By Jessie on a Journey
The United Arab Emirates city of Dubai is a top spot on my bucket list thanks to its diverse scenery, melting pot of cultures, delicious Middle East food fare (I could live on falafel and be totally happy) and the hint of mystery that surrounds it. While I haven’t yet been there myself, the beauty of the internet has allowed me to explore top Dubai attractions through gorgeous photography. With an aim to show you Dubai’s diverse experience offerings as well as colors here is a vibrant itinerary, literally, based on bright and beautiful images.
1. Sheikh Zayed Mosque [White]
While this mosque isn’t technically in Dubai, its Abu Dhabi location about two hours away makes it an easy — and important — day trip. The structure honors Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who is buried at the mosque and is touted as the founder of the United Arab Emirates. It’s the largest mosque in the country, and can hold up to 40,960 worshippers at one time. It also provides an extraordinary example of contemporary Islamic architecture and gorgeous mosaic work, symbolizing the Middle East’s cultural diversity and merging past with present and future.
Traveling on a budget? The mosque is free to enter and offers free tours to visitors.
2. Iranian Shia Mosque [Blue]
Another must-visit mosque is the Iranian Shia Mosque, situated near the old Textile Souk in the Bur Dubai district of Dubai. It’s beautiful, with Persian aesthetics, detailed mosaic tiling and an extremely colorful exterior (the beautiful azure blue hue is sure to catch your eye). Non-Muslims are allowed to visit, with some highlights being the 14,000-book library and soaring minarets.
3. Arabian Desert [Gold]
Dubai is located within the Arabian Desert, and there are a number of desert tours one can do to immerse themselves in these golden desert sands against bright blue sky. Some suggestions: quadding, sand boarding, photography walks, enjoying shisha and dancing in the desert, and culturally-immersive camping.
4. Dubai’s Nighttime Cityscape [Green]
While there are many colors glowing from Dubai’s towering skyscrapers and varied skyline, the bright neon green is surreal. Luckily, there are a number of viewpoints to enjoy the colors from. Some Dubai attractions from which to take in the view include the Level 43 Sky Lounge, Cielo Sky Lounge and the Burj Khalifa SKY. Soon there will also be Santiago Calatrava’s futuristic observation tower in Dubai Creek Harbour.
5. Dubai Festival City Mall [Red]
Dubai Festival City Mall is great for shoppers, photographers and those wanting to immerse themselves in the city’s vibrant colors. Here you’ll find over 400 stores, 90 eateries (including the local cuisine-focused Al Fanar), a bowling alley, a 12-screen cinema, a scenic Canal Walk and numerous events, both indoors and outdoors. Basically its very large and offers much more than just stores.
6. Burj Al Arab Jumeirah At Sunset [Pink]
Burj Al Arab Jumeirah is Dubai’s iconic sail-shaped hotel, the third largest hotel in the world at 1,053 feet. It’s a must for photographers wanting to capture the city’s gorgeous colors. Tip: place the structure in the foreground with a wide angle lens and let the hues of a vibrant sunrise or sunset wash over it. Depending where you are in Dubai you’ll get other colors, too. For instance, in the desert the sunsets tend to be a hot fiery red or a bright gold, as seen below.
7. Skydiving At Sunset [Orange]
Adventure travelers can have an adrenaline rush while taking in great views when booking an experience with Skydive Dubai. You’ll free-fall 120 miles per hour from 13,000 feet above the Palm Jumeirah, an artificial archipelago that looks like a stylized palm tree with a trunk, 16-frond crown and a surrounding crescent island. The colors at sunset are gorgeous, to say the least.
8. Spice Souks [Rainbow]
One cannot visit Dubai without inhaling the exotic scents — and taking in the vibrant colors — of a local spice market. Picture buckets, baskets and bags filled with diverse colors and textures through almonds, cinnamon, saffron, dried lavender, hibiscus, cassia bark, vanilla pods, star anise, rose petals and more. To have this experience head to the enormous Spice Souk Dubai in Deira, the oldest part of Dubai and a commercial hub.