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Architectural wonders of Dubai

The architecture and grandeur that make up Dubai are almost like a game to this Middle Eastern city – it's a constant push to build things taller, make them bigger, better and more luxurious. This applies to the buildings making up Dubai's jagged, vertigo-inducing skyline, its shopping malls, gardens and even islands. And the city is still growing.


The structures here have topped so many world's biggest lists, we've kind of lost track. At any rate, here are our favourite manmade wonders keeping Dubai big, beautiful and awe-inspiring.


Burj Khalifa

We've all heard of the famous Burj Khalifa, and if you haven't, allow us to introduce you to the tallest building in the world. That's right – at 829 metres, it's the tallest building on the planet.

Other than its sheer size, you'll recognise the Burj Khalifa by its distinct rocket-like shape and chrome colour. It tops several other world's highest lists too, including the world's highest nightclub and restaurant, highest observation deck and highest New Year's fireworks display.

Cayan Tower

The Cayan Tower looks more like a piece of metallic liquorice than a building that's actually real. That's because it twists round a full 90-degrees over its height, making it the world's tallest building to do so at the time it was created.

Inside are condos designed with just the kind of luxury you'd expect from this show-stopping high-rise, though there are no balconies, as looking down from that height might make you a little queasy.

Burj Al Arab

It's a bird, it's a plane – no, it's just the Burj Al Arab, one of Dubai's most famous buildings. This luxury hotel is shaped like the sail on a boat, aided by the fact it's out on an island that's only connected to the mainland by a private bridge.

The hotel is crowned with a helipad for all its rich and famous clientele, though it's also been used as a tennis court for a match between Andre Agassi and Roger Federer, and a spot to tee off for Tiger Woods.

Palm Islands

The Palm Islands are another of Dubai's incredible manmade wonders, though this one is best viewed from above. That's because they're three massive islands shaped to look like palm trees, created entirely from sand and rocks. It was an idea originally devised and designed by the Prince of Dubai, and is now home to several hotels, homes and entertainment centres.

The Dubai Mall

The Dubai Mall is another one of those Dubai locales that tops a heck of a lot of lists – it's the biggest mall in the world by total area, as well as the most visited.

It's unsurprising that something like this should exist in Dubai, as shopping is such a major pastime here. The mall features more than a thousand retailers, an ice rink and indoor theme park, plus a long tunnel with marine life swimming above and around you as you walk through.

World Islands

Much like the Palm Islands, the World Islands are a manmade archipelago that, when viewed from above, look like a map of the world. Each of the islands are known by what country they depict – Germany Island, Greenland Island and Lebanon Island, for example – and though the project is still in progress, it's already shaping up to be monumental eye candy, especially if you're a bird.

Dubai Miracle Garden

If you've ever seen Alice in Wonderland, the Dubai Miracle Garden is basically the Queen of Heart's domain come to life.

The Dubai Miracle Garden is the world's largest natural flower garden, with more than 109 million flowers planted in total. It's a colourful feast for the eyes as the fields stretch out in brilliant hues, deck giant heart trellises and coat little houses. It's also where you'll find the Dubai Butterfly Garden that's, yes, you guessed it – the largest butterfly garden in the world.

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