This is your complete guide to the unique and most instagrammable places in Dubai. Whether you love eye catchy and flashy travel photos or looking for hidden gritty and artsy corners, use this guide to easily find all the coolest Dubai Instagram spots.
I have compiled the most comprehensive list you can find online of the best Dubai photo locations which not only have a bunch of beautiful iconic photography spots in Dubai but also plenty of amazing unique and unseen places that will make your Insta feed stand out from the crowd. A map of those photo locations in Dubai is also included at the end of this post.
From glittering skyscrapers of Dubai downtown, colorful Jumeirah murals, quirky corners of La Mer, and futuristic bridges, to underrated Dubai outskirts, and run-down streets in Satwa, this Dubai photo guide has many surprises and you will definitely have a variety of awesome locations to choose from.
Besides Instagram-worthy places in Dubai, I also share tips on how to get there, and the best times to photograph at each location.
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, which means that I may earn a commission if you make a purchase by clicking a link (at no extra cost to you). This helps to keep my blog running and growing by creating more awesome free content for you.
The ultimate guide to the most beautiful and unique instagrammable places in Dubai
To showcase all the locations mentioned in this Dubai most instagrammable places guide, I have used images I have taken over the years I have been living here. Some are my personal travel photos, and some of the images I have taken for fashion and lifestyle magazines.
Only a few photos I had to find on the internet. Ironically, as a resident of the UAE, I never felt rushed to actually go and take a shot at some of the most popular photography places and attractions in Dubai.
In general, I tend to skip mega touristy sites and look for the less known places. However, if you are visiting Dubai for the first time, you might still love having a memorable shot at the most popular locations in Dubai. And yes they are impressive! Thus, I did include those too.
Whatever your preference is, I hope you will get inspired by my ultimate photo spots in Dubai list and go visit for that beautiful picture!
To make it easier to navigate and plan your photoshoot, I have listed all the best photo locations in Dubai according to the area. Also, I have marked those Dubai photo locations as iconic (the landmark that defines Dubai), unique (less seen but equally striking photo spots), and mainstream (the most well-known, everyone has a photo of it).
How to get to Dubai’s instagrammable places?
Although Dubai is a relatively small city, photography locations mentioned in this guide are spread out all over the city and even outside (like the Dubai desert). Thus, the best way to get around if you have limited time is to drive or take a taxi. I recommend hiring a car, as it will be much cheaper than taking a taxi to many different locations.
Nonetheless, most of the central Dubai photo locations are reachable by Dubai metro or Dubai Tram. Public buses are also available but I find them extremely slow and somewhat confusing, and not very convenient to move around the city. Yet, you can use the RTA journey planner to see if the bus is serving a particular location from your departure point.
Are those Dubai photography places paid to visit or free?
The majority of the photography locations in Dubai mentioned in this guide are free. However, a few places like Aya Universe, Burj Khalifa, and Palm Jumeirah observation decks are paid while a few other viewpoints require a hotel stay to be able to access.
If you want to have all the iconic/mainstream spots on your Insta feed, be prepared to spend some extra bucks. But if you are happy with free and alternative locations, your only cost will be transportation and time to visit them.
Quick links to the top attractions mentioned in this post
- Aya Universe– immersive 3D experience.
- Burj Khalifa Observation deck tickets to 124-125th floors.
- Sky View Observation deck– unobstructed views over Dubai downtown.
- Sky View observation deck & Burj Khalifa viewing platform on 124th and 125th floor.
- The view at the Palm – the 360 degrees views over the Palm Jumeirah island.
- Yacht tour with Burj Al Arab, Dubai Marina, JBR views.
- Hot air balloon tour for the Dubai desert experience.
Note: you can use your phone camera to take pictures in Dubai without any problem. However, if you prefer using a DSLR or mirrorless camera, be mindful that security might approach you in the most popular locations. Yet as a visitor, you do not need to worry too much even if you are using a professional camera, as long as you doing it discretely and do not include strangers with clearly recognizable faces in your shot without their permission.
35+ best photo spots in Dubai
Downtown Dubai, DIFC, Zabeel Park & Wafi
1. Museum of the Future from Sheikh Zayed Road passageway (unique/iconic)
The Museum of the Future is one of the hottest landmarks in town and definitely a fantastic instagrammable place in Dubai. Completed in 2021, the Museum of the Future is considered one of the most beautiful buildings in the world. While there are several spots you can take a great photo with the Museum of the Future in the background, one of the best and quirkiest ones is the lookout from the hidden passageway on Sheikh Zayed road.
- Best time to go: for the most interesting lighting come at dusk (blue hour) when the calligraphy decorating Museum of the Future is illuminated.
- How to get there: the hidden passageway is located on the opposite side of the highway of the Museum of the Future. It is a truly hidden spot. You will have to cross a busy side road that runs parallel to Sheikh Zayed Road and along the towers on the right-hand side. You can use Dubai Metro to get there. Step out of Emirates Towers Metro station and cross the bridge to the opposite side of Dubai downtown/Museum of the Future and then continue walking north towards Sharjah. Refer to the map at the end of this post for where to find this Dubai photo spot.
