Dubai is a world-famous tourist attraction for many reasons. One of such reasons is the fact that it's world-famous. No jokes. Some people just want to know what all the hype is about, and they have the resources to go find out. Lucky them.
One of the other reasons is the city’s jaw-dropping beauty. Every direction you turn, there’s somewhere gorgeous to take your breath away. Whether you're looking to make content out of these scenic locations or you just want to experience such beauty for yourself, there are quite a number of places to go in Dubai.
Here are, in our opinion, 15 of the most beautiful, must-visit places in Dubai.
1. Burj Khalifa
This building is located in Downtown Dubai, one of the busiest parts of the city — this might have something to do with the many visits to the Burj Khalifa. The iconic skyscraper’s futuristic facilities, not only on the outside but also on the inside, explain why it’s such a tourist hotspot. On the outside, it’s the world’s tallest building with the structure of a flower called Spider Lily (scientifically, Hymenocallis). Just standing in front of it is a dream for many, and some even assert it's more beautiful from above.
2. Palm Jumeirah
The Palm Jumeirah, a man-made island, was built from reclaimed land — which is actually a series of islands put together such that the beautiful skyline is like a palm tree. Besides the amazing view, a vacation to this island made of islands means you can stay in any of Dubai’s top luxury resorts which are on the island. A boat ride around Palm Jumeirah is also a great way to take in the view.
3. Bur Dubai
This is the oldest part of the city, but it's a timeless beauty. It translates to ‘mainland Dubai’, so it's no surprise that a lot of tourist hotspots are here, including the Heritage and Diving Village and Dubai Dolphinarium. Taking a walk along the coast and through the busy backstreets is enough to leave you feeling all warm and fuzzy inside. Surrounded by awe-inspiring places and structures, this is the stop for anyone looking for a trip with beauty around every corner.
4. Pier 7
At Pier 7, you get to literally feed yourself, then figuratively feed your eyes. This destination is home to seven levels of restaurants that serve different cuisines from all over the world. No matter what you like, there's something delicious for you to have while you take in the view. The building has a circular design, so your view not only depends on the level you're on but also what side you're at.
5. Mall of the Emirates
This mall is the world’s first shopping resort. Something in one of the 560 shops and boutiques is sure to catch your eye, and you can still check out the ski slope and cinema complex after. If you're not looking to buy anything, take a walk around the mall to window shop or just take in the fascinating Fashion Dome. The mall’s ground floor is always alive, from fashion shows to family activities, so you may rest assured that there is much to see and experience.
6. Souk Madinat Jumeirah
There are marvellous waterways and teeming gardens all around the Souk Madinat Jumeirah, so your eyes will be satisfied before you even get into any of the many delightful activities! There are abra (boat) rides and even an art project called ‘Souk Seven’ for you to enjoy if you can peel your eyes away from the stunning horizon. A little something special for the ladies is the ladies’ night that happens in some of the bars on Wednesdays from 6 PM till midnight. Here, ladies can pick up a map that shows them three bars that’ll give them free drinks.
7. Dubai Mall
Downtown Dubai is filled with beautiful spots, and right in the centre of it all is The Dubai Mall, with over a thousand retail outlets and over 200 for food and beverages. However, you can enjoy more than just the things you buy. The mall is over 500,000 square meters in area and just strolling through all that space can be quite aesthetically fulfilling. In addition, The Dubai Mall houses the Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo, should you want something even more scenic.
8. Dubai Museum
The historic art and 3D models are what makes the Dubai Museum what it is, figuratively and literally. It's housed in the Al Fahidi Fort, which was built in 1787, making it the oldest existing building in the city of Dubai. After its renovation in 1971, it became a museum. Given that it used to be a well-defended residence for the monarch, weapons arsenal and prison, it's a wonderful way to time-travel visually.
9. Jumeirah Mosque
The Jumeirah mosque is big enough to hold more than a thousand worshippers, and it was built only out of white stone. It's extra picturesque at dusk when its lights shine perfectly. You might be wondering if you can stop by if you don't practice Islam, but you don't have to miss out on anything because of your faith (or lack of it) because the mosque practices an ‘Open Doors, Open Minds’ policy.
10. Souks of Deira
Dubai is filled with amazing souks (marketplaces) for all sorts of shopping items. One of the best things about these souks is the fact that they sell such beautiful things – it's enough to just look at them. The Gold Souk and Spice Souk are both at Deira, Dubai, and it’s easy to believe the Gold Souk would offer more beauty than the Spice Souk. You might want to think again. Everything sold at the Spice Souk comes in colourful sacks, and the arrangement is simply stunning. Even your nose and tongue can get in on the fun since the spices smell wonderful, and they let you sample before you buy.
11. Dubai frame
Dubbed the “World’s Largest Picture Frame”, the Dubai frame was opened in 2018. When you look through this structure that’s 150 meters above ground in Dubai’s Zabeel Park, you get a wide range view that allows you to take in much of the city’s skyline. Looking through the frame is much like looking at a live picture of the Burj Khalifa and the other remarkable structures in the horizon. The content you can make here is more than instagrammable, as some of them can be truly iconic.
12. Heritage and Diving Village
Lots of places in Dubai have little bits of memorabilia or are memorabilia themselves, as is the case here. The villages are living museums that give you a wholesome experience of Dubai’s past. At the Heritage Village, you get a look into cultural aspects, particularly in terms of craftsmanship like pottery and weaving. The Diving Village, on the other hand, takes you through Dubai’s historic pearling industry. With enough intent, you can create content that genuinely looks like you went back in time.
13. Burj Al-Arab
The view of the city is breathtaking from the higher levels of this architectural work of art, but that's not all you get at the Burj Al-Arab. This hotel has a man-made beach and an infinity pool terrace that are perfect to explore with your eyes as well as your body. Even the food is great to look at! At any point in time during your stay, you're guaranteed luxury, exceptional hospitality and a stunning view.
14. Jumeirah Beach
There's plenty to feed your eyes with at the Burj Al-Arab, but should you think you need some fresh air, you’ll be pleased to find out there's just as much beauty outside the hotel. Take a long enough walk in its direction, and you’ll find yourself at one of the best beaches in Dubai. If the aesthetic you're looking for requires sun (at any time of the day), or sand or beautiful bodies of water, you’ll prefer the Jumeirah beach to the man-made beach at Burj Al-Arab. Nobody does nature’s job better than she does. The beach is kept neat and clean, so its beauty isn't tainted. There's a children's playground as well, so the beach is even appealing for that wholesome sight of children playing.
15. Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary
Thanks to heavy regulation, this place is teeming with beautiful birds. You can also find fish — because the Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary is in the wetlands — and mammals. It's argued that the best season to visit is winter where the abundance of bright pink flamingo feathers is absolutely breathtaking. There are also other colourful species of birds, making the Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary a literal burst of colour.