Biggest Buildings In Dubai
Few cities on Earth are as awash in wealth and opulence as Dubai is. In recent decades the city has sprung out of the desert to become one of the world’s leading cities and a must-see destination. Unfathomable oil wealth has brought Dubai a truly awe-inspiring skyline, featuring the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa.
New world-class skyscrapers are constantly being planned and constructed in Dubai, including one, known as the Tower, which will beat the Burj Khalifa as the world’s tallest. If you are a big fan of modern, over-the-top architecture, you will feel like a kid in a candy store in Dubai.
Some of the highlights of the Dubai skyline, tall but not necessarily biggest in floorspace, include:
- Marina 101
- Princess Tower
- 23 Marina
- Elite Residence
- The Address the BLVD
Here is a brief description of some of Dubai’s biggest buildings so that you will know what you’re looking at while you explore the city.
The Burj Khalifa
Completed in 2010, the Burj Khalifa is currently the world’s tallest building at 828 meters. The building has a staggering 163 floors. The building’s floor plan is Y-shaped and it is designed to reflect traditional Islamic design principles and precedents. The Burj Khalifa is the centerpiece of the downtown redevelopment project, and as such, it is surrounded by high-class shopping, dining, and accommodation options.
At the foot of the building, you will find the Dubai fountain, the world’s second largest choreographed fountain. Up on top of the Burj Khalifa, you will find the epic observation deck, aptly named, ‘At the Top’. Here you will find various attractions like a telescope and augmented reality device.
The Dubai Mall
Image source: Mostafa Meraji
Also in Downtown Dubai just a stone’s throw from the Burj Khalifa, Dubai Mall is one of the world’s largest buildings by total footprint. Home to over 1200 shops, the Dubai mall is one of the world’s premier shopping destinations. In 2012 it was the most visited building in the world with over 65 million guests, more than New York City on whole or any other specific sightseeing destination on Earth.
It remains the world’s most visited shopping destination. The mall has 22 cinema screens and over 120 dining and cafe options. Special attractions in the mall include:
- The Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo
- Hysteria, a haunted house
- Dubai Dino—an authentic dinosaur skeleton
- An amusement park.
Dubai International Airport Terminal 3
Image source: Ashim D. Silva
When it was completed in 2008, Dubai International Airport Terminal 3 was the largest building on Earth by floor space. It is still the world’s largest airport terminal. The terminal is partly constructed underground and has the capacity for 43 million passengers. It is divided into two concourses both of which are home to their own four- and five-star hotels.
The terminal is designed to accommodate the world’s largest jetliner, the Airbus A380.
Burj Al Arab
Image source: Darcy Beau
The Burj Al Arab is one of the tallest hotels in the world. Completed in 1999, it is designed to resemble a ship’s sail and is a widely recognized symbol of Dubai. The Burj Al Arab is located on its own exclusive artificial island a few hundred meters off the Dubai coast. It is often claimed to be the world’s only seven-star hotel, although the scale only goes up to five stars. The atrium and the Al Mahara restaurant are definitely worth a look for their opulent atmosphere.
What makes it special:
- Each floor is double the height
- The island it sits on took three years to build
- It is one of the world’s tallest hotels