- Cost: Free.
2. Dubai skyline from Sheikh Zayed Road passageway (unique)
Pretty cool location for an urban street-style photo in Dubai. The symmetrical architecture of the passageway with Dubai skyscrapers peeking out on both sides makes it an impactful shot. Due to its somewhat hidden location that doesn’t fall on the common tourist path this photo spot remains fairly unknown compared to other the most instagrammable places in Dubai.
- Best time to go: Sunrise and sunset offer different lighting opportunities. If you come just before sunset, you can also get a shot with the Museum of The Future at dusk.
- Getting there: This is the same Sheikh Zayed road passageway from where a photo of the Museum of the Future was taken. Emirates Towers Metro station (cross the bridge to the opposite side of Dubai downtown/Museum of the Future and then continue walking north towards Sharjah).
- Cost: Free.
3. Aya Universe (unique)
A new kid in the block is Aya Universe-an immersing 3D experience of otherworldly LED light installations that will bring you to a completely new dimension. Needless to say, this new attraction in the UAE easily tops as one of the most instagrammable places in Dubai. 12 thematic rooms offer a futuristic journey and a perfect setup for photography. My favorite areas were Luna (a room filled with massive disco-type balls), The Falls (a circular podium surrounded by dripping water), Harmonia (the nightclub theme with a crazy light show), and the Tides (a room full of mirrors illuminated with changing light patterns).
- Best time to go: any time of the day as it is indoors, but for fewer crowds come on weekdays, in the morning.
- Getting there: Located in Wafi Mall, free parking for 3 hours is available at the mall. The green metro line stops at Creek Station, which is 6 minute walk to Wafi Mall.
- Opening hours: Sun-Thu 10 AM-10 PM, Fri-Sat 10 AM- 12 AM.
- Cost: regular 99 AED per person. Book skip-the-line tickets to Aya Universe with Viator for 29 USD (106 AED).
4. Burj Khalifa observation deck (iconic/mainstream)
Burj Khalifa Observation deck is one of the most sought-after photo locations in Dubai, especially for first-time visitors. However, if you want to have iconic Dubai skyline views with yourself in the foreground, the Burj Khalifa observation deck will not offer you that. In my humble opinion, the images you see of people sitting on the floor against the narrow window and trying to fit themselves together the views over Dubai Downtown just don’t work. Needless to say, the symbol of Dubai, Burj Khalifa, is not even in the shot.
For photographing yourself against the Dubai skyline with Burj Khalifa on the horizon, you will find several great photo locations later on this list.
Nonetheless, if you don’t care about being in the picture and just want to see the undeniably impressive view from the tallest building in the world, then by all means go and get a ticket for the 124th-floor glass viewing platform in Burj Khalifa.
- Best time to go: Burj Khalifa Observation deck opens at 8 AM and this time is actually a great choice for beautiful light and fewer crowds. During midday at 1-1:30 PM (except Fridays) and 6 PM onwards you would also get to see a fountain show from above. Sunset offers beautiful lighting but also it is a peak time. Hence, more crowds and the most expensive tickets.
- Getting there: If you take the metro, then your stop is Burj Khalifa/Dubai Mall metro station. You will have to walk a very long corridor (around 1km) connecting the metro station with Dubai Mall, then find the Burj Khalifa exit inside Dubai Mall. Alternatively, if you drive, park inside Fashion Parking in Dubai Mall (free).
- Cost: approximately 150-250 AED for 124&125 floors. The price depends on the time of the day you choose to go with the priciest option being during sunset hours. For those of you who want the best experience, Skip the line tickets which also include a visit to 148 open deck floor are available at a fixed price of 550 AED at GetYourGuide.
5. Sky Views Observatory (iconic/mainstream)
Nothing beats the iconic Dubai Downtown skyline. If it is your first time in Dubai, you may want to take a nice shot of the majestic futuristic city from a higher elevation. One of the hottest instagrammable spots is Sky Views Observatory. From there you will see elevated views over Dubai Downtown with Burj Khalifa as a center point. The glass platform allows you to take an unobstructed image of the skyline.
- Best time to go: The best time to visit is an hour before sunset when the buildings are illuminated in golden light. However, an advantage of coming in the morning is fewer people. The observatory opens at 10 AM which lighting-wise, is not ideal, as you will have the sun directly facing your camera. From my shooting experience in the area, anytime after 1-2 PM, will be a better time to visit than at 10 AM for photography.
- Getting there: Burj Khalifa/Dubai Mall metro station is steps away from Sky Views Observatory.
- Cost: 80 AED through GetYourGuide which includes one ride on the Sky Slide. For even more adrenaline, you may want to even try the Edge Walk (a harnessed walk outside the glass building, literally hanging over the edge).
