Every Emirates visitor, no matter how many times they’ve been to the UAE, has been met with a burning question of where to find the best views in Dubai. In our experience, we’ve been seeking out higher and higher viewpoints since our very first trip here, and we’ve never actually given up on our search.
Good news is, we’ve been documenting our every move when it came to the best places with scenic views in Dubai, and we’re finally ready to share the journey with you. Without further ado, here’s our list of places with the best views in Dubai. We hope you enjoy!
- Four famous observation decks in Dubai
- Dubai pools with a view
- Dubai view at night (bars & restaurants)
- Hotels with a view
- Free viewpoints in Dubai
- What else do we recommend to do in Dubai?
● Helicopter tour in Dubai
● Skydiving in Dubai
● Hot air balloon over the Dubai desert
At The Top, Burj Khalifa
It wouldn’t be fair to not put Burj Khalifa at the top of our list of best viewpoints in Dubai. After all, the world’s tallest building is an obvious answer to the question of what is the highest viewing point in Dubai, — and witnessing its sheer grandiosity in person should be the ultimate goal of every Emirate guest.
This mammoth tribute to architectural ingenuity towers over Downtown Dubai. Burj Khalifa can be seen from almost every point of the city, so you couldn’t miss it even if you tried! Unique in shape, the skyscraper soars into the sky, almost defying physics. Thank God for the masterminds behind its construction: They say that architects even examined wind patterns to make sure the building’s aerodynamics were just right to guarantee the safety of the structure.
Side note: The very top narrow part of the tower, which was famously conquered by Tom Cruise (in jeans!) and Will Smith, among others, can sometimes be seen swaying a little under especially strong gusts of wind. Talk about a bucket list experience!
While Burj Khalifa spans over more than 160 floors, standing at a world-breaking height of 828 meters (2717 feet), the very top floors are off-limits to tourists. So, if you want to marvel at a bird’s-eye view of Dubai, you might shoot for the lower decks — Levels 124, 125, and 148, to be exact.
The viewing deck of the lower (124 and 125) levels, named At the Top, can be considered one of the most Instagrammable places in Dubai, and with good reason! The sprawling 360° panoramas of a glistening Dubai skyline are a spectacular sight, meant to be shared far and wide across all of your socials.
Tickets to Burj Khalifa: The best price — $48 per person — is on GetYourGuide; it’s the most popular Dubai activity.
If you have extra cash to spare (three times the amount, to be exact), you can treat yourself to a visit to Burj Khalifa’s Sky deck, located on the 148th floor of the tower. Advertised as a premium experience, the floor itself and the outdoor terrace in particular (the highest in the world, no less) do feel more upscale in terms of luxe interiors and warm tourist treatment. To be fair, the views here aren’t that different from the ones opening up from slightly lower levels, so you will mostly be paying for the “VIP” label of the attraction.
As for Burj Khalifa’s other notable businesses, this mixed-use skyscraper is also home to the luxurious Armani Hotel Dubai that sprawls over 11 of the tower’s residential floors, and world’s highest restaurant — At.mosphere — the place where all things chic clash beautifully with fine dining (you are encouraged to dress up even for a simple breakfast experience).
All in all, if you want to have the best view of the Dubai skyline, head on over to Burj Khalifa. You won’t regret it! One point worth mentioning though: Burj Khalifa’s viewpoints are the only places where you can’t actually see the tower itself. To fill this hole of your Dubai experience, we encourage you to check out other options, which, we might add, are no less exciting!
Pro tip: Don’t forget to stick around for the Dubai Fountain evening show happening at the base of Burj Khalifa every 30 minutes, from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. — an absolutely delightful performance of light, water, and colors!
At the Top, Burj Khalifa Opening Hours:
Every day, 8 a.m. – midnight (last admission at 11 p.m.)
The height is:
Where to buy tickets:
The View At The Palm
Another strong contender for our list’s top spot with the best views in Dubai is the View at the Palm. This iconic Palm Jumeirah viewpoint is the place to visit for the pinch-me views of Dubai’s architectural wonders.
