full of trademark skyscrapers and unique buildings that visitors cannot help but to visit. What’s more is that Dubai is centrally located between [...]
Dubai is a place that is known for pushing the boundaries of architecture, being full of some of the tallest, oddest, and most extreme buildings in the world today. It is packed full of trademark skyscrapers and unique buildings that visitors cannot help but to visit. What’s more is that Dubai is centrally located between Europe and East Asia, and can be accessed cheaply by air — holidays to Dubai can even be as cheap as £449 — which makes an architectural tour of the city within the budget of almost all travelers. Now let’s look at some of the city’s most well known architectural icons.
At 829.8 meters, the Burj Khalifa isn’t just the tallest building in the world but is also the tallest free-standing structure, has the highest number of storeys, the highest outdoor observation deck, and also the provides the longest elevator ride. It is a potentially true urban legend that if all the steel used to build it was placed end to end it would stretch from Dubai to Melbourne. The Burj Khalifa is open to visitors, and over 4,000 per day pour into it to go up to the viewing deck. Or, if you would prefer to stay grounded, you can dine and drink in an array of restaurants at its base.
The Burj Al Ara is the fourth tallest hotel in the world, but what’s of true significance about it is that it just happens to be shaped like a giant sail. Sitting on an artificial island, the five star hotel is one of Dubai’s most iconic structures. Yes, it has all the amenities that the rich of the world could desire, including butlers, rooftop cocktail lounges, world class restaurants, spas, and, yes, even an aquarium. Note: only go there if you’re loaded.
The Emirates Towers is another set of iconic buildings to visit on a trip to Dubai. Constructed in 2000 these towers were to immediately change the city’s skyline and image. Located on Sheik Zayed Road, the two towers stand at 355m and 309m, making them the 23rd and 47th tallest buildings on the planet. At the base of the towers is a mall called “The Boulevard” and inside the towers themselves are offices as well as the five star Jumeirah hotel, which of course provides exceptional dining and luxury services.
The Al Bahr Towers is another pair of skyscrapers that help brand the Dubai skyline. They won 2nd place in the CTBUH’s First Innovation Award for its groundbreaking design. Influenced by the traditional Arab mashrabiya windows, the outside of the towers rotate with the sun, cooling and insulating their interiors. In the morning what appears to be thousands of umbrellas open to provide shade for the building on its eastern side, while in the evening they open on the western side.
While not technically a work of architecture, per se, Palm Island Dubai is one of the most iconic places to visit in the city. It is a 120 km palm tree shaped resort that was made with reclaimed land that has 2,000 villas, 40 hotels, shopping malls, and a marine park.
So when in Dubai be sure to check out these icons of world architecture — admittedly, they are a little hard to miss.