14 of the Most Famous Buildings in Dubai

14 of The Most Famous Buildings in Dubai | The Vacation Builder

It’s less than 200 years ago and Dubai was nothing more but a small fishing village in the Middle East. The city’s fortune took a U-turn (of course in a positive direction) with the discovery of oil beds in the 1960s and a decision made in the 1980s to turn this trading port into a glamorous global tourist destination.

A plethora of aesthetic buildings were constructed at lightning speed and new landmarks started to add more and more stars to Dubai’s skyline. The city is now the proud owner of world’s most creative and inspiring architecture.

Dubai, the city of superlatives, is now the home to the world’s tallest building, the largest shopping malls, the iconic Palm Islands, the tallest hotel and much more. Today we are going to take you on a journey through the most famous and iconic buildings in Dubai. Hold your breath and get ready to meet the wonders from this city paired with some exceptional architectural features.

1. Burj Khalifa

Famous Buildings in Dubai  | #1 Burj Khalifa | The Vacation Builder

It should be no surprise that our list of famous buildings in Dubai will start with Burj Khalifa. Standing a staggering height of 830 metres, this is the tallest building in the world. This mega structure literally (and figuratively) took Dubai to new heights.

What’s Special?

Burj Khalifa also holds the record of housing the world’s highest observation desk and the world’s longest elevator track. The spiral framework of the building is inspired by the Islamic architecture of the Great Mosque of Samarra. This iconic skyscraper takes in cooler air at the top and circulates it throughout the building to enable the “natural air conditioning.

History

Burj Khalifa was built to realize the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum to establish Dubai as a globally acclaimed tourist destination. The project was initiated in 2004 and the tower was officially opened to the public in 2010.

Location

Burj Khalifa Transport Links

Burj Khalifa Station (the Red Line of Dubai Metro) is the nearest metro stop. From there, you can take Bus F13 or walk for 15 minutes to reach the Dubai Mall. Then walk through the Lower Ground floor and exit at the entrance of Burj Khalifa.

Entry Fee

You can pay for various tourist packages (starting from 149 AED) by visiting their official website.

2. Cayan Tower (Infinity Tower)

Famous Buildings in Dubai | #2 Cayan Tower | The Vacation Builder
Cayan Tower, Sat Inbetween Other Skyscrapers in Dubai Marina

Standing at a monumental 306 metres high, Cayan Tower is surely the most captivating helical shape in the skyline of Dubai. The eye-popping twist in the design of this residential tower has been achieved by rotating each floor 1.2 degrees clockwise from the floor below (as per the data revealed by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat’s (CTBUH)).

What’s Special?

The Cayan Tower completes a full turn of 90 degrees along the course of its height. The helix design of this 75-story structure protects interior spaces from direct sunlight and minimizes the structural impact of strong wind.

History

Cayan Tower was made open to residents in the year 2013. The building was erected to offer people with luxurious addresses in Dubai. The architecture firm that designed the tower is Skidmore, Ownings & Merrill (SOM) which was also behind the record-breaking Burj Khalifa.

Location

Cayan Tower Transport Links

DAMAC stoppage is the nearest Dubai Metro station to Cayan Tower. Bus routes 8, 84 and F55A also go through this neighbourhood. Dubai Marina as a whole is easy to access from all areas, plus, there is a walkway which runs the circumference of the marina.

Entry Fee

This residential building is not open to tourists unless they are a part of the Cayan Tower Tour.

3. Burj Al Arab

Famous Buildings in Dubai | #3 Burj Al Arab | The Vacation Builder

Next on our list is the Burj Al Arab. With a towering presence of 321-metres in the humongous shape of a sail, Burj Al Arab instantly became a star attraction to Dubai skyline just after its construction work was completed.

What’s Special?

This 18-story atrium is all covered with a glass fibre screen to keep the interiors safe from the merciless Dubai sun. The material of the screen is coated with Teflon (yes, the one you see on your non-stick cookware) to keep the surface free from dust and sand to maintain the lustre. At the top of Burj Al Arab features a helipad that guests can use to enter or exit the building.

History

Burj Al Arab is the only 7-star resort hotel in the world that opened its door to public in 1999. The impressive design of the hotel was executed by multidisciplinary consultancy firm Atkins, led by legendary architect Tom Wright.

Location

Burj Al Arab Transport Links

Mall of the Emirates is the nearest Metro Station to Burj Al Arab. Bus routes X28, F55A, 81 and 8 can also drop you to the nearest point of this majestic edifice.

Prices

Rooms start from around £860/4400AED/1200USD per night.

