If there were to be a ranking of the most Instagrammable cities in the world, Dubai would probably be somewhere up there in the top. Even though I have spent more than a month in the Emirates, I am convinced that the number of beautiful, good-looking places is much bigger than those listed by me below.
Taking into account the extremely rapid evolution of the city, probably this number will double a year from now. However, limited by what I have been able to see until the time I’m writing this article, I have gathered a pretty long list, and I also added three places that you can find in the capital of the Emirates, Abu Dhabi, as a bonus.
The most Instagrammable places in Dubai
Burj Khalifa – exterior
No vacation in Dubai would be complete without the huge structure that dominates the skyline of the city. It is known that Dubai is a city of records, and the fact that here is the tallest building in the world is just one of them. But it’s not known for how long this record will still be valid, for there are already several other countries that plan to surpass it, by building a taller structure.
And because it is, indeed, a skyscraper, it will be quite difficult to have the full Burj Khalifa in the picture. Tall and slim, it won’t fit even the maximum 4: 5 scale that Instagram allows, so you’ll need to crop a bit the bottom of the image. Oh, yeah! And it is absolutely necessary to have a photographer partner, willing to knee while holding the device in his hand so that you can get that perfect Instagram picture.
Burj Khalifa – interior
As much as it is spectacular on the outside, as much you will love the interior and especially the view you will have from its highest floors. Burj Khalifa has a total of 163 floors and is 829 meters high, but the observation points are located on floors 124, 125 and 148. Even so, the world from there will look like a Lego game and Dubai’s skyscrapers like toys.
Even the dancing fountains next to the huge building look like lawn sprinklers from such a height, and if you’re lucky to visit the building on a clear day, you’ll have the chance to admire Burj al Arab and the Palm Island. One thing is certain. The photos taken from the tallest building in the world are a must when you visit the United Arab Emirates.
Dubai Miracle Garden
Where else can you take beautiful pictures if not in a huge garden full of stunning flowers? And paradoxically, this garden can be found in the middle of the Dubai desert. Moreover, here is the largest collection of flowers in the world, arranged under all sorts of shapes and sizes. Whether they are covering some hearts, a plane, or some cute little houses. In Dubai Miracle Garden, perfect pictures for Instagram so easy to be made.
Home of Dubai’s ruler, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, cannot be visited on the inside, but most of the tours will bring you to the gates of the impressive palace, where you will hear the voice of the peacocks raised in the palace and you can admire the skyline of the city from a different perspective.
The most vibrant area of the city is this complex built around an artificial river connected to the Arabian Gulf. Yachts, brilliant towers with complex shapes, terraces, hookah flavors, palm trees, water cruises, music, crowds, glamor, and shoutings to prayer. All in the same place. Such a great variety of people and activities, that you will feel extremely comfortable here and the photos will be a success both during the day and after the darkness.
JBR Beach (Jumeirah Beach Residences) is located right behind the Dubai Marina towers, so you’d better spend an entire day in the area. Go to the beach in the morning when it’s not very hot, then go for a shopping session at Dubai Marina Mall, come back to JBR to catch the sunset and then relax on a terrace, smoking a hookah in Dubai Marina. I made your plan for the day. All you have to do is find the best frames for perfect pictures for your Instagram feed.
Just like the Dubai Marina, Madinat Jumeirah is also a kind of complex with an artificial river, cafes, and restaurants, but this time the skyscrapers are replaced by constructions that imitate the old architecture of the Emirates and the atmosphere is a bit different. There is also a souq (bazaar) where you can find various Arabic art objects, but also souvenirs, at prices a bit higher. It is an absolutely superb and very attractive place, suitable when it comes to beautiful pictures. Undoubtedly, it is one of the most popular places in Dubai.
Burj al Arab
The world’s most luxurious hotel and the only 7-star hotel no longer needs any description. It is definitely a place to see when you are on holiday in Dubai.
Dubai Mall – the passage of umbrellas
Dubai Mall is another record owned by Dubai because it would be said to be the largest mall in the world. So large that its hallways look like streets and you can even take a taxi inside to make it easier to get from one side to another. So, to spare you the research for finding the passage of the colored umbrellas, I will give you the most accurate indications. You will find it on the ground floor in the Denim district near the ice rink.
Dubai Mall – the humans waterfall
Dubai Mall is not just a shopping complex. The Mall near Burj Khalifa has so many attractions inside that you will need at least one day to discover all its secrets. One of the most beautiful is the fountain with glass fiber people who seem to plunge into the water. It’s 24 meters tall, enough to cover all the floors of the building and its peaceful sound can be heard from a distance, so you’ll get to it very easily.
In Dubai Mall, you can clearly feel like Alice in Wonderland. One of these wonders is the immense aquarium that holds 10 million liters of water and over 140 species of marine life. Inside, there is a tunnel where you can walk if you buy a ticket, but the rest can be seen free of charge during a simple walk through the mall. You will not only admire multicolored fish but also sea cats or sharks of impressive sizes.
Jumeirah Public Beach
It’s not as fancy as JBR, but it’s not as crowded also, so it’s much easier to take pictures without including other people in the frame. At one end you will have a 7-star view, as the famous Burj al Arab Hotel is also here.
Dubai Desert Safari
About the experience of the desert near Dubai, I’ve already told you in a previous article. Besides the shows in the camp, the delicious food and the drifting on the sand, the Arabian desert is also the ideal place for wonderful sunset pictures. The shades of red and orange combined with the hot sand texture are the subject of worthy photos on Instagram.
