New Architecture in Dubai, Property UAE, Building Images

Overview of Architecture in Dubai

Contemporary Building in the UAE, Middle East: Architectural Article

30 Mar 2019

Dubai Architecture Overview

An Overview of Architecture in Dubai

Dubai is the largest city in the United Arab Emirates and the capital of the Emirate of Dubai. This global city leads the way in terms of style, luxury living,and modernization. It’s also the central business hub for the Middle East, much of which is driven by oil. Along with oil, other key areas of Dubai’s economy include tourism, trade, aviation, financial services and real estate.

Dubai is one of the most expensive cities in the world to visit and live in and the most expensive in the Middle East.

The city is known for its stunning architecture as much as its economy,and there are constantly new buildings and developments going up.

So, what should you know about the architecture in Dubai, both commercially and residentially from high-rise buildings to Dubai villas such as the ones featured on Dubai’s top real estate site Bayut?


While Dubai might be largely known for the oil industry, the city strives to be modern,and one way they’re working to do that is through sustainable building initiatives. The city’s architecture and infrastructure plans often convey the goal to become the most sustainable city in the world. Part of this is to be a global leader and pioneer, but part of it is because of practicality.

The city has more than 2.1 million people and receives around 10 million visitors a year, so sustainability is important to support this kind of massive population growth and the huge tourist industry.

Many of the new developments that have recently been built or are in the building phases include design elements geared toward sustainability such as solar panels and smart landscaping that reduces water consumption.

As a specific example, the Oasis Eco Resort includes a roof designed like a ribbon to ensure maximum space for solar panels, and efficient planning in how those panels are placed and utilized.

All new buildings in Dubai are required to meet at a minimum Al Safat Bronze rating, which was a system introduced in 2016.

The Most Notable Sites

Along with the practice of implementing sustainability into Dubai architecture, much of what the city strives to do is become a showplace for some of the most amazing buildings in the world.

One of the most well-known examples of architecture as a showpiece is in the Burj Khalifa. The Burj Khalifa is 162 floors and is the world’s tallest building. There are LED panels around the outside that light up at night, and it’s one of the primary tourist attractions in the city.

Another unique design element in the city is the Dubai Frame, which is an oversized picture frame that displays the past of Dubai on one side, and the future on the other.

Atlantis, the Palm is another one of the most notable examples of architecture in Dubai. Since opening in 2008, The Palm has become synonymous with luxury travel.

Other noteworthy buildings include Emirates Towers and Wafi, which is an homage to ancient Egypt.

Private Homes

The homes for residents in Dubai include apartments, townhouses,and villas. Since Dubai is a cosmopolitan city catering to the world’s wealthy, many of the private homes’ design and architectural elements reflect this. The architecture for the high-end homes in Dubai is often very sleek and modern with clean lights, and simple, understated details and finishes. Many of the villas in Dubai also integrate elements of outdoor living,and they tend to bring nature into the home.

As far as the luxury apartments you’ll find in buildings throughout Dubai, the general style is similar with clean lines and modern features,but it’s all about the amenities.

Of course, beyond even the most luxurious of home designs are some eye-popping properties you might only see in Dubai such as The Floating Seahorse-style homes. These homes are the utmost in luxury,andthey’re located along a chain of islands off the coast of Dubai called The Heart of Europe. The islands are humanmade copies of European nations on a small scale. Richard Branson owns the island.

The first home on The Heart of Europe was the original Floating Seahorse, and there are ongoing plans to build more of these properties. These homes include an underwater area where the master bathroom is, and outside the glass walls are coral gardens. You can swim right off the side of your home, and they’re about 2 ½ miles from the shore of Dubai,so you have to travel by seaplane or boat. More than 200 professionals including global designers, architects,and engineers have worked to bring this project to fruition.

Location: Dubai, UAE

Dubai Buildings

Dubai Architecture Tours by e-architect

Al Fattan Towers Dubai, The Walk, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Al Fattan Crystal Towers Dubai building
photo © Elif Simge Fettahoğlu
Al Fattan Towers Dubai by Tabanlioglu Architects (TA_)

Dubai 2020 Expo Pavilions
Design: Santiago Calatrava, Foster + Partners, BIG and Grimshaw Architects
2020 Expo Dubai Pavilion by Foster + Partners
image courtesy of architects
Dubai 2020 Expo Pavilions

Sustainability Pavilion for Expo 2020 Dubai
Design: Grimshaw Architects
Sustainability Pavilion for Expo 2020
image courtesy of architects
Sustainability Pavilion for Expo 2020 Dubai

UAE Architecture

Abu Dhabi Architecture Designs – chronological list

Dubai Buildings

Abu Dhabi Buildings

Museum of the Future in Dubai, Emirates Towers area, on south side of Sheikh Zayed Road
Architect: Shaun Killa of Killa Design
Museum of the Future in Dubai Building |
image courtesy of architects
Museum of the Future in Dubai Building

Hyperloop Pods and Portals
Design: BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group
Hyperloop Pods and Portals in Dubai
image from architects
Hyperloop Pods and Portals in Dubai

Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates

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Dubai, UAE