With such an impressive skyline, the views of Dubai are an absolute marvel, especially knowing that everything was built in the last 20 years. Everything has been done in a short time compared to the rest of the world, which makes the Dubai skyline even more special.
Along with New York, Dubai also bears the name of the skyscraper city, although it’s only in 4th place in the world in the list of cities with the highest density of buildings over 150 meters. Of course, with so many skyscrapers and rooftop bars, plenty of places must offer a great perspective on Dubai’s architecture.
In this article, I want to show you seven places from which you can admire the skyline of Dubai utterly free of charge. Dubai is not the cheapest city, so saving and keeping the money for other experiences I have discussed on the blog doesn’t hurt.
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Things to know about the Dubai skyline:
- the tallest building in the world is in Dubai – Burj Khalifa with 828 m, officially inaugurated in 2010
- the first skyscraper in Dubai was built in 1979 and was called Sheikh Rashid Tower, later the name was changed to The World Trade Center
- the only 7-star hotel in the world is part of the Dubai skyline and is, of course, the incomparable Burj Al Arab
- the following three tall buildings after Burj Khalifa are: Marina 101 (425 m), Princess Tower (413.4 m), and 23 Marina (392.4 m)
- is in the 4th place in the list of cities with the highest density of skyscrapers, after Hong Kong, Shenzhen, and New York
- it’s the city with the most buildings that exceed 300 meters in height
Views of Dubai – 7 Places to admire Dubai skyline for free
Inaugurated in 2003, Dubai Marina is currently one of the most sought-after areas in Dubai. I could say that it’s right on the top of the list of accommodations for tourists who stay here. No wonder, considering the high concentration of luxury hotels and apartments overlooking the Arabian Gulf.
Dubai Marina is the largest artificial harbor in the world with an artificial bay. You will find promenades lined with palm trees along the artificial canals, with luxury yachts and one-day cruises called Dhows cruises. On these cruises, you can have dinner while admiring one of the best views of Dubai, the Dubai Marina skyline, one of the most impressive worldwide.
Dubai Marina has approximately 200 very tall buildings. However, it’s hard to say the number of skyscrapers because Dubai constantly grows this number.
Dubai Marina stretches for 3.4 km, and every step you take gives you a different perspective of the tall buildings reflected in the water. But skyscrapers house hotels and houses and restaurants on the ground floor or upper floors where you can have some of the best viewpoints in Dubai.
Also, here you can find the Dubai Marina Mall, with many shops and international brands, and a terrace from where, again, you can have a panorama of Dubai Marina without taking a penny out of your pocket.
How to get to Dubai Marina:
You can take a taxi or the metro to get to Dubai Marina. You have to get off at Damac Metro Station; you can still take the tram next to the Dubai Marina skyscraper, bringing you closer to the beach or walking.
Dubai Creek Harbour
I will already tell you that this is my favorite place to admire the best views in Dubai for free. Dubai Creek Harbor is one of the newest areas in Dubai, where massive construction is underway.
From here, you will have the most comprehensive view of the skyscrapers in Dubai and be able to admire incredible sunsets. For this reason, you must get here just before sunset, especially since the area gets quite crowded afterward. It’s understandable since here you’ll find the best view of Dubai skyline.
In Dubai Creek Harbour, several pavilions, a park with a 6 km long promenade, and some exciting sculptures with large flamingo birds have been set up. Dubai Creek Harbor is about 15 km from Burj Khalifa.
After loading the camera memory with many Instagrammable pictures, you can take a deep breath and have dinner at one of the most fantastic restaurants in Dubai Creek Harbour, Mondoux.
How to get to Dubai Creek Harbour:
You can’t get here by metro, so to be sure you get where you need to go, put Dubai Harbor Creek Marina or Harbor Views on the map.
Sheikh Zayed Road | Views of Dubai
The main artery of Dubai is a kind of The Strip in Las Vegas, along which the tallest and most spectacular buildings can be found. Sheikh Zayed Road, or E11, stretches 558 km from Abu Dhabi to Ras al Khaimah.
The road connects the main points of interest of the city: Dubai Downtown, Dubai Marina, Palm Jumeirah, and Deira. You can also have one of the best view of Burj Khalifa from Sheikh Zayed Road. Also, the road connects the capital of the United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi, with Dubai.
The red metro line of the city stretches along this highway, which was completed in 1980, after about nine years after the beginning of the construction. Many years have passed since then, and the landscape has changed entirely.
