Iconic Dubai architecture

Dubai is a worldwide rarity: iconic architecture is actively pursued. As long as it’s eye-catching, anything goes.

Iconic Dubai architecture

Area: Dubai

Dubai is one of only a few locations worldwide where iconic architecture is not only encouraged, but actively pursued. As long as it is eye-catching, it seems that anything goes, from the sublime to the outrageous, and sometimes a combination of the two.

What is interesting is Dubai’s extraordinarily short building cycle. At less than 50 years old, Dubai is remaking its own image faster than any other city in the world. Nearly a quarter of all the world’s construction cranes are hard at work here, leaving the beholder with plenty of iconic architecture for sightseeing.

Burj Khalifa

The world's tallest building, at 828 m high, its cladding provides an interesting contrast with the traditional Dubai architecture around it. Well worth seeing as the sun rises and strikes the reflective surface.

Emirates Towers

A favorite with Dubai architecture enthusiasts, who love to observe the way the towers’ relationship to each other changes with the angle from which you look at them.

World Trade Centre

The World Trade Centre is a very forward thinking for its time, in both its ground-breaking scale and its structural and environmental sensitivity. It now stands as a reminder of Dubai’s growth, a contrast to the flashier buildings around it.

National Bank of Dubai

While practically speaking, this design doesn't make the most efficient use of space, as a project designed to make a statement, it is a roaring success. Its convex glass front captures and reflects the comings and goings along the Creek and it has become one of the most recognizable structures in Dubai.

Dubai Marina

It's especially beautiful at night, but well worth a visit on Friday afternoons, when the Marina Market sells all manner of clothes, gifts, and jewelry. There is an impressive array of waterfront restaurants, too.

Mall of the Emirates

An overnight success, the Mall is popular with residents and visitors alike. It's home to an enormous variety of high street and designer shops, cinemas, and many fine restaurants. It also contains the incredible Ski Dubai.

Burj Al-Arab

The world’s only seven-star hotel stands 320 meters tall on its own artificial island just off Dubai’s coast. It boasts an extraordinary sail-shaped exterior, with dancing fountains, vast aquaria, and a startling blue atrium on the inside.

Iconic Dubai architecture

Iconic architecture

Various locations 

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