The most unusual buildings in Dubai

Burj Al Arab

Built in 1999, Burj Al Arab is the fifth tallest and the only seven-star hotel in the world. Burj Al Arab hotel was designed by Tim Watkins, a famous architect taking inspiration from ‘the billowing spinnaker sail of a J-class yacht’. Burj Al Arab has a unique helipad element, being suspended from the roof of the building and hangs out in front 210 meters above the ground.


Inspired by Egyptian architecture, Raffles is a 19-storey pyramid in Wafi. Built in 2007 by Bryn Lummus, atop the building is a gold beacon of light, which shines bright in the city landscape.


In spite of being the tallest hotel in the world, Gevora still wanted to make sure it doesn’t get unnoticed. Not only is its exterior 100% gold, but the building’s crown cone structure on the top roof also glows brighter than any other building at night, and it can be seen from Palm Jumeirah if the weather is clear.

Atlantis, The Palm

Atlantis, The Palm is the first hotel to be built on Palm Jumeirah and has become a symbol for the iconic island. It is ocean-themed, drawing inspiration on the original mythology of Atlantis island.


Although the official name of this Business Bay tower is O14, which was after the plot of land its built on, the building has a nickname that people are more familiar with – Swiss Cheese. It has a 40-centimeter exoskeleton, which enables its design to stand out and also acts as a cooling method with its 1,300 holes.


Cayan twisty tower is the world’s second tallest of its kind (the Shanghai Tower took over after it was built). There is a full 90-degree turn from top to bottom, which makes it stand out from the rest of the marina skyline. The tower is also a residential building standing at 75 storeys high.