Many tourists visit city destinations for the breathtaking views, so Dubai built a frame for theirs. The gilded frame that opened on January 1st served as a “New Year’s gift” from the United Arab Emirate metropolis to the public. While the frame-shaped building could be an attraction all its own, visitors can explore the numerous attractions within.
Reaching New Heights
Dubai’s newest attraction features four sides that make up the frame, with nothing in the middle to obstruct the view. The top border is actually a bridge standing 150-meters high (about 492 feet, roughly 50 stories if each floor represents around 10 feet). Visitors with enough courage can walk across…either on a concrete floor, or one that disappears. The aptly-named Sky Bar has “step-sensitive flooring” that vanishes when visitors step on to it. Visitors might feel like they’re flying above the city thanks to this bird’s-eye view. Augmented reality-activated windows provide 3-D pictures that labels buildings and other landmarks.
Architecturally-speaking, the Sky Bridge is meant to represent traveling from Old Dubai, through Present Dubai, and connecting to Future Dubai. The view through the frame echoes this since older areas like Deira and Karama are on one side, while newer landmarks like the Emirates Towers are on the other. In addition to the amazing views from the center of Zabeel Park, a spot purposely chosen for its central location, visitors will experience educational attractions. Architect Fernando Donis designed the frame, worth Dhs160 million (about $43.5 million), in addition to other projects such as Dubai’s Porsche Design Towers. The logo from Expo 2020 helped inspire the exterior, which contains 15,000 square meters of gold cladding and 2,900 square meters of laminated glass.
Not a Fan of Heights? No Problem
The Dubai Frame, or “Birwaz Dubai,” offers other attractions for those who’d rather not walk across a bridge suspended 150-meters in the air. The entrance welcomes guests with an etching of galloping horses on the wall and the UAE national anthem played in the background. On the ground floor, there’s a museum that showcases Dubai’s evolution from fishing village to modern city. Another gallery further explores Dubai’s history.
When taking the elevator to Future Dubai, guests pass through a tunnel filled with special effects to represent time travel. From there visitors will enter the Future Dubai Gallery. This exhibit helps visitors envision what Dubai will be like in fifty years. Again, this gallery employs futuristic technology with virtual reality and interactive projections.
Hours of operation are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Prices are Dhs50 ($13.61) for adults and Dhs30 ($8.17 for ) children. Tickets will be available at TheDubaiFrame.com though as of this writing purchases may only be made at the gate.