History of Dubai’s landmarks

It’s no surprise that Dubai is a city bent on grandstanding. And it should be. An imaginative land, it has been built on the raw desert terrain morphed into a landscape dotted with architectural marvels. These man made wonders have given the city an endless interest by travellers who come with a long list of places to see in Dubai. In turn, it is awarded a strong identity and a sense of pride. You can spend more than a week traversing Dubai’s top landmarks, but the most exciting way to see them would be from an aerial perspective.

Seawings offers signature tours to get a glimpse of the major landmarks from the skies on a 45 or 20 minute personalised luxury charter flight. From the seaplane, you have first row seats to cloud piercing buildings and glitzy marvels of glass and metal, juxtaposed with the calm emerald ocean touching the edge of the coastline. Special tours also give an up-close perspective with seasoned guides on personalised heritage tours. Here’s a peek into the history of these iconic Dubai landmarks.

Burj Khalifa

A symbol of Dubai's towering ambition, Burj Khalifa is the world's tallest building ever built. It was first showcased to the world on January 4, 2010. Burj Khalifa looms 2,717 feet above the city, doubling up as a hotel, residential building, tourist attraction and a restaurant. A veritable tourism magnet, it is one of the top places to visit in Dubai used as a sightseeing place as well as an adventure hotspot for activities like base jumping. Burj Khalifa was originally named Burj Dubai but rechristened in honour of the ruler of Abu Dhabi and president of the United Arab Emirates, Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan. The view of Burj Khalifa from a seaplane is magnificent, as it stands above all the other buildings of the city. If you’re visiting the tower, then book tickets at least a month in advance to visit the observation deck, ‘At the Top’, on the 148th floor and a VR experience called ‘A Falcon’s Eye View’ on the 125th floor.

Burj Al Arab Jumeirah

The sail shaped Burj Al Arab building is a testimony to the fact that Dubai is a city that has redefined luxury in many ways. The fifth tallest hotel in the world, Burj Al Arab stands on an artificial island 920 ft from Jumeirah Beach and is connected to the mainland by a private bridge. The hotel was built under the supervision of architect, Tom Wright, and resembles the spinnaker sail of a J-class yacht. Construction started over 15 years ago in 1994 and the hotel opened its doors in December 1995. Architectural feats in making this structure, include offshore construction, reclamation of land and a 590 feet atrium in the hotel. The helipad of the hotel has been used for several events like a tennis match between legends, Agassi and Federer. Golf star, Tiger Woods has teed off from here. In 2013, Formula 1 racer David Coulthard performed donuts in a car here and in 2017 Nick Jacobsen kiteboarded to the sea from top of the building. From a Seawings seaplane, you can get a bird’s eye view to one of the top landmarks of Dubai.

Palm Jumeirah

Fitting well in Dubai’s blueprint as the glitziest destination on earth, Palm Jumeirah is yet another structure that leaves jaws dropped. The manmade islands are located off the coast of United Arab Emirates in the Persian Gulf and add over 500km of coastline to the region. The palm shaped islands in the ocean are the address to a number of top luxury resorts in Dubai and upscale global restaurants. Construction of the artificial archipelago started in June 2001 and completed in 2006, becoming the world's largest artificial island. Over the next few years more than 25 luxury hotels opened doors at Palm Jumeirah and connected to the mainland by monorail. This iconic engineering landmark of Dubai is one of the top places to see in the country and even hailed as the eighth wonder of the world by many.

Dubai Creek

The Dubai Creek is a salt-water body that dissects a part of the city before emptying itself in the Persian Gulf. Earlier it divided Dubai into two parts – Deira and Bur Dubai. The creek was earlier a major node to support transportation, busy with dhows coming from as far as India or East Africa. Many industries propped up thanks to this maritime hub. Today the Dubai Creek offers the travellers a peek into the history of the city, making a 14km sinuous journey from the Deira Corniche to the Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary. To experience the creek up close, sign up for an exclusive luxury dinner cruise aboard the Bateaux Dubai after your exciting seaplane tour over Dubai with Seawings. The uber luxury cruise is a great way of experiencing Dubai’s gorgeous views and a slice of history.

Cayan Tower

The twisted glass Cayan Tower (Infinity Tower) in the busy business district of Dubai is hard to miss, especially if you spot it from the skies, flying over Dubai in a Seawings seaplane for a tour. This is the world's second tallest high rise building with a 90-degree rotation. The fascinating building twists 90 degrees from base to roof and has no pillars. The 1004 feet tall Cayan Tower was completed in 2013, occupying the 73 storeys with apartments, each of which has a grand view of the waterfront. While the most eye-catching aesthetic of the building lies in its shape, other architectural features are equally fascinating. The rooms of the tower are designed in such a way as to reduce direct sunlight with titanium colored paneling. They are stacked in a way that they reduce solar effect in residential spaces.

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