Tip: For the best value for money, I recommend combining a visit to Burj Khalifa 124&125 floors with the Sky View Observation deck by getting one ticket for both.
6. Shangri-La Hotel Terrace (iconic)
Some of the most spectacular views of the futuristic Dubai skyline with Burj Khalifa as a focal point open up from the terrace of the 42-floor in Shangri-La hotel. It is also deemed to be one of the most beautiful photography places in Dubai by Dubai Tourism. I cannot agree less, it is indeed one of the best views over the sparking skyline. I have been lucky to have a few photo shoots there. However, if you want to visit the terrace as a tourist, you must be a guest at the hotel. Or bribe the concierge to let you in (I did not tell you that).
- Best time to go: For the best photos come at sunset or sunrise, but if you can’t make it then, during the day is still worth it. However, it might be hazy during midday (unless you are lucky to have some clouds, which are a rarity in the UAE).
- Location: Iconic. Shangri-La hotel opposite side of Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC).
- Getting there: Dubai Financial Center metro station is the closest and the hotel is within walking distance from the station.
- Cost: Unofficial sources say that you might be able to go to the terrace by paying the concierge 250 AED. Not sure if that is true. You can always try and ask them if they would allow you 5 minutes for free, you never know, and you might be in luck. Alternatively, booking a stay at Shaglri-La which is one of the best hotels in Downtown Dubai can be a great idea and you can access the terrace and even a pool overlooking the Dubai skyline anytime during your stay.
7. Dubai Glow Garden (unique)
The largest in the world glow-in-dark wonderland consists of whimsical flowers, birds, animals, massive mushrooms, enormous jellyfish, castles, and various psychedelic geometric forms illuminated with colorful LED lights. Dubai Glow Garden is full of exciting colorful photography spots which will literally glow your Instagram feed.
- Best time to go: Open just before sunset from 5 PM to 11 PM, this park is huge, and you may find yourself spending 3 hours shooting at every newly discovered spot which all look crazier than one another.
- Getting there: Dubai Glow Garden is part of Zabeel Park. Al Jafiliya Metro station, however the walk to the entrance is long around 2.4 km. Best to take a taxi or drive.
- Cost: Entrance cost is 70 AED which also includes Dinosaur Park. You can book a ticket which includes hotel pick up and drop at Viator.
8. Dubai Frame (iconic/mainstream)
On the way from DXB Airport, you must have noticed a gigantic golden frame literally framing the skyline of the new modern part of Dubai from one side and old Dubai from the other. This is yet another famous landmark in Dubai and a popular photo location. You can get a pretty cool Instagram shot framing yourself into Dubai Frame from the pedestrian bridge connecting Karama district to Zabeel Park.
Also, you can visit the frame itself for the Dubai skyline views (make sure to come on a weekday, it gets insanely busy on weekends).
- Best time to go: Early morning before it gets busy with day and evening visitors.
- Getting there: Dubai Frame is part of Zabeel Park. Al Jafiliya Metro station brings you the closest, but you will have to walk around 1.5 km (20 minutes) to reach the bridge. If you are driving, the best is to park on Karama’s side and then cross the bridge. Note that it is a public RTA parking (free on Sundays).
- Cost: free from outside (the bridge), 50-60 AED to visit inside. You can also get tickets with hotel pick up and drop off at GetYourGuide.
9. Burj Khalifa promenade with gigantic Dandelions (mainstream)
An art installation of 14 gigantic metal dandelions lines the promenade connecting Dubai Opera to Burj Khalifa. The impressive dandelions with Burj Khalifa in the background are one of the most sought-after photography spots in Dubai. The waw effect of the sculptures is particularly enhanced when they get illuminated at dusk. Whether you choose to get a shot during the day or at night, it will be great.
Tip: Experiment with wide angles and zooms to get a variety of “instaworthy” shots. Be fast, as the security in the area is notorious for “terrorizing” people using DSLRs or even smaller mirrorless cameras (asking for permits). If you are using a smartphone, nobody will bother you. Switch 0.5 angle mode (iPhones have it usually), and shoot away.
- Best time to go: Early morning before it gets busy with day and evening visitors.
- Getting there: Dandelion sculptures are located in Burj Park by Emaar. The closest metro station is Burj Khalifa/Dubai Mall. You will have to walk a very long corridor (around 1km) connecting the metro station with Dubai Mall, then come out at the Dubai Fountains exit and go right around Burj Khalifa lake. Alternatively drive, park the car in free underground parking next to Dubai Opera.
- Cost: Free
10. The Wings of Mexico with Burj Khalifa view (mainstream)
Created by Mexican artist Jorge Marin, life-sized metal Wings of Mexico is an interactive sculpture cleverly framing the Burj Khalifa behind them. Visitors can climb a three-step platform and take a picture with the wings “growing” on their back with Burj Khalifa in the background. Wings of Mexico is an intentional piece of art that was created to go viral on social media. Today, The Wings is one of the most famous and coolest photo spots in Dubai.