4. Jumeirah Mosque

Famous Buildings in Dubai | #4 Jumeirah Mosque | The Vacation Builder

Jumeirah Mosque is a visual treat to eyes with its traditional appearance amidst all other modern and futuristic architectural marvels in Dubai’s skyline. The mosque displays the Fatimid architectural style which is majorly associated with medieval Islamic designs in Egypt. Despite its bulky size and intricate craftsmanship, the mosque looks modest.

What’s Special?

This ivory building with two minarets, many columns and a medieval dome generates a spectacular visual effect at the golden hours during sunset. You can find the image of this beautiful mosque on UAE’s 500 dirham note.

History

The construction of Jumeirah Mosque began in 1975. It was completed four years later in 1979. This is one of the very few mosques in UAE that allows non-Muslim visitors.

This mosque plays a key role in accomplishing the goals under the “Open Door. Open Minds” program envisioned by the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding (SMCCU).

Location

Jumeirah Mosque Transport Links

Al Jagiliya Metro Station is only a short taxi ride (2 kms) from Jumeirah Mosque. You can also avail the metro service from Burjuman to Al Ghubaiba Green to reach the mosque. Bus routes X28, 12 and C10 also pass near the mosque area.

Entry Fee

There is no entry fee to visit the mosque. The guided tour costs AED 25 per visitor.

5. Dusit Thani

Famous Buildings in Dubai | #5 Dusit Thani Hotel | The Vacation Builder

Dusit Thani is a Thai multinational hospitality company with headquarters in Bangkok. They established their first flagship hotel in Dubai with an iconic ‘folded hand’ design. This amazing structure is considered as one of the most fascinating buildings in Dubai till this date.

What’s Special?

In Thai mythology, Dusit denotes the fourth of the seven levels of heaven. The appearance of Dusit Thani hotel depicts the hands held in prayer which is a typical way of Thai greeting. This was the first hotel in the Gulf countries to secure an Earth Check Gold Certification for sustainability.

History

The building was designed and constructed by Khatib & Alami and this prestigious project started in 1998. It was opened for the public in 2001.

Location

Dusit Thani Transport Links

You can access a hoard of Dubai Metro Stations sitting close to the hotel. These include Financial Centre, Burj Khalifa Dubai Mall and Emirates Towers Metro Station. Distance of all these stations from the hotel is more or less 1 kilometre. Bus route number 27, 29 and F11 also passes near this property.

Prices

Rooms start from around £70/350AED/100USD per night.

6. JW Marriott Marquis Dubai Towers

Famous Buildings in Dubai | #6 JW Marriott Marquis Hotel | The Vacation Builder

Welcome to world’s second tallest hotel. JW Marriott Marquis Dubai Towers make an impressive set of twins in the star-studded skyline of Dubai. Both towers of this eminent hotel group measure 355 metres and with equal number of rooms and elevators.

What’s Special?

The towers of JW Marriot Marquis Dubai showcase a tree-like exterior design inspired by the date palm which is a native plant in Gulf region. This symbolizes the Arabic culture.

These towers are strategically placed on top of a 7-story podium so that every floor offers breath-taking views of the city and the sea. This project was the world’s tallest hotel for several years before the Gerova Hotel overshadowed the tittle.

History

These twin towers were constructed by Archgroup Consultants. The towers were inaugurated in 2012 and 2013 respectively.  

Location

JW Marriott Marquis Transport Links

The Business Bay Metro Station is the nearest one to JW Marriott Marquis Dubai Towers. Several Bus Lines including 7, 21, 29, F14, F20, C14 and 98E connect this hotel with other parts of the city.

Prices

Room rates start from £118/600AED/160USD per night.

Interesting fact

At the lounge of the JW Marriott Marquis Dubai Towers, there is a vast display of 1,326 rainbow liquor bottles but none of them contain a drop of alcohol.

7. The Opus

Famous Buildings in Dubai | #7 The Opus | The Vacation Builder

There is no other building in Dubai that represents a very unique and exceptional concept like The Opus. This is the only Dubai project executed by visionary architect Dame Zaha Hadid. This structure is made to serve the purpose of both commercial and retail sectors.

What’s Special?

The Opus is a fluid, spatial building made of two separate towers that form a single cube. This extraordinary structure features a void carved into the centre of the whole concept. It looks like a single unit with an irregular-shaped gap in the middle.

History

The Opus was completed externally in the year 2019. The project was initiated in 2007 and was supposed to be done by 2011.

Location

Opus Tower Transport Links

Nearest metro station to The Opus is the Business Bay Metro Station. You have to take a taxi after getting down at this station. Otherwise, you can walk for about 35 minutes from the metro station to reach The Opus. Bus Routes 29, F13 and F14 can also take you to this location.

Entry Fee

No entry is allowed for visiting The Opus except for residents and guests to the hotel.

