Home to the world’s tallest building—not to mention its four tallest hotels—Dubai is a city adept at height. Here are five ways to get off the ground.
Dubai has attracted Hollywood’s top sci-fi filmmakers of late (most recently, J.J. Abrams shot scenes from Star Trek Beyond here) and as soon as you step out onto this 43rd-floor rooftop bar you’ll see why—the 180-degree panorama of skyscraper-lined Sheikh Zayed Road (pictured above) is staggering. In tune with its futuristic surrounds, Level 43 glows an ambient blue; order the teapot sake cocktail and settle in for snacks to prolong the view (971-56/414-2213).
With the arrival of the airborne arm of the ride-hailing app, customers in Dubai can look forward to hitching a helicopter ride almost instantly via their smartphones. But don’t expect door-to-door service just yet. For now, UberChopper only offers 20-minute scenic tours, departing from Atlantis The Palm, for a mere US$176 per person. Suit up like Bond, but leave the stunts to the pilot (Uber is available to download on iOS and Android).
Perched seven stories above the Dubai Marina at Pier 7, this chic French lounge and dining spot is not nearly as dizzyingly elevated as the Burj Khalifa’s 124-floor At.mosphere, the world’s highest restaurant. But what it lacks in such superlatives it makes up for in style, flavor, and views of the sparkling waterfront (971-4/450-7766).
There’s skydiving, and then there’s skydiving in Dubai. With a scenic coastal jump over the Palm Jumeirah islands, Skydive Dubai offers one of the most spectacular free-falls on the planet. Those who book the VIP tandem service get a private plane to topple out of, a VIP room, and arrival to the Palm drop zone via boat, helicopter, or limo for an additional fee. Breathtaking doesn’t even begin to describe this bucket-list experience (971-4/377-8888).
This ornate spa hovers on the 18th floor of the Burj Al Arab, Dubai’s most exclusive hotel. Treatment rooms boast floor-to-ceiling windows, so between massage strokes (rubdowns range from Balinese to Thai to Ayurvedic) you’ll want to sneak a peek at the magical Gulf view. Inside the men’s sauna and steam facilities, fog-proof glass ensures uninterrupted panoramas all the way to the World Islands and downtown Dubai (971-4/301- 7365).
This article originally appeared in the October/November print issue of DestinAsian magazine (“Dubai on High”).