Even if you’ve never been to the UAE, you’re probably familiar with the Emirates’ super powers of making islands out of nothing. The Palm Jumeirah — which is the most famous of the three Palm islands — and the World islands are nothing short of extraordinary. What once was a simple shoreline is now sporting uniquely-shaped patches of land (well, mostly sand and bed rock, but it’s not important).
The one island we’re mostly interested in exploring here is the Palm: Created to resemble one of Dubai’s most cherished trees — the date palm, — it stretches out far and wide into the Arabian Gulf, with the final circular frame showcasing the island’s limits.
No wonder the view over the famous Palm Island would be so incredibly sought-after: The View at the Palm provides the panoramas that were once only available to witness from aircrafts or on helicopter tours, and at a fraction of a price, no less!
So, what exactly should you be expecting as you set out to visit the View at the Palm? First of all, if you’re prone to getting lost, put in Nakheel Mall as your destination. In usual Dubai fashion, every tourist attraction has its start at the mall.
As you go through the View Lobby, you’re met with a multimedia exhibition showing you every step of the island’s building process: This part is guaranteed to interest both adults and children. We were particularly mesmerized by videos of tons and tons of sand being poured into the sea, eventually creating hills peeking out of the water). Breakthrough scientific developments (like the way they make sure the island won’t be washed away into nothingness) are both wild and inspirational.
As you’ve satisfied your knowledge-based curiosity, it’s time for the cherry on top: The views over the Palm. A super fast elevator takes you to the 52nd floor, where the viewing deck goes around the entire tower, leaving you to enjoy spectacular panoramas of the Palm (with the 1,001 Nights-style Atlantis Hotel as the island’s crown), the Gulf, the sail-shaped Burj Al Arab, and our personal favorite part of the Emirate — Dubai Marina. The downside is you won’t be able to see Burj Khalifa as it’s located too far from the Palm.
Pro tip: As with most Emirate attractions, the earlier you arrive, the less crowds you’ll encounter. Come at 9 a.m. and you’ll have the deck all to yourself.
If you’re craving a more authentic experience of being more than 240 meters up in the air, you’re in luck: The newest addition to the View at the Palm is the View Next Level! Located on the 54th floor, the space most resembles the helicopter landing pad, with a small railing all around it. Here, no windows will stop you from enjoying all-encompassing views of the Palm and the Dubai’s skyline. Given the VIP label of the experience, tickets to the View Next level tend to be more expensive (but you also get the access to the upscale lounge located on the top floors).
The View at the Palm Opening Hours:
Monday – Thursday: 9 a.m. – 10 p.m. (last entry at 9 p.m.)
The height is:
Where to buy tickets:
Being one of the more often overlooked viewpoints of the Emirate, the Dubai Frame is an absolute hidden gem of the structure. At least, that’s what it felt like to us. Dubai Frame’s lower level views of the surrounding Dubai neighborhoods are just as spectacular as the panoramas opening up from Burj Khalifa.
Don’t be fooled though: The actual construction is pretty hard to miss, unless you have some unique ability to not notice colossal structures. The unique tourist attraction is shaped like a giant gold picture frame standing tall above the verdant paradise that is Zabeel Park, which all together makes for a fun family getaway location.
Side note: For the price of Dubai Frame ticket, visitors also gain access to the park grounds.
What are some of the main points of interest one should expect to see upon entering the Dubai Frame? Well, apart from two small museum exhibitions dedicated to Dubai’s past and future, the main tourist attraction of the Frame is its viewing deck. Located at an impressive height of 150 meters, the space features 360-degree views of the neighboring districts and the star of the show — the glass floor. Not an entire floor, thankfully, but a strip of a few panels running in the middle.
Side note: In order to get the ultimate picture of yourself standing or sitting on the glass panels that far up, shoot for the earliest possible visit times. That way, you won’t have to elbow other tourists craving that same coveted shot.
As you look out the intricate windows, you get two starkly different views of the city. On the one side, it’s Old Dubai — Deira neighborhood, with its closely built and beige structures. On the other, it’s New Dubai — a sprawling megapolis with tons of glass, steel, and generally high buildings (Burj Khalifa crowning the awe-striking vista).
