Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Blvd., Downtown
As a young city, Dubai is still building its cultural scene. Toward that goal, and the delight of many locals, the Dubai Opera house, which was under construction for a few years, opened at the end of 2016, a 5,800-square-foot marine-style, dhow-shaped building in the heart of downtown. The venue is the performance arts hub of the city, putting on a wide array of ballets, operas, plays, musicals, comedy shows, and concerts.
1, Mohammed Bin Rashid Blvd., Downtown
Sure, there's a lot of hype around going to the top of the world's tallest building—but when in Dubai...provided you aren't deathly afraid of heights, just do it. The view is knock-the-breath-out-of-you crazy. Built by Chicago-based Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP, excavation began in 2004, and the building, a series of rising, helix-shaped spires, officially debuted six years later, in 2010. It's 160 stories, or 2,716.5 feet (828 meters) tall. To put that into perspective: Shanghai Tower is 2,073 feet; One World Trade Center is 1,776 feet; and the Eiffel Tower is 984 feet. (Because it's Dubai, where more is frequently seen as more, an ever taller structure is in the works.) There are a few observation decks—stop at level 124, 125, 148—where you can look down at what appears to be an imaginative, sprawling paper city from that high up. At level 122, you can do high tea at At.Mosphere (it's about the view and the experience, not the food). Book in advance—even just to get up to the observation decks. While you're here: You can easily couple your tour of the Burj Khalifa with the adjacent Dubai…