What Makes Sheikh Zayed Road So Iconic in Dubai?


Dubai is known for all things magnificent, but one important place connects all the incredible sights and is considered the city’s beating heart. It is the Sheikh Zayed Road (SZR), the most iconic highway in Dubai. This busy highway runs along the heart of the city and links all seven emirates. It offers infinite connectivity spanning approximately 560 kilometers, starting in Ruwais and ending in Ras Al Khaimah. Though it is difficult to think about a highway as one of the top attractions in Dubai, SZR has become an essential part of the city with an assortment of unique things to enjoy. Keep reading to find out more about this road, which is home to all the stunning high-rises; just keep reading.

The Importance of the Sheikh Zayed Road Dubai

Sheikh Zayed Road is named after the honorable former President of the United Arab Emirates, His Highness Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan. The construction of the highway commenced in 1971 and was completed in 1980.It pays tribute to Dubai’s unbelievable transformation from a humble trading port and fishing town to the extraordinary global metropolis it is today. Apart from connecting some of the city’s most remarkable landmarks, it is also a brilliant example of its prosperity and growth. Its USP lies in its strategic location, flanked by majestic hotels, world-class shopping malls, several multinational companies, and sprawling apartment complexes.

Things to know before you go.

  • The Sheikh Zayed Road brings in a complete view of the amazing architecture, vistas, and connoisseurs that have redefined the landmarks of Dubai.
  • The spectacular illuminations during early dawn or late night bring in amazing vistas to soak up the dazzling ambiance of Dubai.
  • These vistas definitely deserve to be captured in your memory lane. Hence, we recommend bringing your smartphone or camera to capture these precious moments.
  • Take a lazy stroll alongside the highway to get a better angular view of these iconic landmarks such as the Museum of the Future, Dubai Mall, Dubai Fountains, Burj Khalifa, Box Park, City Walk, several nightlife hotspots, and much more.

Getting to the Sheikh Zayed Road

The key areas of Dubai, such as the Dubai Marina and the Dubai Creek, are well connected to the Sheikh Zayed Road through the red line of the Dubai Metro. The Metro is also a fascinating way to browse various iconic landmarks defining the Dubai skyline. Also, being one of the primary highways in Dubai, you can easily reach this street via bus, cab or drive down to experience the tallest skyscrapers in Dubai.

The best time to visit the Sheikh Zayed Road

Experience the magical ambiance of this iconic street during early dawn or late night, when the gorgeous illuminations take over the Sheikh Zayed Road. Avoid the street during the morning hours between 6.30am and 9 am, and subsequently, in the evening between 5pm and 8pm, all through the week, except Fridays.


There is no better way to experience the pulse of Dubai than by visiting the Sheikh Zayed Road, which features the top-defining Dubai landmarks and entertainment and cultural hubs. Sheikh Zayed Road is well-connected with the metro and buses to provide easy access to residents and tourists.

Here are some of the most noteworthy landmarks and attractions on Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai.

No matter you are interested in cultural experiences, entertainment, dining, or shopping, these Dubai tourist places are sure to please you.

Dubai Frame

One of the newer additions to the city, the colossal Dubai Frame stands between old and new Dubai as an ode to capture the ancient days and the modern attractions in one frame. It offers a fantastic birds-eye view of the city and also has a museum where you can learn about its evolution.


Museum of the Future

Museum of the Future, Dubai

If you drive along the SZR highway, a circular steel structure with intricate carvings will catch your attention. This is the jaw-dropping Museum of the Future, a recent attraction that is nothing short of an architectural marvel. It offers an immersive experience across five levels based on climate change, the future of space travel and living, wellness, spirituality, and imagination.

Dubai Marina

Dubai Marina

The Dubai Marina is an affluent neighborhood known for its restaurants, hotels, spas, residential complexes, and villas. The Dubai Marina Walk, dhow cruise dinner cruise, Dubai Marina Mall, and the Beach at JBR are some of the most prominent highlights here.

Mall of the Emirates

The Mall of the Emirates is one of the older malls in the city, and roaming here is one of the most entertaining activities on Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai. It offers diverse entertainment options like Magic Planet, VOX, and Ski Dubai, among others. You can shop to your heart’s content, indulge in mouth-watering food, watch a movie, enjoy snow activities, and play with penguins at Ski Dubai.

