The city of Dubai is in the United Arab Emirates, which gained independence from Great Britain in 1971. We know Dubai for wealth, big business, and beautiful architecture like skyscrapers.
The city has a wealth of man-made islands, breathtaking views, and some of the most uniquely designed buildings in the world.
Its rapid growth has contributed to the construction of several famous buildings in Dubai, which we will discuss below.
Keep reading to learn more about some of the most famous buildings in Dubai and learn more about what’s inside them.
Famous Buildings in Dubai
Western Dubai has some of the world’s most picturesque and massive man-made islands, including the famous palm tree-shaped Palm Jumeirah island on the Persian Gulf.
The oldest buildings in Dubai date back to the 1960s and offer breathtaking views of the oceanic waters of the Persian Gulf.
1. Burj Khalifa
Building engineers worldwide considered the Burj Khalifa as the tallest building in the world when it first opened in 2010.
They named this mixed-use building in honor of the president of Abu Dhabi, a nearby emirate and one of the richest in the region.
The Burj Khalifa is home to a robust internal ecosystem that includes the corporate offices of big business names from around the world.
It also houses luxury residences, popular restaurants, and local health facilities for Dubai residents. Construction of the Burj Khalifa started in January 2004 and finished in early 2010.
The project took six years, and they were still working on the interior when they opened it to the public in January 2010.
At the time of its construction, the Burj Khalifa held eight world records for its size and construction style.
2. Burj Al Arab
Engineers designed the Burj Al Arab hotel to resemble ship sales. The building has about 200 interior suites, just under two-thousand square feet each.
Amenities inside the Burj Arab include a grand indoor dining area, a rooftop tennis court, and an onsite helicopter pad.
They opened this landmark luxury hotel and tourist attraction in 1999. We know the hotel for hosting celebrity guests and VIPs from around the globe.
The Burj Al Arab is a 321-meter tall hotel that averages out to just over one thousand fifty feet. Architects and engineers built the hotel on its own independent island with spectacular views of the city of Dubai and the surrounding Persian Gulf.
Some of the unique features of the Burj Al Arab include an underwater restaurant. Guests staying at the hotel can access a signature fleet of Rolls Royce automobiles for excursions and traveling around the city.
3. Cayan Tower
We knew The Cayan Tower as the “Infinity Tower” before they changed its name. Skidmore corporation and the Owings and Merrill SOM architectural group own the tower.
The Cayan Tower has 75 stories and stands just over a thousand feet tall, which equates to around 306 meters. Cayan Tower’s interior features include luxury apartments and breathtaking views of the nearby Gulf.
The most spectacular feature of the Cayan Tower is its twisted design, where each floor rotates by just over one degree.
They built the tower with a twist of 90 degrees, which makes it one of the most beautiful and unusually designed buildings in the world.
They halted construction of The Cayan Tower in early 2007 when the marina flooded the tower’s foundation. Construction resumed the following July, and they completed it in 2013.
4. Dubai Frame
Developed by the Dubai Municipality, we know the Dubai Frame as being the largest frame in the world. It has a width of around ninety-five and a half meters (a little over three-hundred feet.)
There has been some controversy surrounding the design concept of the Dubai Frame between Fernando Donis and Hyder Consulting, a subsidiary of Arcadis, NV.
Donis says they completed the building design by stealing his intellectual property and giving him no credit.
The controversy surrounding who deserves credit for the building’s design was still ongoing when they opened the Frame to the public in January 2018.
The Dubai Frame resembles a windowless picture frame, where the picture is the natural background of the city of Dubai, its clear blue skies, and architectural wonders.
Panoramic views offer glimpses of the older and newer parts of the city. They made its floors of glass, so visitors look down into the lower span of the building and see the ongoings of others in the building.
The Frame features a museum on its lower floor and it’s open for visitors and tourists year-round. People who want to visit the Dubai Frame can find the prices, dress code, and other important visitor information for the Dubai Frame by visiting their website.
