There’s something about snapping a photo from thousands of feet in the air that draws a belly-aching nostalgia, whether you’re familiar with the subject or not. Maybe it’s the physical disconnection—or the dollhouse scale any metropolitan hub adopts when viewed from the seat of an airplane. Tiny, model-sized buildings and parks are just so much more digestible than exploring on foot. Dubai is no exception. The 1,500-square-mile area houses more than 2 million people, complete with enough luxury shopping stops to knock any wallet into a knee-buckling remission. But once you set yourself up hundreds of feet from the ground, the noise dissipates.
The sad realization is that not all of us have seen the United Arab Emirates’ most populous city from above—whether it’s the view from an airplane or from a seat at one of the city’s tallest buildings. While we can’t possibly share all of Dubai’s best angles in one set of photos, this can serve as motivation to get up there and take it in for yourself. Hey, just add it to the bucket list.You won’t regret it.