What to go See in Dubai

Dubai city - Jan Willem Plug - the Instatripper

Dubai is a city for your bucket list. It is a place that will leave a lasting impression on your memory. Unique and amazing architecture, manmade islands, impressive skylines, beautiful deserts, the world’s tallest building, the most gigantic shopping mall and the most luxurious hotels. Read about some must-see-places in Dubai.

Burj Khalifa

The Burj Khalifa is the world’s tallest building at 828 metres and can not be missed in Dubai. It is so big and tall that it’s visible from 95 kilometres away! Going up this building is a fantastic experience. There are two observation decks for visitors (on the 124th and 148th floor), with the highest one at 555 metres, and there is a restaurant and bar on the 122nd floor. Right underneath the building is the world’s biggest shopping mall, the Dubai Mall, and the world’s biggest fountain.

Burj Khalifi - Jan Willem Plug - the Instatripper

Burj Khalifa world records:

  • Tallest building in the world
  • Tallest structure in the world
  • Highest outdoor observation deck
  • Highest occupied floor
  • Highest number of stories
  • Tallest service elavator
  • Elevator with the longest travel distance

Inside the Tallest Building on Earth

Before entering the high-speed lift that speeds you up at 10 metres per second you get to see several exhibitions about the construction of the building. There are images of what Dubai looked like just a few decades ago and several VR experiences as well. Obviously, once you get to the top the views are absolutely amazing. On a clear day you can see not just the entire city and the islands but also the desert and country all around it. There are telescopes available with which you can observe the city below and also see what it looks like at night.

At the highest observation deck in the world

Get Your Tickets

It’s a good idea to book your tickets in advance online to avoid having to wait. There are all kinds of options available, including a sunrise and breakfast option. Beware, prices go up during prime hours (around sunset) and closing times differ depending on season.

Dubai Mall

At the feet of the Burj Khalifa is the Dubai Mall. If you’ve seen one shopping mall you’ve seen them all? Well actually, not in this case. This Mall is humongous. 1300 shops, giant ice rink, a huge aquarium several floors high, a dinosaur skeleton, indoor theme parks and 150 eating places. This place is a must-see in Dubai.

Star Wars Storm Troopers inside the Dubai Mall
Storm Troopers inside Dubai Mall
Inside the Dubai Mall
Inside Dubai Mall

See the Dubai Fountain dancing

Just outside the Mall, in the lake surrounding the Burj Khallifa is the Dubai Fountain. It is a spectacular sight to see the fountain dancing to classical Arabic and other music. Beautiful water plays and a fantastic light show both on the water as well as the Burj Khalifa right next to it are a feast for the eyes. The fountain is incredible when it surges up as high as 140 metres right when the music asks for it. Another must-see in Dubai.

A good place to watch the fountain

Where to See it Best

There is a waterfront right outside the Dubai Mall that offers great views. You can also go stand on the bridge to Souk Al Bahar, where the light show may be more visible. Or enjoy the show from one of the waterfront restaurants at Souk Al Bahar, just opposite the water from Dubai Mall. If you want to be really close you can even go on the 25-minute Dubai Fountain Lake Ride on a wooden boat.

Burj Al Arab

Burj Al Arab

Recognize this building? I’m pretty sure you do. This unique sail-shaped hotel is known all over the world. Burj Al Arab is the world’s only seven-star hotel. Needless to say, it is as luxurious as it can possibly get. The architecture of the Burj Al Arab is absolutely stunning from every angle, both outside and inside. The island it stands on was purposely built for it, it has a platform for helicopters on top and a fleet of chauffeur-driven Rolls Royce limousines. Inside, the lobby is a whopping 180 metres high, decorated in a red, blue and green colour scheme and pillars with golden leafs on it. The lobby atrium is so big the entire Statue of Liberty could fit in.

If you’re not staying in the hotel, you need a restaurant reservation to get past lobby security. Check out the details here. This is not an inexpensive place. But the food and the views in the Sky Bar are awesome. I was lucky enough to get invited to a high tea in the afternoon and loved the experience.

high tea up in the Burj Al Arab. the trays are shaped like the building itself
Trays are shaped like the building itself
Looking out towards The Palm
Looking at the city in the distance
Can you see Burj Khalifa?

See it from the Arabian Venice

Burj Al Arab is situated next to the beautiful Madinat Jumeirah. Madinat is a newly-built but traditional-looking Arab village, with a souq (market), palmtrees, Venetian waterways and desert-coloured hotels and villas with wind towers. It’s especially nice in the evening when everything is lit up like in a fairy-tale movie.

Burj al Arab as seen from Madinat Jumeirah
Burj al Arab at sunset
When the sun sets

There’s a lot more to see in Dubai than the amazing buildings I mentioned above. Click here to find out.