The Dubai Frame is a captivating addition to the cultural landscape of the United Arab Emirates. This iconic structure ingeniously captures the essence of Dubai, with one side offering a glimpse of Old Dubai and the other showcasing the modern metropolis.
Serving as a symbolic bridge between the emirate’s rich history and its vibrant present, the Frame boasts an observation deck at its peak and a museum at its base. Visitors are treated to breathtaking panoramic views of the city and an immersive journey through Dubai’s compelling story, from its origins to its ambitious future plans.
Embark on an enriching exploration of the Dubai Frame’s distinct zones, fascinating architectural and design features, and top-notch amenities.
Discover a range of ticket options, including exclusive VIP packages with transfer services, to elevate your experience to new heights.
- Best time to visit: Weekday from 9:00 AM to 10:00 AM (no long queues) and 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM (great sunset views)
- Recommended time: 1-2 hours
- Best for: architecture/design/history lovers, photography enthusiasts, families with kids (preferably kids 6+ y.o. and those who are not afraid of heights)
Architecture and Design
The architect Fernando Donis conceived the project, which emerged victorious in a design competition held by the Government of Dubai and ThyssenKrupp Elevator to shape the “New Face of Dubai”. Notably, this design stood out among 926 proposals. The construction phase spanned 4 years and necessitated 230 million AED for realization. It was opened in 2018.
The “Dubai Frame” takes on a rectangular form with dimensions that align with the renowned “golden ratio” of 1.618. Many architects and artists regard this ratio as a prime exemplar of harmonious balance. It stands at a height of 150 meters and spans a width of 95 meters.
The Dubai Frame also recognized as the Golden Frame among tourists, glistens under the intense Arabian sun, resembling authentic gold. Consequently, certain visitors mistakenly believe it to be coated in real gold, with some attempting to procure a small piece as a memento.
Despite the opulence and affluence of the UAE, the fabled tales of boundless Arab riches do not hold true here. Contrary to popular belief, the Dubai Frame is not adorned with gold leaf, typical of temple domes, or even gilding. Rather, it is fashioned from specially treated stainless steel plates that produce a “golden” sheen in the sunlight. This coating is virtually impervious to the effects of sun and wind.
Constructed from glass, steel, aluminum, and reinforced concrete, the Dubai Frame required over 9,900 m3 of reinforced concrete, approximately 2,000 tons of steel, and 2,900 m2 of laminated glass during its assembly. The entire framework is enveloped in 15,000 m2 of stainless steel cladding adorned with circular patterns reminiscent of the Expo 2020 logo.
The central 25-meter segment of the 93-meter bridge is entirely composed of thick, resilient glass capable of supporting substantial weight. Soaring to a height of 48 stories, the apex of the arch is easily accessible via a 75-second elevator journey.
Impeccable precision and diligent labor were vital in siting the Dubai Frame. Its placement was meticulously calculated to ensure that both old and new Dubai attractions and landmarks flank either side of the frame.
Adjacent to the entrance of the Frame, there exists an array of illuminated and musical fountains, encircled by verdant lawns.
Hence, the Dubai Frame encompasses a total of three unique zones:
- Old Dubai: The Dubai Frame comprises an Old Dubai zone, housing a museum featuring architectural specimens characteristic of mid-19th century Dubai, traditional Islamic architectural motifs, antiquated household articles, topographic maps, multimedia exhibitions, and 3D projections capturing the essence of the ancient city. Within this zone, immersive halls offer insights into the historical narrative of Dubai, chronicling the daily lives of its inhabitants across different epochs. This interactive museum seamlessly integrates genuine historical artifacts with state-of-the-art multimedia installations, including a dedicated space detailing the construction of the Frame itself.
- Present Dubai: Known as the Sky Deck Level, this section offers visitors the opportunity to identify diverse structures and landmarks through engaging facts and three-dimensional views using interactive applications such as augmented reality-enabled screens. The experience is further enhanced by the chance to capture photos against captivating panoramic windows overlooking the city, as well as bubble embellishments adorning the walls, futuristic installations (such as iron eagle wings), and immersive multimedia screens. Accessible via a rapid 75-second elevator ride spanning 48 floors, the transparent elevator with panoramic windows allows guests to admire the city’s beauty even as they ascend.