Precisely because it is the city’s main artery, it offers the best views in Dubai of the highest skyscrapers as if from sci-fi movies. Of course, the tallest building in the town and the world, Burj Khalifa, can be seen from almost any point on Sheikh Zayed Road.
An interesting thing to know is that the name of the road comes from the former president of the country and the ruler of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan.
Jumeirah Beach Residence aka JBR
Jumeirah Beach Residence, or JBR, is the stretch of beach near Dubai Marina, which stretches for 1.7 km. But its length is variable, considering how much everything evolves in the area and how it expands yearly.
On JBR, you can admire 35 residential buildings with apartments overlooking the Arabian Gulf and many hotels, restaurants, and cafes. If you come here by car, I recommend parking at The Walk Parking, a well-maintained underground parking right in the heart of JBR.
The main beach in Dubai is not to be missed if you want to enjoy wow views of the engineering wonders of Dubai because from here, you have not only a view of the JBR skyscraper but also one of the newest attractions of the city, the Dubai Wheel or Ain Dubai (Dubai Eye).
JBR will delight you with sidewalks, vegetation, palm trees, umbrellas, food trucks, souvenir boutiques, and a permanent vacation atmosphere. You will almost forget you are in a desert area because everything has transformed amazingly.
It’s my favorite area in the city because it gives me the feeling of relaxation and up-to-date inclusion. JBR represents the meeting place for young people, the place for walking for couples, but also the place of expressiveness for street artists. You will notice and admire several wall paintings that delight the eye in this area.
Don’t miss the ZouZou Lebanese restaurant, the Cheesecake Factory, and the Starbucks terrace with a direct view of the Dubai Eye.
How to get to JBR:
It’s located right next to Dubai Marina, so you only have to walk a few more steps and reach the most famous beach in the Emirates.
Next to Dubai Mall | Best views of Dubai
You probably already discovered that Dubai Mall is the biggest mall in the world, the equivalent of 50 football fields. But we are not talking about the mall here, but about the promenade area outside, where you can admire the dancing fountains, the Burj Khalifa tower, and other opulent buildings in the same place.
You can have a great view of Dubai skyline from inside the Dubai Mall, more precisely from the terrace of the L’ETO restaurant. They have magical decorations and delicious cakes; the coffee is a must-try.
Also, some decorations, or rather sculptures, around the dancing fountains will add something extra to your pictures, for example, the giant water lilies on the lake, the vast iron dandelions, or the angel statue.
Not to be missed is the inner courtyard of the Palace Downtown hotel, which also offers an exciting and unique perspective on the surrounding buildings, mainly thanks to the symmetrical swimming pools, separated by an alley.
How to get to Dubai Mall:
It’s effortless to get here by metro. The station is called Burj Khalifa – Dubai Mall and is on the red line.
It’s the island on which the famous wheel of Dubai is located, the Dubai Eye, with a height of 250 meters, which puts it first in the list of the largest observation wheels in the world.
Some of the most expensive 5-star hotels are also found on Bluewaters Island. But, even so, it is free to visit and enjoy the panorama it offers. Even the famous Madame Tussauds wax museum has made a well-deserved place here on Bluewaters Island.
You can get here by car or on foot, crossing a bridge connecting Bluewaters Island to JBR. From the island, you can admire both the beach and the towers on JBR, especially the newest opened, which dominates the skyline, Address Beach Resort, with a height of 301 meters.
Palm Jumeirah Corniche Area | Best views of Dubai
The Palm Jumeirah Corniche Area is a piece of the largest artificial island on the entire planet, another impressive record of Dubai. It is, of course, Palm Island in the shape of a…palm tree.
Many Emiratis and others reside here in luxurious villas with private beaches. The Atlantis Hotel is also located here at the top of the palm tree. If you are interested, you should know that part of it is open for visiting for free. Therefore, you don’t have to be a guest at Atlantis to be able to see its interior.
Palm Island was opened in 2001 and covers an area of 560 hectares. It has a long promenade, but if you want to admire from here the row of impressive buildings in Dubai Marina and JBR and even the Bluewaters Island, you have to go to the south-west part of the island, in the place called Palm Jumeirah Corniche Area, near The hotel Langham. From here you will have one of the best views of Dubai.
Where to stay in Dubai:
- budget: Rove Downtown– good location, swimming pool, fitness center, restaurant, room service
- mid-range: Address Sky View– fabulous view, spa, room service, delicious breakfast, infinity pool
- luxury: Bulgari Resort, Dubai – private beach, perfect location, fitness center, restaurant, bar