The Atlantis Hotel
Another point of reference for Dubai, due to its shape and celebrity, is the Atlantis Hotel, located on the Palm Island. You will most likely get here in an organized city tour or if you want to spend your day at the hotel’s amusement park. It is quite far from the city center, so I recommend you come here only if you have other activities in the plan, not just for a few pictures. No matter how tempting it might be.
Dubai The Frame – exterior
Viewed from the outside, Dubai the Frame doesn’t look like anything else. After all, it’s a rectangular frame construction. Where can you ever meet this ?! Unlike Burj Khalifa, this completely golden building has far greater chances to fit into a photo, being 150 meters tall.
Dubai The Frame – interior
The reasons why you should visit Dubai’s newest attraction are many. First of all, the construction was built so that through it, the two perspectives of Dubai could be seen as two different photos of two different periods in time: the old city and the new Dubai. Once at the top of the building, you will have the opportunity to see the two sides of the contrasting city, and the view is impressive.
In addition to this, inside the building, you will be able to step on a glass floor through which you can see the pools at the base of the building, 150 meters below your feet. It’s an intimidating experience for those with fear of height and a fascinating one for the brave ones. About the pictures you can do here, I don’t think it makes sense to talk, having so many options.
Abut Global Village I already talked in a previous article. I was telling you then that a visit here is equal to a trip around the world. More than 70 countries are represented by their most important buildings, traditions, flavors, costumes and customs, and among them Romania. Obviously, I did not miss the opportunity to take a picture with my native country, 3,000 miles away from it.
Dubai Old Souk
If you haven’t visited the old souk, then you can’t really say you have been in Dubai. The decorative pillow fabrics and those of the traditional costumes will reveal all the colors of the rainbow and their derivatives, and the spice flavors will help you understand why oriental cuisine is among the most delicious in the world. About Old Souk I will tell you more in a future article, but until then you have to know that it is the perfect place for ultra-colorful pictures.
Jumeirah Mosque, Dubai
The only mosque in Dubai that allows people who are not part of the Muslim religion to enter and explore it. It is located right next to Jumeirah’s public beach and you’d better visit it on an organized tour that will explain Islam’s traditions, customs, and religious practices. It’s an exciting experience you should not miss.
No, it’s not about the Dubai Frame, even if it appears in the first image below, but about the place where it is located. This is Zabeel Park, a green spot in the middle of the urban jungle. Full of palm trees and flowers, with the skyline of the city on the background, with colorful caravans, fountains, and joy. A kind of relaxation oasis where the mood for pictures will come naturally.
Dubai Parks and Resorts
One of my favorite places on the outskirts of Dubai is Dubai Parks and Resorts, a theme park complex, perfect for all ages. I spent a whole day here and enjoyed all the attractions, except for Legoland to which I haven’t got time to get. My favorite was Bollywood, but I also like Riverland, a kind of reproduction of a French town. Does not look like Annecy? Practically, you forget you are in the middle of the desert.
The graffiti in Jumeirah Beach Residence
In addition to the 40 JBR towers, beach and terraces, you’ll also find many 3D drawings of this kind, sitting in popular places. My favorite is the one with giraffes, but there are many more. What you’ll have to do? Find them and take the best photos, of course!
I do not know how authentic these constructions are, but I can confirm that the narrow streets and all the architectural accents will introduce you to a time machine where you will discover the old Dubai, the one where there is no trace of skyscrapers nor modern world that we can witness nowadays. There are also some museums with maps, manuscripts, interior decorations and armor, and the good part is that you are allowed to take photos of them.
Mall of the Emirates
Another mall worth visiting in Dubai is the Mall of the Emirates, where you will find a ski slope and everything that means an enchanting winter setting, including the associated temperatures. Besides, there are hundreds of popular stores and brands to choose from, but what made me add to the list of the most Instagrammable places in Dubai is its very elegant architecture with wrought iron fences and high domes.
Probably the cheapest activity you can do in Dubai, except for the totally free ones, is a brisk ride in exchange for a single dirham to cross Dubai Creek. Although short, the brisk ride is the perfect opportunity for a series of pictures.
The Dubai Eye
I remember the first time I was in Dubai and this observation wheel was still under construction. Only a quarter of it was finished by that time, and I was thinking when it would be ready. Well, a few months later, The Dubai Eye was complete and everyone was waiting for the grand opening. Ain Dubai is located on Bluewaters Island, is the tallest in the world with 210 meters, and a complete rotation lasts for about 48 minutes, enough time for a bunch of photos.
The most Instagrammable places in Abu Dhabi
If you are not part of the world’s millionaires, most probably you won’t get the opportunity to spend a night here, given that the Emirates Palace is the third most expensive hotel in the world, after Marina Bay Sands in Singapore and The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas. However, the hotel is opened for visits to everyone. And you got plenty to see! The interiors are fabulous and extremely luxurious, and the gardens and fountains are beautiful as well. Emirates Palace is situated in Abu Dhabi, nearby Etihad Towers.
Etihad Towers Abu Dhabi
If they look familiar, that is because you certainly saw them in Fast and Furious. Etihad Towers are 5 and they are situated right across the street from Emirates Palace. So you can easily take photos of them while still in the territory of the luxurious 5-star hotel.
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
Abu Dhabi, the capital of the Emirates and the city that constantly challenges Dubai, clearly has some charming places to put on Instagram. Of course, the main attractions are the gorgeous white mosque, dedicated to the former ruler of the country, Sheikh Zayed. White marble, flower ornaments, Swarovski chandeliers, pools, and minarets. All of these complete a fairytale decor, so that you will feel like Jasmine in Alladin.