The observation deck features transparent enclosures and serves as a corridor, offering a view of Dubai’s business center with the iconic Burj Khalifa tower and other towering skyscrapers on one side, while providing a glimpse of the low-rise city on the other.
A particularly thrilling experience is strolling along the glass floor, which appears as a transparent pathway cutting through the center of the gallery. This pathway holds a surprise – though it initially appears opaque, it instantaneously turns transparent as soon as one steps onto it, creating an exhilarating sensation not meant for the faint of heart.
- Future Dubai: A distinct chamber is set aside to envision the future of the UAE’s capital, showcasing Dubai residents’ own perspectives on the city’s evolution in the coming decades. The mezzanine-level immersive exhibit at the Dubai Frame offers an elevated experience, guiding visitors through a narrative of the city’s history via projections, audio-visual presentations, and carefully selected scents and mists. After experiencing a “vortex tunnel” simulation, visitors will be guided through a “Virtual Metropolis” to a virtual reality exhibition highlighting Dubai’s continual progress and future development forecasts provided by experts.
Additionally, there is a café where visitors can indulge in a light meal or savor a cup of coffee while taking in the breathtaking panoramic vistas.
Furthermore, a souvenir shop is available, offering a selection of keepsake gifts, branded apparel, hologram cards, and more.
Learn more about museums in Dubai.
Awards and Records
The Dubai Frame has garnered a multitude of accolades and achievements throughout its existence:
- The Dubai Frame got an Award for Tall or Slender Structures at Structural Awards 2018.
- The Dubai Frame holds the esteemed title of the World’s Largest Frame, as recognized by the Guinness World Records in 2019.
- Dubai Frame also boasts the world’s most extensive Braille handrail, measuring an impressive 319 meters and 11 centimeters. This remarkable feat, overseen by Dubai Municipality, marks a significant milestone in enhancing facilities for individuals with visual impairments.
- In 2022, the Dubai Frame was honored with the distinction of being the UAE’s most popular tourist attraction.
- Recipient of the Iconic Landmark of the Year 2020 award at the Middle East Architect Awards.
- Acknowledged with the 2018 Middle East Architect Award and the 2019 A’Design Award.
- The Dubai Frame secured the Leisure Tourism Project Award at the MEED Projects Awards 2019.
Additionally, the Dubai Frame has been associated with the unofficial status of “the largest stolen building of all time” amid allegations of intellectual property theft from the designer.
Architect Fernando Donis filed a lawsuit against the Dubai Municipality and ThyssenKrupp Elevator in a US court in December 2016, citing the lack of a contract or compensation for his completed project. Despite receiving a $100,000 prize for winning the competition, the court’s decision and any official comments from the involved parties remain undisclosed.
Presented below is an inventory of the existing facilities and services at the Dubai Frame:
- Prayer room
- Souvenir shop
- Free Wi-FI
- Café / coffee shop (including Low Battery Cafe and Robo cafe on the ground and several coffee shops on SkyDeck)
- Drinking water stations at the entrance
- Photo booth (you can download photos on your smartphone for free)
- Photoshoot service (from 75 AED)
- Paid parking spots (AED 10 per day)
- Audio guides
- Wheelchair accessible
- Autism-friendly activity
- Small Train around Dubai Frame for extra pay (AED 2)
Additionally, note that you have the opportunity to conveniently access the diverse facilities, offerings, and attractions of Zabeel Park adjacent to the location of the Dubai Frame without extra pay. Check out our of things to do at Zabeel Park here.
Dubai Frame ensures enough possibilities for guests to experience its attractions, as it is open daily from 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM.
Note that time at the attraction is not limited.