Getting back to our initial comparison of the viewpoints: When choosing whether to include Burj Khalifa or Dubai Frame into your trip itinerary first, we recommend you start small. The Dubai Frame entry price is easier on the pocket and the attraction is usually less crowded, leaving you with more freedom to enjoy yourself.
Overall, the Dubai Frame is one of our favorite destinations, as it combines lots of different experiences under one roof:
- You get Al Shindagha Museum-like experience upon entering the first part, the historical installation made in the style of a traditional Arabic souk;
- Then a super fast elevator takes you to the top of the Dubai frame — Sky deck, where you can enjoy the almost-vertiginous views of the Emirate, much like from the other (granted, more expensive) Dubai viewpoints;
- Right before you leave the Frame, you get to walk through a multimedia exhibit focusing on the future of the Emirate. In our opinion, it’s a perfect introduction to the topic, which you can further explore by visiting the Museum of the Future.
Side note: Museum of the Future is a fitting main course to follow up your Dubai frame aperitivo, so we advise you plan to visit both of these attractions in one day (by Dubai standards, they’re located pretty close to each other). We’ve done it personally and decided they complement each other beautifully in terms of an overall well-rounded experience!
Dubai Frame Opening Hours:
Every day, 9 a.m. – 9 p.m.
The height is:
Where to buy tickets:
Sky Views Observatory
If Dubai Frame’s glass floor ignited a passion for tinkling your nerves that you’ve never felt before, then Sky Views Dubai Observatory is guaranteed to be just your cup of tea! A mix of thrilling experiences, this attraction sports what can only be described as the best views in Dubai, especially in its skyscraping modern downtown.
Located just opposite the iconic Burj Khalifa (the tallest tower in the world) and not too far from Dubai Mall (the largest shopping mall in the world), the Sky Views Observatory is almost swimming in the ocean of Dubai’s accolades. The observatory’s podium connects the two twin towers of the Address Sky View hotel, which is well-known for being home for all things luxury and grandeur. Even from afar, as you approach the building, you get the uneasy feeling about the appropriateness of your tourist attire (think Birkenstocks and sweats), but don’t you worry: Unless you plan on having candlelight dinner at Sky52 restaurant (where delectable cuisine meets the breathtaking view of Burj Khalifa), there’s no use for evening gowns here.
Tickets to Observatory: The price is $23 per person on the official website, yet GetYourGuide offers a cheaper option.
The main attraction of the space is a glass floor circling around the whole perimeter of the structure. The thrill of standing at 219.5 meters up on the completely see-through panels is a truly remarkable experience. Thankfully, unlike the same attraction at Dubai Frame, this one can withstand an influx of a huge number of visitors, due to its length (no need to wait in line for a mandatory pic, unless, of course, you come during peak hours).
Speaking of thrills, each entry ticket gets you one ride on Sky Glass Slide, where you’re zapping through a glass tube that comes out of the building (it’s quadruple-proofed, so don’t worry about falling). But if you really want to get your blood pumping, we advise you splurge on Sky Edge Walk.
Our personal fascination with seeking the contained (and wildly exciting) fight or flight response began in New Zealand: Auckland’s very own Skywalk, much like Sky Edge Walk Dubai, is on a more extreme side of activities to experience during your travels. Getting outside the structure, with the wind blowing in your face, and the instructor urging you to complete a series of exercises (like leaning over the edge of the floor, looking straight down), should be at the top of the list of things to do in Dubai for people who love going above and beyond in their experiences. Don’t forget to keep your eyes open, or you’ll miss all the fun!
The Observatory lives up to its supposed purpose: It’s an observation deck in Dubai that doesn’t let its visitors get bored for even a second, constantly providing more and more entertainment options. Overall, it’s a nice landmark in one of the more affluent districts of the Emirate. There’s a themed penny press inside the observatory, where you can get a cute little knickknack to remember your visit buy!
