Dubai By Night

Posted by on December 23, 2013

Dubai By Night

For all that I have occasional qualms about Dubai, I have to admit that a lot of my misgivings seem to fade away once the sun goes down. What sometimes seems hasty and ahistorical by day takes on a new sheen by night in a sort of ‘Bright Lights, Big City’ move.

Dubai Burj Khalifa at night

Burj Khalifa: Traffic View.

My absolute favorite place to watch this change come on is actually the Deira Twin Towers (i.e. the identical Rolex buildings) on the Creek, and more specifically from the outdoor deck on the food court there that looks right out onto the Creek and dhow wharfage.

Old Town Dubai by Night

Old Town Dubai.

This covers the Old Town, of course, but misses some of the novel new architecture popping up in places like Business Bay and Jumeirah. I ended up, on one of those many tours I was photographing over the past year, heading out on a Dubai by Night Panorama Bus ride.

dubai night bus

Cruising down Sheikh Zayed road.

On the positive side, I gets to some of the more out the way ‘sites’ in Dubai that aren’t necessarily worth a stop in themselves (Atlantis and several of the Malls, I’m looking at you). On the negative side, it stops for like 20 or 30 minutes at the Wafi Mall for a truly ridiculous Egyptian-themed light show (and the mall is shaped like a Pyramid… so I suppose the show does make sense in context).

dubai wild wafi show

Light show at the Wafi Mall.

Dubai is still beautiful by night, but I tend to value freedom of wandering and exploration much more highly than ticking off all of the well-renown buildings in the new parts of Dubai. If that’s your thing, though, or you just want a quick and dirty into the Dubai this might be a decent way to spend your first evening in town.


dubai night atlantis

Driving past Atlantis on the Palm Jumeirah.

I rode along on the Dubai Night Panorama Bus while freelancing as a photographer for GetYourGuide. As mentioned it wasn’t one of my favorite evenings in town, but the rest of the bus seemed generally to enjoy it. This is also cheaper than the daytime Dubai Hop On/Off Bus, if you just want to have a look around and don’t mind that the Night Bus doesn’t stop for disembarkation. 

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