On my previous visit in Dubai I was just in time when the first gush of fog swept the city by a surprise. Residents woke up to a magical morning and surely took their phones and told the world about it.
I still remember when I was still living in the UAE, every time fog season came (I don’t know if there is such thing) my Facebook feeds will be filled with images of skyscrapers half-covers with fog.
So, I tried to plan out how I can get that magical shot. I saw some photos of Instagrammer friends who have habits of going up to roof tops of buildings around Sheikh Zayed Road, but most of them are doing it without any permission (though the results are really amazing — and the adrenaline rush would have been very rewarding). We tried sneaking around but got caught, so I told myself that the next time I will go fog chasing and roof topping, it should be with a proper consent (and with the cleanest intention–hehe).
So the search is on! I sent emails and also did some walk-ins to look for places where you can see Sheikh Zayed Road skyline LEGALLY!
Though I was searching these locations because of my eagerness to have at least one fog shot in my Instagram feed, these places have majestic views of Dubai Skyscrapers at any season and anytime of the day.
So here are the list of places I can recommend.
SHANGRI LA HOTEL DUBAI
Probably the best place to go fog viewing (and car watching?). The terrace at the 42nd floor of Shangri-La Hotel Dubai has one of the clearest view of Downtown Dubai. Yes, Burj Khalifa.
We were able to access the terrace at the 42nd floor by walking in at the reception and asked for a permission. They were very accommodating and only asked us to credit the photo and use #MeAndTheViewAt42 tag in all our photos (you can check this tag in IG and be amazed at the pool of photos from local and international Instagrammers).
Our fog crew (that day—watch out for the vlog soon). @iamdocgelo @edzphotography and @charleslibanjr
Level 42 has a pool bar where you can chill and sip cocktails with a view (access for Horizon Club guests only though). Also what I gathered from Shangri-La’s official website, you can book this place for a fancy dinner date. They call it as Just You and The View At Level 42.
TIP: I do recommend to reach out to ask permission a day before you plan to visit (either by email or walking in) to at least not be hassled if some how they can’t accommodate a same-day-walk-in visitor.
For more info check out: Shangri La Dubai Official Website
Dubai has a lot to offer when it comes to exciting food and everything nice but if you top it with a spectacular panoramic 360 degree views of Dubai's skyline while enjoying your favorite cocktails and wines, #fourpointsdubai open all its doors up to the 43 floor of their rooftop bar, the #Level43Dubai. This casual downtown open-air bar is a remarkable addition to Dubai's rooftop scene and party hub checklist. Who would not want to enjoy the busy and bustling Sheikh Zayed Road view while enjoying a bottle or two? Raise it up, @Level43Dubai! . Photo taken using X-T10 #fujifilmMe during the #level43skymeet
Unfortunately one of the rooftop bars that I regret not visiting during my month long stay in the sandpit. Although I wasn’t able to set foot in this bar with a view, I was pretty much aware of the Sky Lounge at #LEVEL43. I’ve been seeing photos from most of my friends even before my visit and even got an invitation to visit.
Located at Four Points by Sheraton, it was awarded as the BEST HOTEL BAR IN THE MIDDLE EAST for 2016.
A pool bar by day and a fancy (happening) bar lounge at night. So I guess, visiting his place, you’ll have to choose between a fog shot in the morning or just simply enjoy the night lights.
Being a pool bar and a lounge, access to LEVEL 43 is as easy as showing up at the lift and pressing 43rd floor. Make sure though that you are dressed to impress (dress code: smart casual).
For more info check out: Sky Lounge Level 43 Official Website
I discovered this place accidentally. Along with another blogger friend (@iamdocgelo), we really didn’t plan to check out Millennium Plaza Hotel, but if you look at Sheikh Zayed Road, you can easily see it towering over the busy hi-way. At the same time, it is located just in front of the Emirates Tower Metro Station. So, we thought, there is nothing to lose by asking (we were there anyway at that time).
We first asked if we can access their rooftop, and easily we got a decline (they said for security purpose), but the amazing thing was, they directed us to the CLUB LOUNGE. A cafe and lounge located at the 61st floor of the hotel. It can be accessed by anyone and they are open from 6:30am.
No dress code and you don’t need to be a hotel guest to enjoy a cup of coffee with a view. Only thing to note, it is not a terrace, so you’ll be peeking through a glass window.
For more info check out: Millennium Plaza Hotel Official Website
At The Top
Probably a no brainer entry in the list. Anyone who visit Dubai should at least climb the Burj Khalifa even once. I have been here twice already and I am still enjoying the 360 view.
Though I haven’t been here on a fog-day-out, I can bet my money that this probably is one of the best location to watch the whole Sheikh Zayed Road to be engulfed by fog.
My friend Debbie (@debbiefortes) even got recognized internationally for her snaps from the tower’s level 148 viewing deck.
If you know someone living in the tower, you are one of the few people who can get this view for free (oh lucky you), but don’t fret, you can still get a glimpse of the 360 view by booking an access to ‘At The Top’s’ viewing decks. You can either go sunrise watching (only for Fridays and Saturdays), sunset, evening or to be honest, any time of the day. Note: Prices vary depending on the time of visit.
For more info check out: At The Top Official Website
Do you have any other places to recommend? Or have you been to any of these places? Shout out in the comments below!