Side note: If you can afford to be a little extravagant and spend a night or two inside the towers’ Address Hotel , we encourage you to make the complete use of the Sky Deck. Fit for a lavish time, the deck offers a giant infinity pool with truly fascinating panoramic views of the city. Grab a cocktail from the pool bar and feel yourself at the top of the world (or what is a regular Thursday for the Housewives of Dubai).
Sky Views Observatory Opening Hours:
Every day, 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.
The height is:
Where to buy tickets:
Dubai pools with a view
As we’ve dipped our toes in Dubai pools that also double as a viewpoint (pun intended), we have a few more that are worthy of your time and money, as these things tend to be quite pricey.
If simply going to one of the best viewpoints in Dubai — the View at the Palm — is not cutting it for you, luxury-wise, you can always go down a couple of floors of the Palm Tower and indulge yourself in a one-of-a-kind experience: Aura Skypool. It’s the tallest 360-degree infinity pool in the world (remember, it’s located 200 (!) meters up in the air), giving you the best views in Dubai. The pool goes all around the tower, with four sides looking out on some attractions in Dubai: There’s Burj Al Arab View, Palm View, Marina & Ain Dubai View, and City Skyline View.
Side note: You might’ve seen Aura Skypool already on social media: It’s the ultimate destination for influencers traveling to the Emirates. And who can blame them?
Every turn opens up on a completely different panorama, from the glistening waters of the Arabian Gulf to the soaring skyscrapers of Dubai Marina. The pool is constructed in such a way that it looks like you’re sitting on the edge of the world when you take a picture from a right angle. Don’t worry though, it’s totally safe. If you clumsily fall over the edge while looking for the best shot, you are guaranteed to walk that incident off easy: There’s flooring down there, and the height is around a meter down.
While the time-slotted tickets you get to enter the Aura Skypool bound your seat to only one of the view sides, you’re free to go all around the pool. It also helps that the pool is heated. The area is also shaded, so you don’t have to worry about sunburns.
If all the swimming has made you hungry, the on-site restaurant offers delectable dishes and lunch options. The food is great, but many find it to be on a pricier side. Well, you’re eating a fruit platter 200 meters up in the air in one of the world’s most expensive destinations, what price do you expect? It comes with the territory.
Each time of day in Aura Skypool brings something entirely new into the mix: Be it the soft sunrise over the buildings and great breakfast options, the twinkling lights of nighttime Dubai Marina and crazy good DJs, or simply a relaxing time in the shade with refreshing drinks of what would usually be a sweltering hot day in the Emirate.
It’s easy to get lost in the myriad of options when it comes to booking your visit to Aura Skypool, but we’ve got you covered:
- Burj Al Arab View ⁓ $82–$95 per person
- City Skyline View ⁓ $61–$95 per person
- Marina & Ain Dubai View ⁓ $55–$110 per person
- The Palm View ⁓ $55–$135 per person
Sunrise hours (6 a.m. – 9 a.m.) are the cheapest while the afternoon (3 p.m. – 7 p.m.) is the most expensive period.
To make the choice even easier for you, remember that the City Skyline View is perfect for watching the sunrise, while the Palm View is the optimal spot for welcoming the day’s end with a sunset.
Be aware that this spot is not a secret: In fact, it’s one of the most popular Dubai pools with a view. So, get your tickets well in advance, if possible.
Bab Al Shams
When one thinks of best viewpoints in Dubai, grandiose and vertiginous are the words that come to their mind. However, a more down-to-earth experience is in no way lesser than the ability to watch at the city from the bird’s-eye view.
Here’s where a 5-star hotel named Bab Al Shams comes into play. It offers an oasis getaway for travelers looking to escape the city life. The bright cerulean pool opens up on infinite sand dunes, with mirages popping into view at daybreak. Al Qudra desert is almost in the palm of your hand, but you don’t have to suffer in the footsteps of Hagar: The pool’s infrastructure is designed in such a way that a day spent here can make you forget about the crazy Arabian heat of the area.
