10 Famous Buildings in Dubai You Have to See to Believe

Most Famous Buildings in Dubai

Dubai has gained international fame thanks to the record-breaking construction projects carried out by local architects and engineers, such as the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, the sail-shaped Burj Al Arab and the world’s largest shopping mall, Dubai Mall. The UAE has long been known as the shopping capital of the Middle East, but that’s not all there is to see in Dubai. There are plenty of other famous buildings in Dubai that you should definitely put on your travel itinerary if you’re planning to visit this city with thousands of skyscrapers and millions of inhabitants. For your next trip to this beautiful part of the world, keep reading to discover 10 famous buildings in Dubai you have to see to believe.

10 Famous Buildings in Dubai

Dubai has so many beautiful buildings to see and admire, but here we will discuss those that most of the population knows by heart. From the tallest man-made structure in the world to an awe-inspiring underwater hotel, here are 10 famous buildings in Dubai you have to see to believe

1. The Burj Khalifa

The Burj Khalifa - Famous Building in Dubai
The Burj Khalifa

The world’s tallest building, Burj Khalifa, makes Dubai one of the most famous cities in the world. Burj Khalifa means Khalifa Tower. The Burj Khalifa is a mega-tall skyscraper with 163 floors and a total height of 828 m (2,717 ft). To put that into perspective, it is about half the height of a mile and tall enough to fit the Statue of Liberty inside twice. In addition to its record-breaking height, it has also earned the title of having one of the fastest elevators in existence, as well as another for largest man-made windows.

This truly is an architectural wonder. As you can imagine, the construction was not easy; thousands of workers had to build the tower. Today, however, there are many tourists who come to see the tower itself—not just the views from its observation deck on the 124th floor! If you have time while visiting Dubai or even if you don’t but still want to see something remarkable and unique, then be sure to check out The Burj Khalifa at least once during your trip!

Name: Burj Khalifa, Khalifa Tower, Burj Dubai

Project started: 2004

Project Completed: 2009

Inauguration: 2010

Cost: US$1.5 billion

Owner: Emaar Properties

Total Height: 829.8 m (2,722 ft, or just over half a mile)

Floor count: 154 + 9 maintenance

Floor area: 309,473 m2

Designed By:  Adrian Smith of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill 

2. The Burj Al Arab

The Burj Al Arab
The Burj Al Arab

Burj Al Arab is a seven-star luxury hotel and one of the most recognizable buildings in Dubai, having been featured in many movies, shows and commercials—most notably The Hangover Part II. The brainchild of Willam J. Baker and his son-in-law opened the idea to a design competition won by Morelli & Leopardo architects from Italy and Anwar Belkhair from Lebanon.

Located on an artificial island at the entrance of the Persian Gulf off Jebel Ali and at an elevation above sea level. The shape of the building is designed to mimic the sail of a ship and the seven-star rooms are designed to make guests feel like they are staying on board. The main floor is accessible via bridge or boat while cars are delivered via boat or helicopter. The largest penthouse suite has three private pools, two master bedrooms and three servants’ quarters, as well as views that reach beyond Abu Dhabi into Iran! If your wallet can afford it, there is no other place like the Burj Al Arab in all of Dubai!

Name: Burj Al Arab, Tower of the Arabs

Project started: 1994

Project Completed: 1999

Inauguration: 1999

Cost: US$1 billion

Management: Jumeirah

Total Height: 321 m

Floor count: 56 (3 below ground)

Designed By:  Tom Wright of WKK Architects

3. The Palm Jumeirah

The Palm Jumeirah - Famous building in Dubai
The Palm Jumeirah

One of Dubai’s most unique and famous buildings, The Palm Jumeirah, is a man-made island shaped like a palm tree. Although it’s not technically one of Dubai’s famous buildings, it is still considered an iconic building in its own right. A favorite vacation spot for locals and tourists alike, it features beautiful beaches and provides opportunities for water sports and deep-sea fishing. A great way to see The Palm is by boat—and if you’re lucky, you may just get to catch a glimpse of some dolphins! Fun fact: The Palm Jumeirah holds an underwater tunnel that makes guests feel as though they’re swimming with fish!

Name: Palm Jumeirah

Project started: 2001

Estimated Population: 10,000

First Residents Arrived: 2007

Cost: US$12 billion

Developer Company: Nakheel

Length: 10.5 miles (17 km)

Width: 650 feet (200 metres)

4. The Dubai Mall

The Dubai Mall
The Dubai Mall

The largest shopping mall on the planet, The Dubai Mall houses more than 1,200 shops and 100 dining options. It is no surprise that it is one of the most visited and famous buildings in Dubai—and likely one of the most visited buildings on Earth. Although some malls are busy, The Dubai Mall takes overcrowding to another level. Be prepared for long lines at every register—shopping here is an endurance test. Whether you want a cup of coffee or an oil change for your Bentley, there are plenty of options available at The Dubai Mall, all within walking distance. If you are visiting the city, drop by; if not, keep it in mind as a place you will be sure to visit next time around!