8. Atlantis The Palm

Famous Buildings in Dubai | #8 Atlantis The Palm | The Vacation Builder

Your first introduction to the Middle East was probably through the enchanting stories of the Arabian Nights. This piece of land has always been the epicentre of myth and magic. Atlantis, The Palm is the only building in Dubai that conjures up images of those fairy tales in your mind right from your first glance at this majestic structure.

What’s Special?

This coral pink, huge beach resort hotel flaunts an exterior based on the mythical Atlantis with plenty of Arabic elements. The West and East Tower of the hotel are connected via the Royal Bridge Suite. Atlantis The Palm houses the Lost Chambers Aquarium which is the largest in the Middle East and Africa. The aquarium is a collection of more than 65,000 marine creatures including sharks and stingrays.

History

Atlantis The Palm was designed by WATG and its construction was completed in 2008. Since then, this luxury hotel resort has been one of the most favourite playgrounds for the rich and famous.

Location

Atlantis The Palm Transport Links

You can travel to DAMAC Metro Station which is the closest one to Atlantis. Nakheel Metro Station also sits close to the hotel. From there you have to take a short taxi ride to catch a monorail from the Gateway Monorail Station. However, It is better to stick to a taxi all your way from metro station to the hotel.

Prices

Rooms start from £300/1500AED/415USD per night.

Interesting Fact

The building sits on a collection of artificially made islands. This beach resort also features two underwater suites. That’s something amazing. Right?

9. Jumeirah Beach Hotel

Famous Buildings in Dubai | #9 Jumeirah Beach Hotel | The Vacation Builder

Do you remember the stir this Jumeirah Beach Hotel made when it was opened in late 1990s? Even if it’s a NO, you can guess the reason behind all those stimulated by looking at the outstanding wave-shaped exterior of this iconic luxury hotel. This edifice is surely one of the best architectural wonders gracing the skyline of Dubai.

What’s Special?

The most striking feature of this 5-star hotel building comes from its cresting wave-like design. This 26-story structure stands 104 metre high from the ground and stretches for 275 metres in length. Glistening aluminium plated and blue-tinted glass panels add a fluidity to its design.

History

Jumeirah Beach Hotel was opened in 1997. The structural blueprint of this building was made by Atkins firm which is also behind many other record-breaking buildings across the globe.

Location

Jumeirah Beach Hotel Transport Links

Emirates Tower Station is the nearest halt to Jumeirah Beach Hotel. You have to catch a taxi from this station to reach the hotel. It hardly takes 7-8 minutes from this metro station. You can also avail Jumeirah Lake Towers Metro Station to get to the hotel.

Prices

Nightly rates start at £264/1350AED/360USD.

Interesting Fact

Jumeirah Beach Hotel is adjacent to the sail-shaped Burj Al Arab and this fantastic combination evokes an image of a sail navigating against a crashing wave.

10. The Green Planet

Famous Buildings in Dubai | #10 Green Planet | The Vacation Builder

With just a 4-story high building, the Green Planet in City Walk may look less imposing to many of you. But wait a minute. It’s not the height that creates all those buzzes around this place but it is the conspicuous design of the building that deserves all the attention.

What’s Special?

The Green Planet features a distinctive cylinder-inside-a-cube exterior. The building nurtures a thriving rainforest ecosystem within which is something last you would expect in middle of the desert. The origami-inspired cube of the Green Planet is fitted with cutting-edge technology required for sustaining the Equatorial Rainforest inside the centrally place glass core.

History

The Green Planet is a prestigious extension of the Dubai’s City Walk project. It was successfully delivered in 2016 and opened to public visits from the very same year.

Location

Green Planet Transport Links

The nearest station to the Green Planet is the Dubai Mall Metro Station from Red Line. From the station, it’s a short taxi ride. You can book a taxi directly to City Walk to comfortably reach this unique building.

Entry Fee

General admission fee is AED120 per person. Online booking for the same costs a bit lower at AED89. Free admission for children aged below 3 years.

11. Gevora Hotel

Famous Buildings in Dubai | #11 Gevora Hotel | The Vacation Builder

In February 2018, a new star was born in the remarkable skyline of Dubai and it’s none other than the Gevora Hotel. With a height of 356 metres and 75 floors, this building was always set to be another star attraction for Dubai.

What’s Special?

Gevora Hotel is not just one of the tallest structures on the face of Dubai but it is the world’s tallest hotel since early 2018. No wonder why it took 12 long years to complete this masterpiece with a glitzy Golden façade and a pyramid crown at the summit.  

History

Construction of Gevora Hotel started in 2005 and was completed in early 2018. The architect for this captivating structure is Al Turath Engineering Consultants.