The panorama isn’t all sand and wind though: Verdant landscaping efforts of the hotel stuff make for a luscious natural experience. Tall palms and green grass patches are a respite for the soul that spends too much time under unforgiving Dubai sun.
The views at night are no less exciting: A lightshow is put on, and colorful rays dance in the deep dark sky. As expected, this luxury resort goes all out for its guests. Thankfully, you don’t need to be actually staying at the hotel to revel in its pool activities and views. There are so-called pool days: Book one and feast your eyes on desert views (you can even see an occasional gazelle prancing over sand dunes, isn’t it neat?).
We have created a small table to help you find the pool package that best suits your itinerary:
|Monday to Thursday||Friday to Sunday|
|Adult (pool access only)||$54||$81|
|Adult (with lunch)||$109||$109|
|Child (pool access only)||$33||$42|
|Child (with lunch)||$54||$54|
Meydan Hotel Pool
If your eyes got tired of all the glass and steel of the high-rise building of Dubai Downtown, consider flocking closer to a large green patch of grass — Meydan Racecourse, located on the outskirts of the Emirate. As the spot has somewhat of a hidden gem status, this will truly be every introvert’s paradise!
The infinity pool on the 11th floor is definitely the star of the show here. Grab a drink from a rooftop poolside bar and enjoy the views of horses being prepared for a race: Arabian stallions huffing in morning air, their manes neatly braided, — truly, Meydan Hotel Pool has the most unique view out of all the other places we’ve mentioned!
What’s more, you don’t have to drop big dollars on booking a room at this 5-star hotel: For humble $45 (which are totally redeemable on food and drinks), you can spend time by the pool like it’s your second home!
Side note: Be mindful that because the hotel is located further from Dubai Downtown that is expected, there’s no public transportation nearby. Taxis might also be hard to spot, but maybe it’s for the best? Find yourself a purebred mustang and ride it into the Arabian sunset. Just kidding! Unless?
Bluewaters Island Dubai
Let’s dive back inside city limits: Not too far from Dubai Marina lies the next-level spot for an all-around kick-ass getaway — Bluewaters Island. Another artificially created isle, it’s now a popular residential and tourist Dubai destination. There are hundreds of retail and entertainment options, luxury hotels, beach sanctuaries, high-end restaurants, and other attractions. The star of the show — Ain Dubai, the world’s largest Ferris wheel — also doubles as one of the best viewpoints in Dubai.
Side note: Ain Dubai is temporarily closed for renovations. Even though you might not get the chance to ride the full circle to the top of a 200 meter frame, the structure itself is exciting enough! They say that if you stand right below the gigantic construction, you won’t be able to see its top, no matter how far back you throw your head. It’s true that you never get used to these mega attractions in Dubai, even if you regularly travel to the Emirate. Each time you feel like a kid in a candy store, gazing at the giant stalls above.
Bluewaters Island is a gentle mix of indoor and outdoor spaces: You can easily spend hours here, popping in and out of outlets and boutiques, getting gelato from ice-cream stands, and simply strolling around the wide promenade, framed with neatly manicured greenery and, of course, wonderful views of Dubai skyline. Since the island has a pedestrian bridge connecting it to the Jumeirah Beach Residence, the iconic high-rise wall of buildings is what first catches your eye as you look over to the Emirate’s mainland.
As for the particular places where you can witness the actual scale of the island’s flashiness, we advise you check out these ones:
- Caesars Palace Hotel — the only one of its kind not located on the American soil (the original is a proud Las Vegas resident). As you might’ve imagined, the place does justice to its Yankee sibling: You’ll have the most luxurious experience if you splurge on a stay here. Plus, you’ll get to dine in Hell’s Kitchen very own Gordon Ramsay’s restaurant located on the premises! Let’s hope there will be no idiot sandwiches on the menu, shall we?
- Madame Tussauds — if your camera roll still has some space left after taking countless of pics of the Dubai skyline view, then the wax museum will certainly fill up the remaining space. Take countless selfies with celebrities like Lady Gaga and the Beckham family, sit for an afternoon tea with the Queen of England, and dance around with the Bollywood stars, — whatever idols you follow, you’re bound to find them here!