5. Atlantis, The Palm
Atlantis, The Palm, is a popular five-star resort that opened on the island of Palm Jumeirah in 2008 in Dubai. It was one of the first hotels built on the island.
We know it for its unique accommodations that feature underwater hotel suites just under two thousand square feet.
The hotel features 1548 rooms divided between the East and West Tower. They have an onsite aquarium and water park where they house thousands of marine animals for public display.
Along with having some of the only underwater hotel rooms in the world, we know Atlantis, The Palm, for being featured in popular American television shows like The Amazing Race, The X Factor, and Keeping up with the Kardashians.
6. Jumeirah Beach Hotel
Jumeirah Beach Hotel is another five-star resort hotel in Dubai. The hotel stands out on the Dubai skyline with its futuristic wave-shaped design.
The hotel opened in 1997 with over 500 hotel rooms, 19 beachfront villas, over 20 restaurants, and over three-hundred thousand square feet of private beaches for guest use.
It also has the Wild Wadi water park for guests to enjoy.
The architect WS Atkins and the developer Jumeirah worked to build the Jumeirah Beach Hotel in proximity to other famous buildings in Dubai, like the nearby sail-shaped Burj Al Arab.
7. Princess Tower
The Princess Tower is a residential-only building in the Marina district of Dubai. Standing at just over one-thousand-fifty square feet, this one-hundred and one-story building is the thirty-fifth tallest building in the world and the third tallest building in Dubai.
We considered it the tallest residential building in the world until they built its successor at 432 Park Avenue in New York City, USA.
Along with luxury residences, The Princess Tower has eight built-in retail outlets for easy access to shopping, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, a banquet hall, and an observation deck as examples of its amenities.
Construction of the Princess Tower started in 2006.
They officially opened this luxury residential high-rise to the public in 2012 with one hundred and one floors, six basement floors, thirteen elevators, and nine hundred fifty-seven parking spaces in a secure parking facility.
8. Dubai Opera
The Dubai Opera is an iconic work of architecture in the United Arab Emirates developed by Emaar Properties. It opened in August 2016 with a seating capacity of two thousand and total square footage of around six-hundred and fifty thousand feet.
The Dubai opera theater is more than just a beautiful entertainment venue for attending concerts and art exhibitions. This multi-faceted theater also functions as a concert hall, banquet hall, and luxurious event space in “flat floor” mode.
The Dubai Opera features the rooftop Belcanto Restaurant and Lounge. It serves delectable cuisine and signature cocktails while offering stunning views of Sky Garden and the towering Burj Khalifa nearby.
9. JW Marriott Marquis Dubai
The Emirates Group owns The JW Marriott Marquis in Dubai while American-Based Marriott International operates this luxurious hotel.
They started construction on the JW Marriott Marquis in November 2006 and it took over five years for engineers to complete the building’s two towers.
They completed Tower One in 2012 and Tower Two the following year.
Hotel accommodations at the JW Marriott Marquis Dubai include thirteen hundred and sixty-four standard guest rooms, two-hundred forty hotel suites, and 4 presidential suites.
They have 14 eateries and a banquet hall on-site for a variety.
Guests of this 82-floor luxury hotel can catch glimpses of breathtaking views of nearby architectural sites like the Burj Khalifa building, the Business Bay, and the Persian Gulf.
10. The Dubai Mall
The Dubai Mall is a one-of-a-kind architectural feat developed and owned by Emaar Properties. The mall is in the 20-billion-dollar Downtown Dubai business complex and they list it as the second largest retail mall in the world.
It has a total retail floor area of over five million square feet.
It opened in November 2008 as the world’s second-largest mall on record, with over a thousand retail shops that attract over fifty million visitors a year.
The Dubai Mall currently holds the distinction of being the “most visited building on the planet.”
Visitors can shop at high-end retailers like Christian Louboutin, Louis Vuitton, and Tiffany and Co.
Dining options at the mall include world-famous restaurants serving American, Middle-Eastern, and Japanese cuisines.