With its cutting edge design, snow-white sea shores and beautiful sunsets, there’s no denying that Dubai is unique, and its individualistic appeal and all-round glamour and sophistication have made it one of the most photographed urban areas on earth.
It is one of the most photogenic locations, and it’s not just professional photographers and magazines that are choosing to stage their shoots here these days as a result. Luxury-seeking tourists and Instagram influencers alike have been flocking to Dubai in recent years in a bid to capture some of the nation’s most iconic sights and capitalise on the extravagant opulence with which it is associated, making it a place to see and be seen – for long afterwards, on social media accounts and feeds for years to come.
If you’re planning a luxury escape to Dubai this year (once travel restrictions are lifted, of course), then these are some spots you won’t want to miss if you’re eager to capture some of your most breath-taking photographs to date. Just don’t forget your camera!
Dubai Design District
The Dubai Design District (or d3) is a creative urban space created for designers and artists, and its graceful buildings and wide avenues provide the perfect setting for an Instagram fashion photoshoot. If you need to stock up on some outfits for the job, then head to the lavish Amato Boutique for exclusive couture – then splurge on some accessories from Asian and European designers at Closet Case.
Dubai Downtown District
Organise a street photoshoot in the Downtown area, where you’ll find the Dubai Mall, the Dubai Fountain, and the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building – all of which are major landmarks in the city. Residents and visitors alike love to pose against the backdrop of the Wings of Mexico bronze sculpture, which is a spot you’ll want to arrive early to beat the crowds. The Dubai Downtown District is also a good place to rent and drive nice sports cars if you’re eager to take a luxurious ride for a spin – and of course, the shopping here is as high-end as you’d expect, with plenty of lavish stores and boutiques.
For a fantastic mix of premium shopping, al fresco dining, pop up craft markets, cafes and luxury yacht-spotting, you would hard pushed to find a better area to head to for an Insta-worthy shot or three than Dubai Marina. The upmarket residential neighbourhood is best known for leisure complex The Beach at JBR and the yachts are sure to catch your eye. Spend an evening on the water with Dhow Cruise Dubai Marina, the highly rated floating restaurant that offers great views of Bluewaters Island, JBR and the marina. There is a combination of casual and luxury here and you won’t want to miss out on a visit with your camera in hand.
City Walk shopping and entertainment district
City Walk is a multi-storey shopping and entertainment precinct combining Arabian luxury and European flair. Offering a colourful backdrop for your holiday photos and the perfect place to get some snaps for your Instagram feed, you could easily spend a whole day in this area of Dubai without even noticing the time pass. As you’d expect, there’s plenty to keep you entertained, and if you’re keen to shop until you drop then this is the place to do it.
La Mer beach area
La Mer is an oasis in the heart of Jumeirah, with its snow-white beaches, colourful art spaces, and the fun Laguna Waterpark. In short, it has everything you need for the perfect vacation photo, so put on your swimwear and most sophisticated warm weather gear and bring along your tripod for some photos on the beach. Afterwards, cool off with a dip in the sea, find a sun lounger to soak up the day’s rays or simply enjoy watching the world go by while you relax.
Alserkal Avenue is an artsy residential area in Al Quoz, and is home to a multitude of creative workshops, showrooms, and concept stores. It’s also the main location for events, concerts, and workshops to take place in Dubai. Decorated with the work of local street artists, this is the place to get some of your edgiest and most unique photos and to enjoy a slice of the action while you’re here.
Al Seef, on the banks of Dubai Creek and close to the historic Al Fahidi area, comprises a maze of narrow streets (sikkas), cafes, and museums that it’s difficult not to fall in love with. Here, you’ll find a traditional oriental bazaar selling handmade products and original souvenirs, while nearby, ZENEVE sells stylish accessories, so bring your credit card to stock up on some unique gifts and props for your shoot.
Bluewaters Island is home to the opulent Caesars Palace Resort – one of the most extravagant in Dubai – which is the perfect place to base yourself for the duration of your visit and guaranteed to leave you wanting for nothing. And Ain Dubai, the world’s largest Ferris wheel, is worth a spin if you’re keen to get a unique viewpoint of the breath-taking landscape below. Here you’ll find a plethora of luxurious residences, more five star hotels and plenty of fine dining restaurants, which will quench your thirst for decadence as well as making for the perfect spots to capture some Instagram photos.
Nearby, the beach club Cove Beach offers the best view of the Arabian Gulf. There are hundreds of stores in the commercial and entertainment zone of the island for shopping, too, but we recommend you pay attention to the souvenir shops. Exclusive gifts for friends and relatives can be purchased at Arabia To Go and Camel Company.
For dining, Paru restaurant not only serves up some mouth-watering and beautifully presented Japanese cuisine, but also offers a great view of the Dubai Marina and Jumeirah Beach Residence. Don’t miss Gordon Ramsay’s famous Hell’s Kitchen while you’re here, too – it’s a must for anyone visiting Dubai.
The Pointe complex
The Pointe shopping and entertainment complex is located on Dubai’s iconic Palm Jumeirah Island and comprises luxury stores, high-end restaurants, numerous entertainment venues, and a 1.5 km promenade. Offering a magnificent view of the famous Atlantis, The Palm Resort, come here at sunset to take some of your most striking pictures of Dubai.
If you’re still not all shopped out, then here you can dive into a world of traditional fragrances at Oud Dubai or stop by the Palazzo Jewellery store, where local artisans will happily craft a commemorative piece of jewellery for you based on your sketches. It’s a great place to pick up a bespoke and thoughtful gift for someone special.
With more than 80 restaurants also in the vicinity, you certainly won’t go hungry at The Pointe. Italian Per Te, Chinese Chuan, and Mexican Meshico are especially popular choices.