No wonder the UAE is full of breathtaking architecture, and we mean that literally. The dizzying heights of the skyscrapers will steal the breath right out of your chest! While you may be awestruck at the grand stadiums of nearby Qatar in the football World Cup 2022, here are a few of the most astonishing feats of engineering in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and other emirates in the Gulf region.
You can't talk about architecture in the UAE without paying homage to the Burj Khalifa. Towering more than 2,717 feet high, it's the tallest skyscraper in the world and combines a neo-futuristic style with traditional architectural elements of Islam. You might have seen Tom Cruise scaling to the top in an iconic Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol scene.
The Emirates Palace is one of the most luxurious hotels on the planet. Costing more than $3 billion to construct, it's outfitted with everything from spas and ballrooms to multiple helicopter landing pads. Suites are made entirely from gold and marble, and there's a penthouse floor for royal guests. You don't even want to know how much it costs to spend a night here.
Burj Al Arab
The Burj Al Arab looks like something out of science fiction, so it makes sense that it was featured in the Hollywood blockbuster Star Trek Beyond. Not only does it boast curved architecture designed to look like a sky-high sail, but it's also decked out with extras like a rooftop helipad. The helipad has been used for everything from car races to the world's highest kite surfing jump.
You might need to do a double-take at the Cayan Tower. Formerly known as the Infinity Tower, it twists around in a helix shape that's boggling to the eye, especially considering that it's 1,004 feet tall. It's such a fantastic piece of structural engineering that it's almost an optical illusion!
The Green Planet Dubai
Dubai is known for its shining skyscrapers, but there are places where you can connect with nature, too. One such example is Green Planet Dubai. Housed in a square biodome, it's teeming with lush and vibrant plant life designed to mimic a rainforest, so it's perfect for escaping the city for a while and breathing in the air of somewhere new.
W Abu Dhabi - Yas Island
You've probably seen the W Abu Dhabi even if you've never stepped foot in the UAE: It's featured on tons of postcards. This is because it glows at night with more than 5,389 glass panes connected to colour-changing LED lights! They're part of the hotel's "Grid Shell," a curvilinear bridge made from glass and steel built atop an F1 race circuit. It remains a unique feature of the Abu Dhabi skyline and one of its most iconic landmarks.