- Cove Beach — soak up the Arabian sun in one of the most exclusive beaches of the Emirate! Mind though, that the upscale beach club, plentiful pools, and overall premium aura come at a price: Cove Beach is one of the only beaches in Dubai that require you to pay an entry fee. What one wouldn’t do to hang out with the Emirate’s elite and enjoy uninterrupted views of the water?
Dubai view at night — bars & restaurants with a view
We cannot possibly talk about best views in Dubai without listing the best night views in Dubai, since the city morphs into a whole different beast once the sun comes down.
The Emirate knows how to show its visitors a good time, but if you’re not a big party animal (same here), you can just shoot for enjoying a spectacular Dubai view at night from one of the many trendy bars and restaurants.
Here are a few we personally recommend for their mixture of pumped-up entertainment and glorious Dubai panoramas:
Level 43 Sky Lounge
The most famous open-air terrace in Dubai, Level 43 Sky Lounge has a reputation to uphold: A smart casual dress code is enforced to keep up the high-end allure of this rooftop bar.
The space is sleek, stylish, and modern; it blends beautifully into the skyscraping surroundings of the Dubai skyline. As the sun lowers behind the horizon, get ready for a myriad of twinkling lights double as they reach the reflection inside your glass of bubbly. The spot is kind of pricey, but with their special offers — like happy hours with cocktails for $9 (5 p.m.–9 p.m. every day) and ladies’ nights (9 p.m.–12 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays) — you’re guaranteed to have one hell of a time and still have some money for a taxi ride back to the hotel. Cheers to the Sky Lounge!
CÉ LA VI Dubai
Located inside Address Sky View hotel (yes, that same building that houses our beloved Sky Views Observatory), CÉ LA VI Dubai — a restaurant with an exquisite take on contemporary Asian cuisine lives up to the hype of the location.
Apart from the restaurant, the space has other areas of interest: A sky bar, a pool deck, and a club lounge. The event list of the establishment is always booming with interesting guests and experiences: The program mixed with stunning views of Downtown Dubai is the ultimate combo every party-going enthusiast traveling to the Emirate should experience at least once in their lifetime!
Side note: Cocktails are $20–$23.
Located on the first level of one of the iconic Jumeirah Emirates Towers, Mi Ami sports one of the best views in Dubai that can be seen from lower levels: The view of the Museum of the Future. Rose-hued bar softens your gaze right as you turn to admire the museum’s building: Is it an eye? Is it an alien egg? Constructed with the idea that the opening would mean the future of the Emirate (very on par with the modern artifacts and gizmos inside), you can spend your time looking for your own meaning of the structure, or trying to decipher the Arabic writings on the walls, all the while enjoying a nice cocktail and a dessert.
Side note: Mi Ami is temporarily closed for their annual “enhancement” efforts, set to open in early September 2023.
The Penthouse at Five Palm Jumeirah
Often referred to as Dubai’s number one rooftop bar and lounge, The Penthouse Dubai is a perfect place for a night out on the town. With spectacular views of Dubai Marina and mouth-watering Japanese cuisine, you would think the place cannot get any better, but just you wait: Crowd-favorite DJs and live musicians create an ambiance like no other. Definitely an unforgettable experience worthy of your time and attention!
Side note: Cocktails cost $20.
Skyview Bar at Burj Al Arab
When you come to any beach in Dubai, your eyes start to frantically search for the iconic sail-shaped hotel — Burj Al Arab — the second your feet touch the warm sand. It’s not a surprise, since for a long time this building has been the most sought-after tourist attraction of the Dubai coast. But what can be seen from the inside of Burj Al Arab?
Now you can experience the stunning views from 200 meters up in the air: The iconic bar with floor-to-ceiling windows and nautical décor opens up on the stunning moonlit vistas of the Arabian Gulf. Eclectic cuisine and innovative mixology add a certain je-ne-sais-quoi to the mix, which we simply adore! In our opinion, it’s one of the more alluring Dubai bars with a view.