Although possibly every tourist and resident of the UAE has a shot with The Wings of Mexico on their Instagram feed, you can still get one too. Make sure to frame it nicely, straighten the horizon, and strike your best pose. It is a fun instagrammable spot in Dubai.
- Best time to go: Early morning before it gets busy with day and evening visitors.
- Getting there: Located in Down Town of Dubai, next to Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Boulevard, The Wings can be visited on the same day as Burj Park with the dandelions described above and also Dubai Mall and Burj Khalifa (everything is within walking distance).
- Cost: free.
11. Palace Downtown Hotel (mainstream)
One of the most popular spots among instagrammers is the Palace Downtown Hotel courtyard pool with Burj Khalifa in the background. Indeed, this became a sought-after spot for the ladies in flying dresses. You do not have to be a guest to visit this place.
- Bets time to go: early morning, when it is the quietest and the sun is not too high yet. Note that professional cameras might not be allowed, but you can try to get a shot quickly, otherwise wide angle on your phone will do the trick.
- How to get there: the Downtown Palace Hotel is located on Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Boulevard and is within walking distance from Burj Park and Dubai Mall.
- Cost: Free.
Dubai Creek Harbor at The Lagoons
12. Dubai Creek Harbor, the lagoon frames (mainstream)
A new up-and-coming high-end leisure and residential neighborhood the Dubai Creek Harbor gained instant popularity among photographers due to the beautiful waterfront views of the city skyline. Meanwhile, the white illuminated arches framing Burj Khalifa in the distance are poised to be one of the most instagrammable photo locations in Dubai. The other beloved spot on the Creek Harbor is sculptures of massive pink flamingoes.
- Best time to go: sunset is the best time to get magical shots. Come an hour before sunset and stay until dusk. The white arches get illuminated after sunset, and that is a perfect time for your magical shot.
- Getting there: taxi or car.
- Cost: free.
Dubai Design District (D3)
13. D3 skatepark (unique)
Dubai Design District is a trendy destination where fashion designers, artists, modeling, and media agencies, as well as Vogue Arabia magazine, are located. Adjacent to the Design District you will find a super cool D3 Skate Park with colorful concrete blocks. It is a funky spot to take urban-style pictures in Dubai for your Instagram. Although locally quite well known, I do not see it popping up on Instagram feeds that often. Thus, it is a place to get a different shot than what everyone is used to seeing.
- Best time to go: different times of the day will offer you different lighting situations. There is no specific time you should stick to, it is more about playing around with what is available at that particular moment.
- Tip: Once you are done shooting, you can have a bite at One Life Café in Design District.
- Getting there: taxi or driving. A free huge parking lot is available.
- Cost: free.
14. Dubai skyline from D3 promenade (unique)
If you are craving more of the Dubai skyline, one of my favorite places is the waterfront promenade in D3 (Dubai Design District). You have a beautiful view of Business Bay and the Downtown Dubai skyscraper with, of course, its majesty Burj Khalifa. You can combine your visit with the D3 skatepark.
- Best time to go: sunrise is perfect, meanwhile sunset is great too especially on a cloudy day with dramatic backlight.
- Getting there: taxi or driving. Park at the Dubai Design District parking lot and walk.
- Cost: Free.
Old Dubai (Bur Dubai, Deira, Satwa)
15. Satwa neighborhood streets (unique)
Behind the glittering Dubai skyscrapers hide the gritty quarter of Satwa. In complete contrast to the luxurious lifestyle Dubai is associated with, Satwa is one of the oldest neighborhoods in the city, home to working-class ex-pats from India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. Alongside Deira and Bur Dubai, Satwa is the closest example of a real city which existed since the establishment of the modern-day UAE. Now it is overshadowed by the glamorous bubble of Dubai. Yet, Satwa is one of the most interesting photography locations in Dubai. It has crumbling colorful houses with ornate metal gates, busy streets with all sorts of shops, and many affordable low-key restaurants. Photo opportunities here are endless. But the best spots are the ones, where you can capture the contrast between the old tired neighborhoods and Dubai skyscrapers in the background.
I have done a few fashion shoots in Satwa and until today they are my favorite ones.
- Best time to go: any time of the day. Dedicate at least a couple of hours to exploring and hunting for cool spots.
- Getting there: Satwa is located on the opposite side of the DIFC and Trade Center area. You can find many interesting corners in the backstreets of the busiest Al Satwa Road. The closest metro station is the World Trade Center metro station. From there you will have to cross the Sheikh Zayed road over the pedestrian bridge and walk for around 20 minutes between the many streets and buildings. It might be a bit confusing, thus the easiest is to drive or get a taxi.
- Cost: free.
16. Abra ride across Dubai Creek (iconic)
Located in old Dubai, the traditional wooden abra boat is a water taxi and a wonderful attraction on its own. Riding it offers a chance to take iconic and beautiful instagrammable pictures of Dubai in traditional surroundings. For many years until today, Abras are used by residents of Dubai for quick commuting from one side of Dubai Creek to the other (from Bur Dubai’s textile market to Deira’s gold and spice market to be specific). The ride lasts just around five minutes, but it is enough time to snap a beautiful picture.