Dubai Frame Tickets
While tickets can be purchased at the entrance, it is important to note that during peak hours and weekends, there may be a waiting period of at least 30 minutes to one hour.
To avoid potential delays, we highly recommend booking tickets in advance through the official website of the Dubai Frame or via authorized ticket providers listed in the table below. The cost of admission for adults is 52.50 AED, while children aged 3-12 years can enter for 21 AED, inclusive of a 5% VAT. Additionally, entry is free for younger children and People of Determination (POD).
For added convenience, some ticket providers offer not only standard access but also options for private or shared transfers to enhance your overall experience. To explore these offerings and plan your visit accordingly, please refer to the official website or contact the listed ticket providers.
|Dubai: Entry Ticket to the Dubai Frame with Deck Access
|from AED 55.02/ USD 15
|Dubai Frame: Admission Ticket
|from AED 52.52/ USD 14.3
|Dubai Frame Admission Only
|from AED 52/ USD 14.16
|Dubai Frame Admission With Sharing Transfer
|from AED 85/ USD 23.16
|Dubai Frame Admission With Private Transfer
|from AED 316/USD 86.1
|Dubai Frame Ticket
|from AED 51/ USD 13.65
|Dubai Frame Entry Fee
|from AED 66/ USD 18
Only a select few ticket sellers offer the convenience of free cancellation with a full refund, aligning with specific criteria. GetYourGuide allows cancellations up to 24 hours before the visit, with the ticket being valid for a single day. Tiqets permits cancellations until 11:59 PM the day before the visit, although rescheduling is not an option for this ticket.
However, there are no refunds for canceled tickets offered by RaynaTours, Klook, Viator, or the official Dubai Frame website. To guarantee a smooth and adaptable experience, it’s crucial to thoroughly review each ticket seller’s cancellation rules before making a purchase.
The exact location is Zabeel Park Jogging Track – Za’abeel – Al Kifaf – Dubai. It’s located near the Gate 4 of Zabeel Park. Check out the pin on Google Maps and save it to make your way to the sight.
How To Reach Dubai Frame
You have several transportation options to access Dubai Frame:
- Use the metro: Disembark at the Max Station, previously known as Al Jaffliya Station, which is situated along the Red metro line.
- Choose the Bus: Consider taking bus F09, as it stops opposite the exit from Max station, providing a convenient mode of transport to the Dubai Frame and Zabeel Park.
- Drive Your Car: If you prefer to travel by car, reference the location pin on the map in the ‘Location’ section to navigate to your destination. Ample paid parking facilities are available at a nominal rate of 10 AED for 24 hours.
- Opt for a Taxi: Alternatively, you can book a taxi cab, a popular transportation choice in Dubai. Hail a local Dubai taxi or use the Careem or Uber app on your smartphone for added convenience. For more information on Dubai taxi services, refer to this link.
As you prepare for your excursion to the Dubai Frame, take into account the ensuing suggestions to enhance your visit:
- Plan Your Visit: When planning your visit to the Dubai Frame, it is crucial to select a day with clear weather conditions to ensure optimal visibility, as cloud cover or fog may obstruct the panoramic views. Seasoned travelers recommend ascending the frame just before sunset, approximately half an hour prior, to witness the sun casting a stunning reflection through the myriad windows of the Dubai Frame. Also, consider up to 30-60 minutes waiting in a queue to enter the attraction and up to 1 hour at the attraction when planning your timings.
- Capture Professional Photos: Upon entering, you will encounter an opportunity to obtain professional photographs. As you descend from the top floor, you will pass by a counter on the ground level showcasing a multitude of visitor photographs. The photography booth staff will present you with two options: a luxurious open-book photo frame or a water frame resembling a snow globe, both priced at 125 AED each. Alternatively, you can acquire both for 150 AED, which is considered a favorable deal. However, a pro tip is to request the photo itself without opting for any additional options, as the standalone photo is available for 75 AED and is presented in a high-quality hardcover book.