Side note: There’s a minimum spend of $55 per person.
View Lounge at Gevora Hotel
Also known as Highest View Lounge, the restaurant is located at an astonishing 280 (!) meters above ground. You know of the “high tea” concept? Highest View Lounge brings a whole new level to this tradition. For dinnertime, pair the delectable dishes with the signature “The Highest View” mocktail, and sit back while enjoying sprawling city views! The best way to end a full day of sightseeing, if you ask us!
Side note: There’s a minimum spend of $17–$27 per person.
Hotels with a view in Dubai
If you’ve been attentive so far, you’ve probably gathered a list of quite a few best view hotels in Dubai: sail-shaped Burj Al Arab Jumeirah, fit for presidents (or kings) Atlantis Hotel, twin-towered Address Sky View Hotel, and chic Armani Hotel.
What are some other, lesser known hotels that also double as best viewpoints in Dubai? We’ve come up with a few strong contenders for this title:
- Taj Dubai — located in the heart of Dubai’s business district, this Indian heritage hotel is a great mix of a few cultures plus contemporary styles. If you want to have Downtown Dubai at your fingertips and wake up to the view of Burj Khalifa every morning, this 5-star hotel is a place to be!
- Dusit Thani Dubai — another hotel in the Emirate’s financial district with a rich flair of its original Thai roots. Speaking of roots, it would be a shame not to take the hotel on their traditional Thai spa offer: You’ll feel yourself on cloud nine after a massage session, that’s for sure. Relaxed (or in complete nirvana, depending on how tired you were), you can come up to the rooftop pool and let your eyes wander along the bustling Dubai skyline.
- The St. Regis Downtown Dubai — while it’s easy for a hotel to fit the mold of cookie-cutter luxury, we believe that the view of Burj Khalifa and the Dubai Water Canal saves the day at St. Regis (that same hotel chain that gave the world its quintessential 5th avenue in NYC elite getaway). Much like its siblings around the world, Dubai’s St. Regis hotel also keeps up with the top-notch butler service: And while aristocracy isn’t a thing in the Emirates (there are only Sheikhs and other, humbler, millionaires and billionaires), you will have higher chances of meeting some well-to-do acquaintances staring out their St. Regis hotel window at the Dubai skyline.
- Paramount Hotel Midtown — brought to you by film-mammoth Paramount, you would expect the hotel to be fit for movie stars — and you would be right! Hollywood-chic suites and boozy dining experiences will transport you to California of the 50s: Think all things gold and Marilyn Monroe-approved! The heated rooftop pool with a swim-up pool bar will make you forget your worries, only for the awe-striking views of the surrounding Dubai neighborhoods bringing you back to reality.
- Fairmont The Palm — Atlantis isn’t the only hotel with spectacular views of the Palm! Looking out on the outline of Dubai’s soaring skyscrapers from the private white-sand beach, forget about the hustle and bustle of the Emirate’s busier areas. Here, at Fairmont The Palm, the views are humbler (after all, they are from a sea-level point, and not hundreds of meters up in the air), but oh, so sweeter. A balm for the soul, feel the breeze coming from the Arabian Gulf and feel your gaze soften, lulling you to sleep. A great place to end a day in Dubai!
Free viewpoints in Dubai
Let’s face it, every traveler is a cheap Scrooge at heart. And while we feel we’ve already mentioned the best viewpoints in Dubai, it’s not fair not to give you some that you can visit for free. It doesn’t mean that they’re worse in any way, the only downsides to these spots are overcrowding and lesser height.
These viewpoints are perfect for tourists who are still on the fence about splurging on the hyped spots everybody is always talking about. If it’s true for you, visit one of the following places and get your taste for the Dubai city view — we believe it’ll be the beginning of your love story with the Emirate!
- Apple Store Dubai Mall — yes, you’ve read that right; here, you can get another pair of AirPods that you keep losing while traveling and also watch the most impressive fountain show in Dubai. The store is located inside the world-famous Dubai Mall, and, apart from stylish interiors and overpriced gadgets, it also has a balcony with a prime view of Dubai Fountain. It can get a tad too crowded for our liking, so either come early and guard your spot rigorously, or move on over further away from the Mall — towards Souk Al Bahar.
