One-Day Architecture Tour of Dubai

1. Jumeirah Mosque

Begin your architectural tour in Jumeirah by first visiting the Jumeirah Mosque. This beautiful example of modern Islamic architecture is open to non-Muslim visitors on Sunday and Thursday mornings (and sometimes more days) at 10am.

2. Burj Al Arab & Jumeirah Beach Hotel

Continue your tour by traveling a few kilometers on the Jumeirah Beach Road to the Burj Al Arab and Jumeirah Beach Hotel, two famous resorts located next to each other. From the shore, the sail-shaped Burj Al Arab (built on a small man-made island) towers over the wave-shaped Jumeirah Beach Hotel just in front, creating a marvelous architectural image over the sea.

3. Madinat Jumeirah

Within walking distance of the Burj Al Arab and Jumeirah Beach Hotel lies Madinat Jumeirah, the extravagant hotel and entertainment complex. Recently built, Madinat Jumeirah is an idyllic re-creation of traditional Gulf architecture, designed to resemble an ancient Arabian citadel. Walk along the meandering pathways of the Souk Madinat Jumeirah, take a boat along one of the picturesque waterways, and view Madinat Jumeirah's two grand palace hotels and courtyard summer houses.

4. Take a Break -- Noodle House -- For lunch, select one of the lovely restaurants or cafes in the Souk Madinat Jumeirah. My favorite is the fun and casual Noodle House.

5. Burj Khalifa

Now make your way via a 20-minute taxi ride back toward the city center on Sheikh Zayed Road. Just to the west of Interchange 1, the world's tallest building emerges from the sand. The Burj Khalifa stretches more than 800m (2,625 ft.), and is surrounded by a giant residential, business, and entertainment complex called Downtown Dubai, which includes the Dubai Mall.

6. Emirates Towers

Continuing a bit farther on Sheikh Zayed Road, you will come to the twin Emirates Towers. At the time of their construction in 2000, they were taller than any buildings in Europe and the Middle East. Visit the incredible atrium lobby of the Emirates Towers Hotel, and take a walk along the shopping Boulevard.

Just next to Emirates Towers on Sheikh Zayed Road stands the World Trade Centre, Dubai's first high-rise built in 1979. Take a look from here back along Sheikh Zayed Road, where skyscrapers today line both sides of the highway as far as the eye can see.

7. Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club

Next, cross the Dubai Creek at Garhoud Bridge to reach the Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club. The lush creekside complex features a waterfront golf course, marina, and boardwalk. The distinctive clubhouse is a Dubai landmark, designed to resemble sailing dhow boats.

8. Take a Break -- Boardwalk -- By now it's getting late in the day, and a beautiful spot for watching the sunset is the Boardwalk situated on the waterfront of the Dubai Creek Golf and Yacht Club. Come for a drink, a snack, or even a full meal.

9. Bastakiya -- Now that you're in Deira, finish your architecture tour with one more sight that you may not yet have visited: Bastakiya. This historical quarter represents Dubai in its pre-oil days, an idyllic Gulf neighborhood with traditional courtyard houses, wind towers, and mosques.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.