The holy month of Ramadan is one of the most culturally-rich times to experience Dubai. Traditional entertainment, iftar tents and a shared sense of spirituality fill the city with palpable energy. This glow adds to the city’s charm, which means there’s no time like now to explore the city, and of course photograph it as you go.
1. Dubai Opera
Dubai Opera is beautiful, inside and out. With a design inspired by a traditional dhow, its iconic structure pays homage to the emirate’s fishing heritage with a nod to its flourishing future. Nothing beats its nighttime view when the building illuminates with lights, framed by Downtown Dubai’s breathtaking backdrop of towering skyscrapers, and captures the soul of new Dubai. If you want a snapshot of the inside, we recommend signing up for their daily tours or booking its Ramadan-exclusive Iftar, which features live classical performances.
2. A brightly lit desert
Sprawling acres of satin dunes as far as the eye can see – Dubai’s deserts are nature’s very own film set. You don’t have to wander far to find great spots that put you at the heart of the scene. Pose before a starlit sky at Al Marmoom Desert Conservation Reserve, where you may also catch a glimpse of remarkable wildlife like oryx and gazelles. Nearby, Bab Al Shams Desert Resort and Spa adds a dash of glamour to the landscape. With Ramadan rolling in, the resort has organised a lively Iftar that pairs the best of Emirati culture with its glittering, desert-rich venue.
3. Atlantis, The Palm
Atlantis, The Palm, the lost city-style palace set before the Arabian Gulf, makes for an unmissable attraction in Dubai whether you’re a visitor or resident. Its interiors submerge you in an underwater fairytale with dazzling photo-ops to scout out. For a Ramadan touch, its annual Asateer Tent blends enchanting vibes with glowing Arabian-style celebrations, from live cultural entertainment to a delectable buffet of Arabic cuisine. Oriental decorations, glittering lights and the sea in the distance, this spot will elevate your Insta-game.
4. Queen Elizabeth 2
Recreate scenes from the Titanic aboard the Queen Elizabeth 2, Dubai’s first and only floating hotel. The storied cruise liner, lauded as a feat of design and engineering in the 60s, is docked at Port Rashid for all to admire. Make your way onto the ship’s history-laden decks that retain the spirit of a bygone era, complemented by the city’s breathtaking skyline in the distance. Venture into the original Queen’s Room, transformed into Majlis al Malika throughout Ramadan, or you can journey through its legendary halls and cabins during the informative QE2 Heritage Trail.
5. Dubai’s vibrant parks
The days might have a calmer pace, but Dubai’s parks make for a fabulous spot to visit post-Iftar. While the weather is still breezy, head over to the tree-lined paths of Al Ittihad Park, or Zabeel Park to capture the beauty of these urban green zones. You can even join the Desert Road Runners Iftar Challenge at Mushrif Park if you’re feeling sporty. A welcome respite, the city’s immaculately groomed parks make for fabulous photo backdrops. Why edit in natural lighting and vibrancy when nature offers the very best filters for you?
6. Alserkal Avenue
Warehouses transformed into a thriving art hub? Alserkal Avenue’s super hip vibe fits into your trendy Instagram aesthetic perfectly. This eccentric arts district is home to gallery upon gallery of works by diverse artists, as well as delicious eateries. Whether you’re walking down the urban-chic pathways, or dipping into the air-conditioned warehouses, you’ll find plenty of scenes that give your shots an artsy edge. And if you’re an ambitious food blogger, we recommend booking a spot at INKED’s latest Ramadan-inspired dining experience.
7. Jaddaf Waterfront Sculpture Park
Just five months old, Jaddaf Waterfront Sculpture Park is a brand new addition to Dubai’s list of picture-perfect spots. This outdoor art and sculpture park – a first of its kind – sits alongside the Dubai Creek, creating a breathtaking contrast between concrete geometric surfaces and rippling water. The park is scattered with prime photoshoot real estate, home to a series of artworks that elevate the scenery. It is adjacent to Jameel Arts Centre, where you can enjoy engaging exhibitions, board game nights and panel discussions.
8. Dubai Butterfly Garden
Add a hint of whimsy to your feed at Dubai Butterfly Garden, home to over 15,000 butterflies. These playful creatures may even sit on the tip of your finger if you’re patient enough. The largest indoor butterfly garden in the region, this hotspot is located in Dubai Miracle Garden, which has its own treasure trail of picture-perfect moments. It’s a favourite amongst tourists and photography enthusiasts, filled with larger-than-life flower-clad sculptures that make for unbeatable photo-ops.
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