The Dubai Frame – United Arab Emirates - Atlas Obscura
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United Arab Emirates

The Dubai Frame

The world's largest frame offers spectacular views of the city's past and present. 

The Dubai Frame is an iconic structure that “frames” impressive views of Old and New Dubai. The world’s largest frame, it serves as a massive, metaphorical bridge that connects the emirate’s past with its opulent present.

The landmark celebrates Dubai’s history, from its humble beginnings to its current glamor and prestige. Look north, and you’ll see Dubai’s older, more historic neighborhoods framed within the great shiny structure. Look south, and you’ll see the modern, glitzy buildings and flashy skyscrapers for which the city is so famous.

You can do more than look through the massive frame. The glass, aluminum, steel, and reinforced concrete structure also doubles as an observation tower that boasts fantastic panoramic vistas. It stands 492 feet (150 meters) tall, basically giving you a birds-eye view of the bustling metropolitan hub that sprawls below it.

Unfortunately, the frame is as controversial as it is impressive. Its design was the idea of architect Fernando Donis, who won an international competition held by the Dubai government. Though his idea (with a few tweaks) was chosen for the now-iconic landmark, Donis maintains he did not receive a contract or payment for his work, and sued the municipality for stealing his intellectual property.

Know Before You Go

It's a royal pain to get there if you're driving, as the roads are confusing around the park. The Dubai Frame is open all year round, including weekends and public holidays. Visiting hours may vary during the holy month of Ramadan, holidays, and public holidays, but its opening hours are typically from 9:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m. Admission is AED 50 (about 14 USD).