- Best time to go: for the most appealing light go at sunset.
- Getting there: Al Ghubaiba metro station brings you close to the textile market where Dubai Old Souq Marine Transport Station is located.
- Cost: 1 AED per ride, paid in cash to the captain. If you want to have the whole boat to yourself, you can pay 60 AED for a ride in an empty abra, this way you will have the freedom to move around and take images from all possible angles.
17. Al Bastakiya (or Fahidi Historical District) (iconic)
Located along Dubai Creek, in Bur Dubai side, Al Fahidi Historical District also called Al Bastakiya has been rebuilt following the traditional Arabic architecture of the 19th century. Although new, this area is a key heritage site created to represent life before the 7 emirates. This is also one of the most photographed places in old Dubai, yet I find it always classically beautiful and never get bored taking pictures there.
Wander a maze of alleyways between sand-colored mud houses characterized by traditional wind towers. This small quarter has not only many intriguing corners for a perfect photo showcasing old Dubai but also many art galleries and cozy coffee shops. One of the most well-known, a bit touristy, yet charming is Arabian Tea House where you can have a snack or lunch. The restaurant is photogenic as well.
- Best time to go: early mornings are the least busy where you can wander off to completely empty alleyways.
- Getting there: Sharaf DG metro station is 700 meters away. If you are coming by car, there is plenty of underground parking available in the nearby Al Seef area.
- Cost: free.
18. Al Seef (unique)
Located at the waterfront of Dubai Creek, the Al Seef district was built as an extension of Bastakiya in 2017. It also blends traditional old-world architecture with the new era’s comfort. It is a charming and ridiculously photogenic place in Dubai filled with coffee shops, souvenir stalls, restaurants, and other entertainment facilities (including live events). Surprisingly Al Seef is still sort of a hidden instagrammable place often overshadowed by Bastakiya. You can combine your visit to both as both quarters are a short walking distance from each other.
- Best time to go: early mornings have beautiful light and fewer people.
- Getting there: Sharaf DG metro station is 700 meters away. If you are coming by car, there is plenty of underground parking available in the Al Seef area.
- Cost: free
19. Gold and spice souqs (markets) (iconic)
For a true sensory experience and a bunch of colorful photos in a traditional market, head to Spice and Gold Souks in Deira. If you take an abra boat from the Al Fahidi area, the spice souk on the opposite side is just steps away from the marine station. Get lost in the aisles where you can not only take some unique travel photos of Dubai and some instaworthy snaps of yourself but also buy high-quality tea, spices, nut, and dried fruits. In the gold souk, which is just around the corner from the spice market, you can get gold jewelry for much lower prices than in Europe or US.
- Best time to go: the aisles are shaded, thus you can even wander around during midday.
- Getting there: hop into traditional abra in Bur Dubai side. Or if you are coming by metro, step out at Al Ras metro station and walk for 8 minutes.
- Cost: free.
20. The Pointe Atlantis View (iconic)
The Pointe is a waterfront promenade dotted with restaurants, cafes, shopping outlets, and a public beach. But the highlight of The Pointe is unobstructed views of the iconic Atlantis Hotel.
- Best time to go: For the soft direct lighting visit at sunrise, for the more mysterious glory of backlight- at sunset.
- Getting there: The Pointe is located at the tip of the Palm (the famous manmade island that resembles the shape of the palm). Palm Jumeirah Monorail runs from Palm Jumeirah Gateway station in Al Soufouh and stops at The Pointe. A monorail ticket costs 20 AED one-way and 30 AED return. There is no direct connection to Dubai Metro, but there is a connection between Dubai Tram, and Palm Jumeirah Tram Station via the footbridge to Monorail. However, the most convenient way to reach is by taxi or driving.
- Cost: free.
21. Dubai Marina View from the Palm Jumeirah Corniche (iconic)
One of the best photo locations in Dubai with a classic view of the beautiful Dubai Marina opens up from the Palm Jumeirah Corniche. It is also a beautiful place for a quiet evening stroll.
- Best time to go: Arrive at sunset to see the buildings glow and get that magical shot of yourself and Dubai Marina in the background. Wait until dusk to see the lights of the skyscrapers come up.
- Getting there: Palm Jumeirah Corniche, the very end of the west side of the Palm peninsula. Unfortunately, there is no public transport to the very end of the Palm. You must either drive or take a taxi.
- Cost: free.
22. One and Only Hotel courtyard (unique)
At the west end of Palm Jumeirah Corniche, the One & Only Hotel hides a beautiful Moroccan-style courtyard, not every tourist knows about. You can get inside even if you are not a guest, have a coffee or a refreshing drink at the pool bar, and then head to the courtyard for a few beautiful and unique photos.
- Best time to go: the courtyard area is shaded, thus it will work well for photography even in the middle of the day.