- Avoid Lengthy Queues: To circumvent enduring a 1-2 hour wait at the attraction, it is advisable to arrive early in the morning to avoid queues. Many visitors recommend being present at the location by 9 am to minimize queue time. Additionally, purchasing tickets online can streamline the entry process. At least you will avoid queues at the counter. But still you may need to wait in a queue even if you have online tickets.
- Use restrooms that are just after the gates at the entrance. It seems that there is no restroom inside the Frame, so consider visiting it before you stand in the queue.
- Follow Their Instagram: Check for any special events or exhibitions happening at the Dubai Frame. The latest event announcements are promptly shared on the Instagram profile. For instance, a recent highlight was the spectacular fireworks showcase commemorating the arrival of the New Year.
- Explore Zabeel Park: Following your Dubai Frame visit, consider exploring Zabeel Park, which offers barbecue and picnic areas, flea markets, picturesque fountains, expansive green lawns, children’s play areas, and sports facilities. Entry to the park is complimentary if you have visited the Dubai Frame, providing an ideal setting to unwind and enjoy leisure activities.
Access the park by way of Gate 4 – by doing so, following your visit to the Frame, you will have the option to stroll through the park with your ticket. If you choose to enter the park through a different entrance, you will need to exit the park in order to purchase a ticket.
When planning your visit to the Dubai Frame, please take note of the following guidelines:
- The presence of pets within the premises is not permitted.
- Smoking is strictly prohibited at all times.
- Outside food and beverages are not permitted within the premises.
- Please refrain from leaning or climbing over the railing.
- The use of toys and sharp tools is not allowed.
- Visitors are expected to adhere to respectful clothing guidelines.
- For safety reasons, it is advisable to avoid wearing high heels.
- Kindly refrain from touching or removing items displayed in the exhibitions.
- Sitting or placing children on the railing is strictly prohibited.
- Children under the age of 12 must be accompanied by an adult throughout the visit.
- Large bags and strollers should be stored at the Gate 4 Counter.
- There is a restricted duration for visitors at the top (observation deck): each tourist is permitted a maximum of 20 minutes there. Furthermore, the site can accommodate no more than 150 individuals simultaneously.
Considering a visit to Dubai Frame? Here are the pros and cons to help you make an informed decision, based on the latest reviews of Dubai Frame’s visitors:
Pros of Dubai Frame:
- Spectacular panoramic views of Dubai.
- Unique architectural design and engineering.
- Informative exhibitions showcasing the history and future of Dubai.
- Photo opportunities offering stunning perspectives of the city.
- The glass panel walk is great for thrill-seekers.
Cons of Dubai Frame:
- Long queues, especially during peak hours.
- Pricey souvenirs and dining options.
In conclusion, the Dubai Frame offers an exhilarating experience for thrill-seekers and older children, typically over 6-8 years old, who are comfortable with heights and not easily impressionable.
The transparent floor at the top of the Dubai Frame provides an adrenaline-inducing walk, ideal for those seeking a unique and thrilling perspective of the city. However, it’s important to note that younger children may find the observation deck intimidating due to its height.
Additionally, visitors should be mindful that baby strollers are not permitted at the top, which may pose challenges for parents with infants.
Beyond the awe-inspiring views, which are equally captivating in the morning and illuminated by neon lights and musical fountains at night, photography enthusiasts will appreciate the captivating installations within the attraction, although certain areas are off-limits for photography. For example, you can’t take photos at Future Dubai Gallery.
Venturing inside the building is a wonderful experience that reveals a wealth of fascinating discoveries hidden behind the elaborately patterned walls. Inside the interactive museum, guests may enjoy immersive experiences and visually stunning light shows, watch a 3D presentation that portrays the foreseeable history of the city, and take an exciting elevator ride up to the observation deck. In addition, visitors can peruse the souvenir shop, enjoy local meals at the café, and take in the cultural programs.
About The Author
I am Anastasia, the author of this blog and a passionate and experienced traveler who resides in the UAE.
I have visited every Emirate, every popular sight, and every hidden gem.
I m here to help you make your trip to the UAE unforgettable.