- Souk Al Bahar — a market clad with all kinds of outdoor cafes and restaurants, the space is an obvious answer to the question of which view point is best for Dubai Fountain. Yes, you will have to book a table and actually eat or drink something, so it’s not technically free, but we believe the price you pay is justified for the opportunity to watch the colorful and grandiose show in relative isolation (there are still a few balconies that let tourists enjoy the views for free).
- The Viewing Point at Dubai Creek Harbour — a new addition to the list of top viewpoints in Dubai, the Viewing Point is an all-around unique structure: Projecting over the Creek, at the height of 11 meters, it looks like both a bridge and a ship. Set along Dubai’s most popular walkways, it has no shortage of daily visitors. Work your way to the “nose” of the structure for uninterrupted views of Downtown Dubai, and, if the day is particularly windy, recreate your own “Jack, I’m flying” moment without actually having to set foot on a giant ship.
- Dubai Marina — in our opinion, views of Dubai from the water are hands down the most exciting ones. While it’s nice to enjoy looking at panoramas from hundreds of meters up in the air, it’s even better to look up at them from sea level. Plus, being on the water is one of our favorite things to do in Dubai, ever, so we couldn’t let this one slide, even though the whole experience is not free (the views are though). Thankfully, the Emirate sees no shortage of water activities: You can go on a daytime or a nighttime cruise on either a smaller yacht or a bigger boat, or take a speedboat tour and get equal parts of stunning views and energizing adrenaline.
What else do we recommend to do in Dubai?
Speaking of adrenaline, enjoying the spectacular views of the sprawling Emirate megapolis shouldn’t be a boring affair, under any circumstances. If going up in the elevator to a viewing deck is simply not cutting it for you anymore and you want something a tad more thrilling, consider looking into booking one of the following activities:
Helicopter tour in Dubai
It’s good to know that getting a helicopter tour in Dubai is pretty affordable, if you compare the activity to that in one of the European countries.
The cost of the experience starts at around $185 (which we know isn’t that cheap, but come on, we’re talking about flying in a helicopter!). The flight’s duration times usually range from 12 to 25 minutes, but the amount of attractions you’ll get to see from above is impressive: Burj Khalifa, the Palm, Dubai Marina, — we could go on and on.
Skydiving in Dubai
This one is absolutely next-level: It’s one thing to fly over the Emirate, but it’s completely another thing to fall from the sky towards your favorite Dubai attractions! Created for people who cannot live without hair-rising experiences, the solo and tandem skydiving sessions are available for anybody who dares to try them. Imagine the Palm getting closer and closer as you propel through the air towards the Earth, only to be whisked away by a parachute, leaving you with plenty of time to take in the Dubai skyline. Best views in Dubai come at a thrilling price of $500–$700, but they’re all worth it in the end!
Hot air balloon over the Dubai desert
If you usually stick to the motto that slow and steady wins the race, but you still want to go high up in the air while in the Emirate, then booking a hot air balloon ride should be at the top of your Dubai itinerary. Imaging waking up at the crack of dawn to fly over the Arabian desert in search of the first sun rays of the day! A hot air balloon is a perfect start if you’re looking to overcome your fear of heights, since the whole shebang is very safe (and very slow). Gaze over the sand dunes in search of camels, gazelles, and mirages, and imagine yourself as the main character of the Arabic fairytale.
As with desert safari, the experience usually comes with different add-ons: Breakfast or lunch is usually provided, and some other activities you get to participate in include camel rides or pictures with a falcon. Ah, the dream!
We hope that our exhaustive list of the best viewpoints in Dubai steered you towards (or away) some of the places we’ve mentioned here. The Emirate is at the same time a mystery and an open book, so anywhere you look, you’ll get a completely different view of Dubai. If you have any questions on the topic of Dubai city views, leave them in the comments below.
And remember: Don’t jump on the glass floor inside the Dubai Frame, for safety sake.