One of Dubai’s latest landmark is a gigantic picture frame, the Dubai Frame. It is some 150 meters high and some 95 meters wide, located North of the Financial District in Zabeel Park. As the Conrad Hotel I was staying in was just too close (and I was just too curious…), I took a visit to that world-largest picture-frame-shaped building of the world in November 2019.
Dubai Frame – Location & Admission
Dubai Frame is located in Zabeel Park, right next to Sheikh Zayed Road. The park is very popular for recreation, so that there are plenty of parking facilities (for free). Zabeel Park requires an entrance fee of 5 AED (1.20 EUR) – however, the Dubai Frame has an own entrance gate so that you are not subject to charge for it. You take a very short walk through the park, though, before you enter The Frame.
Adult admission to Dubai Frame is 50 AED plus tax, roughly 12 Euro. You can pre-order tickets online (which then have a certain time slot). At the time of writing, however, it was not necessary to do that and you could easily queue for the walk-in, in contrast to other sights like Burj Khalifa.
Dubai Frame – The Visit
The concept of your visit is that you explore Dubai and the Emirates in three phases: The Past, the Present and the Future. After there is a short general exhibition about the Frame, you start with the past and history of Dubai, which is a quite nicely done museum-alike place. You learn a lot about traditions and traditional life before you head to the elevator.
On Top of The Frame
The present – this is obviously what you should from both sides of the frame. In addition, parts of the floor are transparent, so that you also have a straight view to the bottom. The area is quite spacious, you take the elevator up on the Western side of the frame and leave downstairs on the opposite one. There are two coffee and snack places, but neither a souvenir store nor toilets. There are some displays and a chance to take a selfie.
I visited the place in the afternoon, where the sun is already quite low above Dubai and it is thus rather difficult to watch the mega-city. The view of Sharjah is best at these times, though. The view through the glass bottom offers nice perspectives, though these are quite limited.
After you go back down to floor level, there is an exhibition about future Dubai visions. I liked that part quite much because it has some quite nice displays and gives a nice idea what the future plans of the city are.
At the end of the visit, of course, you pass the “mandatory” souvenir store.
Dubai Frame – My View
I would rate my visit at the Dubai Frame at slightly above average. The positive side is that it is definitely a remarkable and iconic landmark. The idea is brilliant. However, it just does not have a chance in my point of full to be really a superb attraction: from outside the frame, it would be so lovely to really use it as a “frame” in pictures and take snaps of the Dubai Skyscrapers though the the frame. Unfortunately that idea position would be somewhere right on Sheikh Zayed Road and thus it is not possible.
On top of that, this kind of construction is just too prone to reflections. It is a frame, so the windows on top are diagonal, which is just terrible for taking pictures. Furthermore, even when the view is good, many landmarks are just too far away. Even Burj Khalifa, which is comparably close, is about six to seven kilometers away – which means that even on a good view day, you will not see it very well. I would have also loved to see the airport from there, but you can just a quick glimpse when you take the elevator down. While in the frame, you can more or less just face two directions,
If you don’t care about that too much, the Dubai Frame is at least very reasonably priced, which may still allow to put it on your list while visiting the city. The exhibitions before and after the in-fact frame visit are nicely done. You should go in the morning hours, though, when you have the best light to watch the skyscrapers.
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