Tour boat cruises through water past skyscrapers in Dubai

4 fantastic ways to see Dubai

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Golden sands and turquoise seas for as far as the eye can see

An ultramodern business and tourism hub, Dubai boasts some of the most unique and spectacular vistas in the world. Its location between the Persian Gulf and vast desert, as well as its mix of ancient heritage and contemporary luxury, affords the city striking visual diversity. With an impeccable skyline and some of tallest buildings on the globe, just kicking back and relishing the view is one of the easiest and most enjoyable things to do in Dubai. Here are a few of the ways you can experience Dubai’s one-of-a-kind beauty from every angle.

The View from the Top

Dubai is home to a number of buildings that take architecture and design to a whole new level—literally. With over 150 skyscrapers that break 490 feet (150 m) in height, the city boasts the world’s tallest skyline. Burj Khalifa—the tallest building in the world with a total height of 2,722 feet (829 m)—features an amazing observation deck on its 124th floor, where you can take in 360-degree views of the city from floor-to-ceiling windows. Ascent the 1,483 feet (452 m) to the viewing platform with Kurban Tours, or go with Alpha Tours and climb even higher to the SKY Lounge, which sits at 1,821 feet (555 m) above the rest of the world.

Woman looking at information sign in Burj Khalifa observation deck in Dubai

The Sky’s the Limit

As tall as Dubai’s high-rises are, it’s possible to reach even higher for views of the entire city and surrounding region from a bird’s-eye perspective. The experts at HeliDubai combine breathtaking sightseeing with cultural immersion during their helicopter tours that take you over different parts of the city, from modern skyscrapers to beautiful and historic souks. Catch a relaxing seaplane flight to look out over the sparkling waterfront from off the Jumeirah coast, your journey led by a knowledgeable pilot from Seawings. An even more impressive view lies just outside the city in the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve, where a scenic hot air balloon ride with Alpha Tours brings you over an endless expanse of soft dunes painted brilliantly in the hues of dawn.

Helicopter flies over Dubai

Off-Shore Sights

Dubai’s impressive skyline is best viewed from the water, where you can see the silhouettes of all its towering structures. Seated on the southeast coast of the Persian Gulf, the city has its own share of waterfront beauty as well, from the resort-lined beaches of Jumeirah to artificial islands like the archipelago of The Palm Jumeirah. Cruises around the coast like those with The Yellow Boats are a relaxing way to see the city’s seaside splendor, with extravagant buildings like Burj Al Arab and the glittering Dubai Marina perched right on the water. On the Dubai Creek, which has served the city throughout history, see Dubai from a more intimate perspective aboard a traditional dhow from Gray Line UAE.

Tour boat cruises through water past skyscrapers in Dubai

Savor the Scene

Pairing a delicious meal with an impeccable view enhances the experience tenfold. Experience the literal peak of dining at At.mosphere, the tallest restaurant in the world located on the 122nd level of the Burj Khalifa. Make a reservation through Dreamdays and dine on a gourmet menu of exclusive creations while relishing the view from 1,450 feet (442 m) high. If you need a respite from all the things to do in Dubai, indulge in afternoon tea at the Skyview Bar in Burj Al Arab, which prides itself as the most world’s most luxurious hotel. You’re treated to course after course of tea sandwiches and expertly crafted pastries alongside an encyclopedic menu of tea and hot beverages. With sprawling views over the turquoise water of the Persian Gulf and the pristine coastline, your relaxing break evolves into an experience unto itself.

Fancy interior in sky bar for tea in Dubai

What’s your favorite way to see the City of Gold?

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