Name: The Dubai Mall

Project started: 2004

Project Completed: 2008

Inauguration: 2008

Cost: US$20 billion

Management: Emaar Malls Group

Owner: Emaar Properties

Total Height: 191.8 m / 629 ft.

Floor count: 4

Architect: DP Architects

5. The Deira Corniche

The Deira Corniche
The Deira Corniche

No visit to Dubai is complete without a stop at the Deira Corniche. It’s the most famous walkway along the Arabian Gulf and a popular place for beachgoers and nightlife-seekers alike. It’s also home to some of the city’s most famous buildings, including Burj Al Arab and Jumeirah Beach Hotel. Just be prepared for traffic jams here – it’s one of the busiest streets in town! Also make sure you’re camera ready because you never know when you’ll see your favorite celebrity walking by or shooting a movie or music video here!

6. The Emirates Towers

The Emirates Towers famous buildings in Dubai
The Emirates Towers

Located near the beach on Sheikh Zayed Road, the Emirates Towers was one of the first skyscrapers and most famous buildings built in Dubai. The Emirate Towers is popular with businessmen and tourists alike, as it offers stunning views of the city and serves as a great place for people to watch. Tourists flock to the building for its top-floor restaurants. The first three floors of the building contain shops that are popular with locals, especially shoppers seeking Bedouin clothes or souvenirs like rugs and perfumes. There’s also a helipad on top of one tower if you’re feeling adventurous enough to take a ride in one of those tiny helicopters!

Name: The Emirates Towers

Project started: 1996

Project Completed: 1999

Inauguration: 2000

Owner: Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum

Floor count: 56 & 54

Architect: Hazel Wong

7. Burj Al Ghurair Centre

Burj Al Ghurair Centre - famous buildings in Dubai
The Burj Al Ghurair Centre

Located in Deira, Burj Al Ghurair Centre is a mid-size mall that offers a great selection of restaurants, clothing shops and entertainment options. The mall is popular with shoppers because it’s convenient and well-located—right off of one of Dubai’s main roads. Burj Al Ghurair also boasts a popular food court, where you can choose from many Indian, Mediterranean and Arabic food options. Just don’t be surprised if you see wedding parties in front of some of the restaurants!

Name: Burj Al Ghurair Centre

Start Date:  1981

Renovation: 2013

Owner: Al Ghurair Group

Total Height: 48.76 m / 159.99 ft

8. Jumeirah Beach Residence

Jumeirah Beach Residence
Jumeirah Beach Residence

The beauty of Jumeirah Beach Residence lies in its location. It’s just a five-minute drive from Jumeirah Beach and is situated near several major shopping centres, including the Mall of Emirates and City Centre Deira. Although it doesn’t have many facilities on-site, residents can make use of nearby amenities such as shops, restaurants and supermarkets. The tower has 360 apartments that are classified into one-, two- or three-bedroom units with prices starting at Dh1 million (US$272,572).

9. Emirates Palace Hotel

Emirates Palace Hotel
The Emirates Palace Hotel

Just like Burj Khalifa, there are a few other world records that Emirates Palace Hotel can lay claim to the largest ballroom (unsurprisingly, it’s also one of Abu Dhabi’s most popular wedding venues), as well as the world’s highest hotel swimming pool and biggest living Christmas tree. How impressive is that? Not only is Abu Dhabi’s Emirates Palace Hotel has 762 rooms (yes, you read that right!), an indoor garden and enough Michelin-starred restaurants for 14 Michelin stars of its own! If you’ve got your heart set on dining there then be sure to book ahead—the wait list can be pretty long!

Name: Emirates Palace Hotel

Opening: 2005

Cost: US$3 billion

Owner: The Government of Abu Dhabi

Floor count: 8 (Above Ground)

10. Souk Madinat Jumeirah

Souk Madinat Jumeirah
The Souk Madinat Jumeirah

Located along Sheikh Zayed Road, Souk Madinat Jumeirah is one of Dubai’s most famous landmarks and is considered one of its top shopping destinations. This luxury mall is beautifully designed with intricate architecture and design inspired by Arabian folklore. Inside, you can enjoy restaurants, cafes, boutiques and so much more! On your next trip to Dubai, be sure to stop by Souk Madinat Jumeirah for a visit.

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