- Getting there: Same location as mentioned above at Palm Jumeirah Corniche, the very end of the west side of the Palm peninsula. You must either drive or take a taxi.
- Cost: free (or a drink at a bar).
23. The View at the Palm (mainstream)
A fairly new attraction in town that topped the most instagrammable places in Dubai list is The View at the Palm. Situated at 240 meters above sea level, the 360 degrees observation deck allows you to see an aerial view of the world-famous Palm Jumeirah Island. It is a pretty impressive vista of one of the most iconic places in Dubai definitely worth that Instagram shot.
- Best time to go: sunrise is an ideal time to go for beautiful soft light and also tickets are much cheaper. Late sleepers get punished with having to pay double. If cost is not an issue, then sunsets can be spectacular as well, make sure to stay until the blue hour.
- Getting there: Palm Jumeirah Monorail runs from Palm Jumeirah Gateway station in Al Soufouh and stops at Nakheel Mall where the observatory is located. The easiest way, again, is by car or taxi.
- Cost: from 70 AED to 275 AED, depending on the time of the day and if it’s a fast track ticket or a ticket including the next-level experience (the views without a glass). You can buy your ticket GetYourGuide.
24. Meydan Bridge (unique)
Meydan bridge is a locally known futuristic wavy bridge illuminated with a blue LED outline. It is a beloved photo location in Dubai by sports car owners. The architecture of the bridge is indeed unique and fits the supercar theme perfectly. However, by no means, you do not need a Lamborghini or Ferrari to get the shot there. Just put your unique self in the middle of the bridge and snap one of the coolest shots in Dubai.
- Best time to go: sunset and blue hour when the bridge has the lights turned on. Sunrise is also a good option to avoid crowds. The place gets busy during weekends.
- Getting there: taxi or drive.
- Cost: free.
Jumeirah & Burj Al Arab
25. Madinat Jumeirah (mainstream)
Madinat Jumeirah is a city within a city. Inspired by the Arabic citadel Madinat Jumeirah consists of luxury hotels, ornate souks, and dozens of bars, and restaurants many of which are boasting fantastic views over the river which snakes between beige-hued traditional Arabic houses. Legendary 7-star Burj al Arab hotel is also visible from many vantage points. You can even take an Abra boat and sail different routes across the 5 kilometers long river. Note it is not a local experience but rather a fancy tourist attraction that may cost you anywhere from 100-850 AED depending on the duration and route (unless you are a hotel guest who gets to ride Abra free of charge). However, the photo opportunities from the boat are definitely instaworthy if you don’t mind paying an extra buck.
No wonder that upscale yet traditional Madinat Jumeirah is one of the most instagrammable places in Dubai.
- Best time to go: before sunset for the beautiful golden light.
- How to get there: the closest metro station is Emirates Mall. However, it is a 2.5-kilometer walk to Madinat Jumeirah. The best is to take a taxi or drive (free parking for a couple of hours, or with a validation stamp from one of the restaurants inside Madinat).
- Cost: free to wander the area of Madinat, only activities like Abra boat are paid.
26. Burj Al Arab (iconic/mainstream)
Shaped as a sail a legendary symbol of Dubai is a 7-star ultra-luxury Burj Al Arab hotel. No visit to Dubai is complete without taking at least one photo with Burj Al Arab in the background.
The are a couple of great spots you can go for if you want unobstructed views of Burj Al Arab:
- Burj Al Arab from Jumeirah Al Naseem Hotel beach (iconic)
To access Ocean beach at Al Naseem Hotel, you either have to be a guest in a hotel or dine at one of its restaurants, or have a drink at a bar. If you just want to snap a photo you may easily tell the concierge that you are going to one of the restaurants. Nobody should stop you from walking on the beach and you can quickly take a few photos with a full view of Burj Al Arab.
- Getting there: Al Naseem Hotel is located next to Madinat Jumeirah, thus best to combine them as one trip. Taxi is the most convenient way. You can also drive, but if you park in the hotel, you must get a stamp from one of the restaurants to validate it (otherwise it may cost you around 100 AED).
- Cost: free or a drink at a bar.
- The bridge in front of Burj Al Arab (iconic)
Another picture opportunity of Burj Al Arab is on the bridge leading to the main entrance of the hotel. Here you will get a different perspective – a frontal view of Burj Al Arab. You must have a wide-angle lens to capture the whole building.
- Getting there: you can walk from Al Naseem Hotel to Burj Al Arab bridge leading to the main entrance.
- Cost: free
27. Yacht shots with Burj Al Arab, Dubai Marina, JBR, and Atlantis views (unique)
Some of the best photos of the Dubai skyline are taken from the yacht. Does it sound fancy? Surprisingly there are quite many affordable yacht tours that will allow you to embrace the luxurious lifestyle of Dubai sailing around the shores of the Arabian Gulf. During the tour, you will see some of the main landmarks and the shimmering Dubai skyline beautifully revealed from the perspective of the sea. You will not only tick off Burj Al Arab but also Dubai Marina, Atlantis hotel, and JBR in one trip. Needless to say, the shots you will get posing at the front deck of the boat will look pretty dam luxurious with all those famous landmarks in the background.
