Culture & Travel

The cosmopolitan emirate

As the sun rises upon the man-made landscape of Dubai, its towering sky scrapers accentuate glorious architecture and paint a picture of something you are unlikely to see elsewhere.

I am of course reminiscing. The first time I set foot in this cosmopolitan emirate was back in 2010, and ever since I have longed to go back. This land has a luxurious and rich aura surrounding it, that rubs off on you as if you don’t have a cash-flow care in the world. And the architecture certainly reflects this richness.

Although everything here is artificial, and has no real ‘Mother Nature’ beauty, you will surely be impressed by what man has achieved here. It is a land full of world ‘bests’.

Dubai has the acclaimed world’s first 7-star hotel, the Burj Al Arab, the world’s largest shopping mall (by total area), the Dubai Mall, and not to mention the most eye-catching of all – the Burj Khalifathe tallest building in the world.

Standing at 2,722 ft with 163 floors, this mesmerising piece of architecture comprises of residential apartments, corporate suites & offices, and the Armani hotel. Staring up toward its pinnacle is enough to make your head spin.

From the bottom…

One of its most beautiful features is the fountain display at its entrance, named the Dubai Fountain. Set on a 30 acre man-made pond, illuminated and dancing along to music, it is definitely a show worth seeing.

To the top…

Not only do you get to stare up at this piece of architecture from the outset, but you can also take a tour up to its Sky Lobby. As the elevator hurls you up 124 floors, it feels completely motionless. The only sign that you are shooting up at such a high speed is the small flips you feel in the pit of your stomach, which are over within seconds. 60 to be precise.

The view of the city from the 124th floor is breathtaking, particularly at night when the air is still and all you can see are the glowing city lights. Beautiful.

Next up is the Burj Al Arab. The world’s most luxurious and acclaimed first 7-star hotel.

Burj al-Arab - Dubai 1

Standing on an artificial island, it is the fourth largest hotel in the world and its eye-catching structure bears resemblance to a ships sail. One of its nine signature restaurants is accessed via a simulated submarine voyage and features a large seawater aquarium. Undoubtedly a dining experience out of this world!

Once you have had your architectural intake for the day, I recommend visiting the infamous shopping centres. First up is the Dubai Mall (situated within the grounds of the Burj Khalifa). With approx. 1200 shops and an indoor aquarium and ice rink, it certainly puts shopping into a whole new perspective!

Then you have the Mall of the Emirates. Somewhere you can find most of the world’s top designers all under one roof; Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent, Burberry, Prada, and Balenciaga to name a few. This mall comprises of a beautiful glass ceiling, marble flooring and an indoor ski centre.

Visiting these world bests are only a few of many things to keep you busy on this mesmerising land.

Other ideas I recommend include:

Visiting the Atlantis hotel water park


Taking a safari in the sand dunes


Dining at the Buddha bar 


Or, why not try out some traditional shisha!


As you can see, my time spent in Dubai was surely fascinating. And so for those of you who appreciate a good building or two, or enjoy the finer things in life, I recommend taking a trip to this larger-than-life land. Perhaps one day I will find myself gasping at its architectural beauty once more.