Location

Gevora Hotel Transport Links

Gevora Hotel sits close to three metro stations – Financial Centre Metro Station, Emirates Towers Metro Station and Dubai Mall Metro Station. So, travelling to this iconic hotel from any corner in Dubai is quick and comfortable.

Prices

The Gevora Hotel is one of many Dubai hotels that shows to the world that high-class accommodation doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Rooms start from just £40/200AED/55USD per night.

12. The Museum of the Future

Famous Buildings in Dubai | #12 Museum of the Future | The Vacation Builder

The Museum of the Future, another creative piece of architecture, is on its way to light up Dubai’s star-studded skyline. This building is one of the most anticipated and hyped construction projects in the city.

What’s Special?

Even before its completion, the Museum of the Future is being considered as one of the most advanced buildings in the world. The unique and futurist structure of the museum is erected by the construction techniques used in aviation industry. This torus-shaped, elliptical building with a void in the centre is surely one of the most challenging projects ever attempted in the Middle East.

Arabic calligraphy on the exterior is a poem by Sheikh Mohammed radiating his vision for the city.

History

This fascinating project was decided to be completed before the World Expo 2020 that Dubai was hosting. The main framework was done in November 2018. Final phase of construction is still going on. Architectural design was done by Killa Designs and the project was engineered by Buro Happold.

Location

Museum of the Future Transport Links

There are two stations on the Dubai Metro Red Line that sit pretty close to the Museum of the Future. These are Emirates Towers Metro Station and World Trade Centre Metro Station. Bus Routes of F11, F28, 98E and 21 also can drop you at the closest point to the museum.

Entry Fee

The building is currently under construction. As soon as there is any information about the access to the museum, we will update this section. You can always behold the beauty of this marvellous piece of architecture from the outside though.

Interesting Fact

The Museum of the Future includes a “growth algorithm” which has been used to grow the building’s internal steel structure “digitally”. Unbelievable!

13. Dubai Frame

Famous Buildings in Dubai | #13 Dubai Frame | The Vacation Builder

The Dubai Frame really is a world one of a kind structure. From great greats it actually captures some of the most iconic buildings in Dubai inside the frame!

What’s Special?

Dubai Frame has been placed strategically so that Old and New Dubai views are visible from the observation deck at top. This iconic structure serves as a metamorphical bridge connecting Dubai’s rich past with its promising future. This holds the record for the largest frame in the world.

History

Designed by Fernando Donis of DONIS Architects and developed by Dubai Municipality, this giant frame was erected to allow visitors to enjoy the panoramic views of Old and New Dubai standing atop.

Location

This humongous frame is located at Zabeel Park. Zabeel Park is a great place to visit whilst in Dubai, not just for The Frame.

Dubai Frame Transport Links

Both ADCB Metro Station and Al Jafiliya Metro Station are located within one kilometre from Dubai Frame. From the station, it is a walk of 10-15 minutes to reach the frame.

Entry Fee

Dubai Frame Ticket cost is AED 50 for adults and AED 20 for children aged between 3 – 12 years.

Interesting Fact

There is no actual ‘Gold’ used to design this ‘Golden’ frame. The sparkly exterior is made of gold-coloured stainless-steel sheets.

14. Dubai Opera

Famous Buildings in Dubai | #14 Dubai Opera House | The Vacation Builder

Last up on our list of the most famous buildings in Dubai; Dubai Opera House.

You don’t need the extra height or tallest structure accolade to create something outstanding and Dubai Opera is the best example to justify this. This place is the cultural and entertainment hub of Dubai city with an appealing design.

What’s Special?

The building was built in the shape of a traditional Emirati wooden boat, Dhow. It’s a tribute to Dubai’s glorious maritime past. there is a 3-story chandelier inside this opera house to illuminate the surrounding. In spite of boasting a design inspired by past, the functionality of the building is very much contemporary.

History

Designed by Atkins and renowned architect Janus Rostock, Dubai Opera was open first time in 2016. The purpose of creating this space was bringing global performing arts and contemporary entertainment to Dubai.

Location

Dubai Opera – Transport Links

Dubai Mall Metro Station is the nearest to Dubai Opera. Get off at the station and then take the walkway to Dubai Opera from Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard. Bus Lines F13 and 29 also pass close this opera house.

Entry Fee

Guided tours of around 45 minutes are conducted at Dubai Opera. Ticket costs AED75 for adults and AED40 for children (aged 3-16 years).

Interesting Fact

Dubai Opera building is known to be able to transform into three sound modes and this transformation is achieved through high number of moving floors, specially designed ceilings and walls.

Conclusion

The architecture of Dubai boasts its heritage, deep-rooted culture, technical advancements and exponential growth of the city. This makes Dubai quite exquisite with some of the most fascinating and challenging architectural wonders. Visiting the city allows you to take a good look at these amazing pieces.

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