Check this top-rated and affordable tour on a Luxury Yacht that includes soft drinks and snacks.
- Best time to go: sunset.
- How to get there: the exact Marine station will be shared by the captain. Usually, yacht tours depart from Dubai Marina harbor. Take a metro to Sobha Realty Metro station and then walk another 10 minutes to Marina Harbour.
- Cost: starts at around 150 AED per person.
28. Discovery Gardens (unique)
Unconventional and unexpected, completely off-the-beaten-path, Discovery Gardens is a residential area characterized by colorful apartment blocks (we talking pinks, blues, and yellows). If you really want to capture an artistic, street-style shot of Dubai less seen, head to Discovery Gardens. I have done a fashion shoot for Cosmopolitan magazine back in 2017, and it is still one of my favorite shoots, which showcased an often overlooked area as a really cool-looking neighborhood.
- Best time to go: during the day when everyone is at work.
- Getting there: the best way is to go by car as you can move around from one apartment block to the other easily. Otherwise take a metro to The Gardens Metro Station.
- Cost: free.
29. Miracle Garden (mainstream)
One of the most interesting photography locations in Dubai is Miracle Garden- the World’s largest flower garden. You probably have already seen images of girls in flowy dresses posing in the middle of heart-shaped flower corridors. That is one of the Miracle Garden’s signature spots.
The garden takes up a massive 72000 sqm area filled with gigantic sculptures of fairytale cartoon characters, life-sized castles, and even an airplane, all covered in over 150 million of colorful flowers. Miracle Garden has even won a Guinness Award as the largest vertical garden in the world! The site is truly impressive and very instagrammable. The downside, professional cameras are not allowed (but you can still try using one for quick shots when security doesn’t look).
- Best time to go: the garden is operational from mid-November to mid-May when the weather is cooler in Dubai. The site opens at 9 AM, thus try to come early on weekdays to avoid crowds. It is a super popular destination and gets packed, especially on weekends. This makes taking pictures a bit tricky.
- Getting there: by public transport, you must arrive at Emirates Mall metro station and catch bus number 105 to Dubai Miracle Gardens. This journey might take around 45 minutes. Faster is to take a taxi or drive (plenty of free parking spots are available on-site).
- Cost: 75 AED per ticket.
30. Dubai Expo City (unique)
Dubai Expo City is a transformed Dubai Expo 2020 site. After the grand event has finished, the area was revamped into a sustainable city retaining key thematic pavilions and a few country pavilions (UAE, Saudi Arabia, and a few more) as well as the most popular attractions. Known for impressive architecture, Dubai Expo City offers quite a few incredible locations to take fantastic pictures.
Some of the coolest photo spots in Dubai Expo City are:
- Water feature- a large waterfall is one of the most popular remaining attractions after the 2020 Dubai Expo. You can dip your toes to cool down in the gushing waterfall cascading down the giant wall. It also makes quite a cool spot for an Instagrammable shot.
- Tera pavilion (sustainability pavilion)- this pavilion features a unique installation of 19 energy-producing e-trees. The 15-18 meters tall metal trees are shaped similarly to dragon trees seen in Socotra island, Yemen. It is also one of the coolest spots in Expo City to photograph.
- Al Wasl Plaza is the heart of Dubai’s Expo 2020 and features the world’s largest 360-degree projection dome. Indeed, the scale of the dome is striking. Al Wasl Plaza is yet another excellent example of the futuristic architecture of Expo City, very instagrammable too. If you visit in the evening, you will find Al Wasl Plaza illuminated with ever-changing colorful lights.
- UAE Pavilion- one of the most beautiful pavilions in Dubai Expo 2020 and extremely photogenic. For a symmetrical composition, head to the front entrance. You may want to use a wide-angle lens to get the full building into the shot.
- Best time to go: the site is huge, thus you might want to dedicate a day if you are also planning to visit pavilions. Otherwise arrive late afternoon so you can also see Expo City with lights turned on.
- Getting there: Dubai Metro runs all the way to Dubai Expo City. Otherwise, you can take a taxi or drive. Parking is free and spaces are plentiful.
- Cost: free to visit Expo City, you have to pay 50 AED to go inside the pavilion (50 AED per pavilion) and some of the attractions are paid too.
31. Dubai desert (iconic/mainstream)
Bashing the desert dunes is one of the must-do things in Dubai, especially for first-time visitors. It is also an iconic location for Dubai pictures. There are numerous desert tours in Dubai with hotel pick-up. Choose the one that departs for sunset to make sure you catch that flattering golden light in your photos. If you want to see the desert from the sky, then a sunrise hot air balloon is an exciting activity to engage in and also get some unique shots.
