Places to Visit

7 Incredible Aerial Views to Enjoy in Dubai

Dubai is home to some of the world’s most iconic landmarks: Burj Khalifa, Burj Al Arab, Palm Jumeirah and much more. The incredible cityscape and towering skyline are highlights of any trip to Dubai. And while you can marvel at Dubai’s skyline with two feet firmly planted on the ground, nothing comes close to getting an aerial view of Dubai.

When you get up high and enjoy a bird’s-eye view, you’ll see a different Dubai. After all, there’s no doubt that some of Dubai’s sights are best viewed from the air, including the World Islands and Palm Jumeirah. You’ll also have a chance to get up close and personal with some of the city’s tallest buildings.

And you’ll also truly appreciate just how diverse and interesting this city is. You’ll see magnificent cruise ships waiting in the docks, glorious golden beaches, timeless abras crossing Dubai Creek, and of course, a whole different perspective on all those famous sights, tall and short.

How about a seaplane tour?

One of the most exhilarating ways of touring Dubai is to go by seaplane. Tours take visitors on a variety of routes around the city, but all start with a breathtaking take off from the water. You and all your companions are guaranteed a comfortable window seat. And all routes are designed to ensure that each passenger gets a great view of the key sights.

A seaplane ride in Dubai will wow you from start to finish and make memories to last a lifetime. Here are a few of the sights you’ll enjoy:

The World Islands

The World Islands

Known as one of the most ambitious projects ever, the World Islands are a man-made archipelago a couple of miles offshore of Dubai. From above, you’ll see that the approximately 300 islands have been designed and placed to replicate a map of the world.

An aerial view is the only way to truly appreciate the scale of this project, which is ongoing. Look out for the Heart of Europe, a six-island luxury tourism development that promises warmer, sunnier versions of Venice, St. Petersburg and Switzerland, among others.

Burj Al Arab and surrounding beaches

Burj Al Arab

Burj Al Arab is one of Dubai’s most loved buildings and is a veteran of the city’s skyline, having opened in 1999. This iconic building also sits on a manmade island just a couple of hundred meters offshore and was designed to emulate the look of a billowing ship’s sail.

This beautiful building is also known as both one of the world’s tallest and most luxurious of all hotels. It dominates this section of coast, which is also home to some of Dubai’s best-loved golden beaches.

Palm Jumeirah

Palm Jumeirah
Image by Delpixart / Getty Images

This is another Dubai landmark that looks incredible from a seaplane. Palm Jumeirah is also a series of manmade archipelagos. It has captured the world’s imagination with its intricate palm-shaped design which can only truly be appreciated from above.

Palm Jumeirah is home to multiple luxury resorts, including world-famous Atlantis: The Palm, and residential homes, as well as malls and restaurants. These line its trunk, its many fronds, and the crescent that sits above, furthest out to sea.

Dubai Marina

Dubai Marina Bay

Dubai’s glittering marina encloses gentle waters with some of the city’s finest and tallest architecture. These include the rocket-like Grosvenor House twin towers, the twisted Cayan Tower, and Dubai’s second and third tallest buildings, Marina 101 and Princess Tower.

Moored below the skyscrapers, you’ll see hundreds of the world’s most luxurious yachts. The area is incredibly popular, both as a residential district and a lively waterside place to spend an evening. By night, the views of the marina are incredible.

Burj Khalifa

Burj Khalifa the Tallest Building

The Burj Khalifa is the world’s tallest building. At 828 m tall, it dwarfs even Marina 101 and Princess Tower and all other buildings in Dubai. It’s a spectacle that has to be seen to be believed. By plane, you’ll understand just how tall this building is and what a feat of engineering it was to complete.  

Right next door, you’ll spot two more record-breakers: The Dubai Mall, the world’s biggest mall, and Dubai Fountain, the world’s largest choreographed fountain.

Dubai Creek and Heritage Area

Al Seef Dubai
Image Credit: Time Out Dubai

In great contrast to much of Dubai’s architecture, a flight over Dubai Creek and its surrounding heritage area gives a glimpse into times gone by. Beneath you, you’ll spot traditional abras crossing the Creek as they have done for centuries.

Look out for the dusty sandstone buildings below that are the origins of this incredible city. It’s hard to believe that a century ago, Dubai was little more than a fishing village. Once back on the ground, Bur Dubai is well worth a visit. By joining a Dubai heritage tour, you can appreciate the treasure trove of alleys, wind towers, and gold and spice souks, and learn a lot more about the fascinating story of this now metropolis.

The QE2 and Port Rashid

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Port Rashid is home to Dubai Cruise Terminal. At any one time, there may be up to seven cruise liners moored in the terminal, and watching these enormous vessels move into the port can be fascinating.

The QE2 is now permanently moored in the area, too. This luxury liner completed more than 5 million miles at sea before she began her retirement in Dubai. Her colorful history saw at least 70,000 bottles of champagne consumed aboard her per year, and many notable passengers, including Buzz Aldrin and Nelson Mandela. In addition, she saw a stint at war as a troopship during the Falklands War.

A Whole New Perspective

There are many ways to tour Dubai, but going by plane is going to show a whole different angle. Seaplanes generally cruise at around 450 m. Whether you’re looking down on Palm Jumeirah or the World Islands, looking up at the top half of the Burj Khalifa, or flying at the height of the tips of the skyscrapers in Dubai Marina, these are views that are impossible to get any other way.

Without a doubt, a seaplane tour of Dubai is one of the most unique ways of seeing all the sights.

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