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The Majesty of Dubai

I visited Dubai in late 2016 expecting to capture the magnificent architecture of the city, which I had never visited before. After spending a short time there, I realized that there was much more to this electric city than its impressive buildings. Here I share some of my favourite images that, for me, sum up this majestic and truly captivating Middle Eastern city.

Published January 10, 2017 | Featured in

Location: Dubai, Country: United Arab Emirates

Words and Photography by Scott Stulberg

View of the skyscrapers, flyovers and highways of Dubai in the glow of sunset
This was taken high above Sheikh Zayed Road and the amazing Blade Runner-style interchange. I was in a private condo looking down at the unceasing traffic moving in every direction and also staring right at the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building.
View across the sea of a tall building in the shape of a dhow's sail in Dubai
This unique five-star hotel is often described as ‘the world’s only seven-star hotel’, paying it a huge compliment. Yet the Burj Al Arab is truly one of the world’s most distinctive hotels. It lies on its own artificial island by Jumeirah beach and was designed to mimic the shape of a ship’s sail.
Woman holding a camera taking photos of the sea life swimming around the glass tunnel of Dubai Aquarium
Being inside the largest mall in the world, the Dubai Aquarium is simply astonishing and attracts more than 750,000 visitors every week. Standing in the massive plexiglass tunnel and being engulfed by the endless flow of fish, sharks and manta rays was surreal. One of the highlights of being in Dubai and a must for any visitor.
The lighted up stalls and vendors in the evening with people walking past them and the skyscrapers of Dubai in the background
Dubai Marina is one of the most popular areas of the city, and with huge skyscrapers in every direction, it feels other-worldly. Street vendors set up in the afternoons, along the edge of the water selling all kinds of local goods and artwork to the tourists as well as the locals. The feeling is so futuristic and modern, with the clever twists and turns of the marina’s design from one end to the other making it just visually stunning. It is also one of the best places for food as so many great restaurants are in the marina.
Metal sculpture of multiple men fixed in diving positions down a very tall vertical waterfall ending in a water feature below at a Dubai mall
When gazing down upon this massive sculpture at the Dubai Mall, it becomes clear that someone had grand thoughts when they designed this piece of art. It appears as if the flying men are diving to the water below, right through the waterfall. The view from above is just as powerful as the view from below and makes for one of the most incredible works of art that anyone can imagine.
Multi-coloured lights streaming across a swimming pool at night with the lighted skyscrapers of dubai in the background
I love the Shangri La Hotel on Sheikh Zayed Road as it is simply gorgeous in every way and the pool area and swim-up bar is about as beautiful as it gets in Dubai. Being in the pool by the steps, looking at the Burj Khalifa in the distance, was like being in a fantasy world. The colours, the palm trees, the music and the beautiful furniture is almost dreamy. This is a hotel you do not want to leave.
The skyscrapers, flyovers and highways of Dubai all lighted up at night
This is a city, much like Las Vegas, that never sleeps and loves using electricity. Seeking out high vantage points pays a nice reward as Dubai looks best after dark. The sound of cars endlessly buzzing around and a view dotted with new construction and enormous cranes make Dubai a visual feast when seen from above. Dubai has to be seen to be believed.
A tall, red-lighted spire of a building rising above the Dubai skyline
The Burj Khalifa stands alone as the world’s tallest building. This view, from next to the Dubai Mall, shows just how spectacular it really is. Every night, tons of people crowd around the water to view an amazing light show with fountains moving to music. They are also treated to a dazzling light show across the entire skyscraper that is right out of Star Wars and makes for one huge party.
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