Tip: if you drive, go to Mleiha area where the dunes are vivid orange color (as in the picture below). Read more about Mleiha in my post HERE. Check Discovercars or Localrent for some of the lowest car rental rates.
- Best time to go: sunset.
- Getting there: drive or join a tour. Check this top-rated desert safari tour with hotel pick-up and dinner at GetYourGuide.
- Cost: from 150 AED per person, hot air balloon tour starts from 1100 AED per person.
32. Half desert road
Half-desert road became well-known on Instagram after people started manipulating the drone shots of a highway partially covered by sand with the Dubai skyline on the horizon. Although drones are banned in the UAE at the moment, you can still go there and photograph find spots of roads covered by sand, and get a shot from the ground level.
- Best time to go: before sunset.
- Getting there: the half-desert road is located on the side of the Emirates Road highway (marked on my map). drive. There is no public transport and it is a far journey in a taxi. Also getting one to come back would be very difficult.
- Cost: free.
33. La Mer (mainstream)
La Mer is a busy beachfront venue comprised of a breezy public beach with facilities, a waterpark, an open boardwalk, funky graffiti art murals, restaurants, and boutique beach shops. It is extremely popular among families and loved by Instagrammers for its colorful wooden changing cabins which aside from its main purpose also serve as an instagrammable location in Dubai. However, the most interesting part (at least to me) is the murals. Every corner reveals something unexpected. Set aside an hour or two if you want to slowly explore the whole area.
- Best time to go: morning, when it is less busy, or sunset when the venue gets the light turned on.
- Getting there: easiest to come by taxi. If you drive, try parking in the backstreets, you may find some free spots. There is regular RTA street parking (2-4 AED per hour) in front of La Mer, but places are limited and it is usually packed. The paid underground parking is pricey-20 AED per hour. Alternatively, you get 3 hours of free underground parking if you spend 100 AED at any of La Mer coffee shops or restaurants (make sure to validate the ticket).
- Cost: free (except for the paid activities which are optional).
Dubai Marina & JBR
34. Marina promenade (iconic/mainstream)
Dubai Marina promenade lined up with sparkling skyscrapers and luxurious yachts is not to be missed for first-time visitors to Dubai. It is one of the most popular yet iconic photography locations in Dubai. Walk along the Dubai Marina promenade and experiment with the backgrounds. There are countless places to take a shot from. Some of the best viewpoints open up from the bridges connecting the Dubai Marina side with the JBR side.
- Best time to go: any time of the day. Midday light is harsh as usual, thus if you want more pleasing lighting conditions, then morning and evening are the best.
- Getting there: metro and tram run along Dubai Marina, you can hop off at Sobha Realty or DMCC metro station, or at Dubai Marina Mall tram station. If you drive, look for street RTA parking. You can also park in Marina Mall, the first 3 hours are free of charge during weekdays, free on weekends.
- Cost: free.
35. JBR murals at JBR walk (mainstream)
Another popular tourist destination next to Dubai Marina is the JBR walk, the popular street located in JBR area just steps away from the sea. In the evening, you can see a spectacle of supercars slowly riding and showing off along the main JBR Walk road. However, for the instagrammable shot, you may like colorful JBR murals. They are a fairly recent addition to make the area more artsy and appealing. Indeed, the massive murals are eye catchy and can make a perfect background for a funky Instagram shot in Dubai.
- Best time to go: daytime.
- Getting there: you can take a metro and arrive at DMCC station. It will take around 15 minutes to walk from Marina to JBR. Or you can also jump into the Dubai tram which will bring you to JBR. Alternatively, if you are already on the east side of the Marina, catch a water bus at Marina Walk Marine Transport station (cost around 3-5 AED).
- Cost: free.
And that is a wrap for now. I will do my best to keep this Dubai instagrammable places list updated with new spots. I had a lot of fun putting this Dubai photo guide together I am sure you will find many awesome spots to go to for the best pictures in Dubai.
Map of the photography locations in Dubai
Click here to open and save the map of the most instagrammable places in Dubai. It shows the exact locations mentioned in this Dubai photo locations guide.
Dubai, UAE travel essentials & useful links
Here are links to essential travel resources and services I always use when organizing my trips.
MY PHOTOGRAPHY GEAR
- Photo and video camera: Mirrorless Nikon Z6
- Main lens: Nikkor Z 24-70 mm f/4
- Wide-angle lens: Nikkor Z 14-30 mm f/4
- Drone: DJI Air 2s
- Pocket-sized camera: DJI Osmo Pocket 2
- Small Tripod: Gorilla Pod
- Travel tripod: Manfrotto Element Traveller Tripod (Ball Head)
- Photo and Video Editing software: Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Lightroom and Adobe Premier Pro
More UAE travel blog posts
- Browse and read my other UAE travel guides.
- Did you know Dubai has mountains? Find out 10 best things to do in Hatta– Dubai’s mountain town.
- Planning to explore more of the Middle East? You can visit Oman from Dubai by road.
- If you love the outdoors, check my guide to the Best easy hikes in the UAE.