The Dubai Frame is exactly what its name implies: it is in fact an eccentric building in the shape of a gigantic frame, consisting of twin towers connected by a horizontal walkway 150 metres high.
This ultra-modern panoramic observatory is unparalleled in the world in terms of its shape, size and opulence: built according to local custom, i.e. without any parsimony and with the precise aim of astounding the public, it is entirely covered in gold.
The symbolic meaning of this work, however, is much deeper than its external structure might suggest. Due to its special location in the green oasis of Zabeel, a short distance from the city centre, the Dubai Frame provides a view of both the old town and the modern quarters: the panoramic walkway connecting the two towers is a metaphorical bridge between the two souls of Dubai, a dynamic, ultra-technological and ultra-rich metropolis rooted in a humble fishing past.
The building stands out against the blue sky of the United Arab Emirates, framing – so to speak – the skyscrapers, shopping malls and iconic buildings of modern Dubai on one side and the characteristic views of the medina on the other.
Inaugurated on 1 January 2018 after some 10 years of construction, the Dubai Frame building is one of the mega-works built in the run-up to Expo 2020 but well before the event began, it has become one of the city’s top attractions, now mentioned on every Dubai must-see list and included in the schedule of many tours. Its fate is certain: it will soon become one of the city’s new symbols.
This enormous golden frame within it has managed to amaze even a city accustomed to staggering constructions: add one more wonder to your Dubai holiday programme.
Breathtaking shots are guaranteed both by photographing the building as a whole, from a distance, and by photographing the panorama that will present itself to your eyes once you have climbed to the top (by a convenient and very quick lift, of course), to the delight of your eyes and your Instagram account.
Dubai Frame is not only the city’s most modern observation deck but also an avant-garde multi-sensory museum with three permanent exhibitions: Old Dubai, Present Dubai, Future of Dubai.
The visit takes place via an obligatory route from the ground floor to the panoramic walkway and down to the other side. The route follows a chronological order: the first gallery visited is Old Dubai (ground floor), followed by Present Dubai (footbridge) and Future Dubai (ground floor).
The multimedia exhibition dedicated to the city’s past will show you how Dubai has transformed from a traditional fishing village to an ultra-modern metropolis and one of the richest cities in the world.
Using 3D projections and sophisticated social effects, the characteristic colours, sounds, smells and sights of the Old City are recreated.
The exhibition set up along the observation deck is designed to enhance the visitor’s appreciation of the jaw-dropping skyline of present-day Dubai.
Spectacular 360° views of the city’s old and modern districts are enhanced by interactive installations and augmented reality screens that help visitors identify buildings and make them feel ‘closer’. You can admire them in 3D as if they were right there on your doorstep and catch details that would normally go unnoticed.
The exhibition also provides a wealth of information on various aspects of today’s Dubai, including the economy and infrastructure.
The visit to Dubai Frame ends with a ground-floor tunnel that catapults you into a hypothetical future of the city as envisioned by the award-winning designers of this innovative building. It is a time travel simulated with lights and sound effects that takes you to see the Dubai of 2070 represented by three-dimensional models and multimedia installations.
How will we travel 50 years from now? What will we build? How will we live our daily lives? The answers are perhaps inside this tunnel.
The lifts that take you from the ground floor to the observation deck and then back to the ground floor are not just the means to the top: they are an integral part of the experience. As you ascend, you can see the panorama of the city spread out before your eyes.
The highlight of your visit to the Dubai Frame comes when the first lift opens and you enter the observation deck that is the top of the frame.
At this point, you will have a 150-metre-high view of Dubai in front of you: on one side the Old Town with its characteristic old-world atmosphere, on the other the architectural masterpieces of the modern metropolis. An incomparable view that alone is worth the price of the ticket.
Dubai Frame is open to visitors 7 days a week, 365 days a year, from morning till evening. During the period of Ramadan it is open with reduced hours.
Although only opened a few years ago, the Dubai Frame has already become one of the most visited attractions in Dubai. It is therefore advisable to buy tickets online to avoid queues at ticket counters; when purchasing, you will be asked to choose the day and time of your visit.
A few things you should know before you arrive:
Dubai Frame is included in the schedule of many Dubai city tours (some also departing from Abu Dhabi) and generally the entrance fee is included in the tour price.
The Dubai Frame is one of the most visited attractions in Dubai and we recommend that you buy your tickets online before you go to avoid queues at ticket counters.
For maximum convenience, purchase the ticket that also includes pick-up and drop-off at your hotel.
Alternatively, take a guided tour of the Dubai Frame which, of course, also includes a skip-the-line ticket to the attraction.
Dubai Frame is easily accessible from the city centre either by public transport or hire car.
The easiest way to get to Dubai Frame is to take the red metro line and get off at Al Jafiliya station. From there you can walk to the entrance of The Frame.
By car or taxi you can get to The Frame from the centre of Dubai in just 15 minutes; there is plenty of parking in the area.
Dubai Frame is located within Zabeel Park, a green oasis bounded to the north by Sheikh Rashid Road, to the north-west by Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Road and to the south by Sheikh Zayed Road. Access is through gate 4 of the park.
City Card allow you to save on public transport and / or on the entrances to the main tourist attractions.