Abu Dhabi

The UAE’s capital city is situated around one and a half hours from Dubai and you can see some of the most famous buildings right on the SZR highway that connects these two major cities. Abu Dhabi ticks all the boxes, whether you are a nature lover, adrenaline junkie, or culture seeker. From the spectacular Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque and the tranquil Saadiyah Island to the thrilling Ferrari World, Yas Marina Circuit, and Warner Bros. World, this city caters to every traveler.

Downtown Dubai

While not exactly on Sheikh Zayed Road, the glamorous Downtown Dubai area is located just off the SZR and has some of the most incredible things to do in Dubai.

The Burj Khalifa

Piercing the skies at a height of more than 828 meters is the crowning glory of the city, the Burj Khalifa. The world’s tallest structure is made using state-of-the-art technology, and you can see visuals of its entire construction journey. The fastest elevator takes you to the 124th floor in 60 seconds, and as soon as you step out of it, you are surrounded by 360-degrees, magnificent views of the city. Nothing can compare to the exhilarating experience of standing on the world’s highest observation deck and feasting your eyes on the enchanting beauty of the city. One of the most intriguing Burj Khalifa facts is that it incorporates high-performance glass façade, wind-resistant features, and reinforced concrete structure to withstand challenges.

Dubai Mall and Fountain

Dubai Mall is an enormous mall with more than 1200 stores, several restaurants and cafes, a huge food court, many multiplexes, and an array of entertainment options that spoil you for choice. Apart from the aquarium, it also consists of a large ice rink, Hysteria, Play DXB, Infinity des Lumiere’s, and Ekart Zabeel. The mall also offers access to Burj Khalifa at the Top. Right at the entrance of the mall is the splendid Dubai Fountain, which puts on a gorgeous spectacle of lights, water, and music every 30 minutes after 6 pm.

Dubai Aquarium

The Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo deserves a special mention, as it is an ideal place to see the captivating underwater world and all its special inhabitants. It has the largest collection of sand tiger sharks, along with other animals such as otters, stingrays, penguins, piranhas, jellyfish, and a five-meter-long King Croc weighing 750 kilograms.

Dubai Opera

The Dubai Opera building is shaped like a dhow and pays homage to this humble means of transport, which was extremely vital to the region’s trade and growth in its pre-oil phase. It can seat up to 2,000 guests, and you can watch plays, concerts, theaters, ballets, musicals, attend conferences, exhibitions, and more. It is situated next to the Dubai Mall across the Dubai Fountain and is an excellent place to enjoy art and culture.

With many phenomenal attractions, the Sheikh Zayed Road is vibrant all day long. But as the sun dips into the horizon, this outstanding highway comes alive with trendy nightclubs, bustling restaurants, and other social hotspots where people gather and enjoy an evening relaxing with their friends and families. The twinkling lights resemble a glittering carpet, and you will be spellbound by the grandeur and luxury of this place. So, set off on a magical journey on this road and stumble upon some of the most fabulous sights you will ever encounter.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the length of the Sheikh Zayed Road?

The Sheikh Zayed Road stretches 55 kilometers along 14-lane roads, connecting the northern outskirts to the southern outskirts of Dubai.

When was Sheikh Zayed Road built?

Sheikh Zayed Road construction started in 1971 and was completed in 1980. It was named after the former UAE president and ruler of Abu Dhabi, his highness Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan.

Is Sheikh Zayed Road a highway?

You can consider Sheikh Zayed Road one of the primary highways connecting all major spots in Dubai. Dubai City features extensive and world-class transportation interconnecting various corners of the city. It is also well-designed to ensure a smooth traffic flow.

Is Sheikh Zayed Road well connected to public transportation modes?

Yes. Sheikh Zayed Road is accessible via Metro and buses that connect various parts of the city. The Metro and buses are economical and a fun way to browse through the iconic landmarks of Dubai.

Which are the important landmarks on the Sheikh Zayed Road?

The Sheikh Zayed Road covers several commercial hubs for entertainment and experiences, such as the Burj Khalifa, Dubai Mall, Dubai Fountain, Box Park, City Walk, Museum of the Future, iconic hotels, hospitality centers, and vivacious nightlife hotspots.

Which are the nearest landmarks to Sheikh Zayed Road?

The most popular landmarks near Sheikh Zayed Road are:
  • Jumeirah Lake Towers (JLT)
  • Jumeirah Beach Residence
  • Jumeirah Emirates Towers Hotel
  • Sofitel Spa Dubai Downtown
  • Dubai World Trade Centre
  • Ain Dubai
  • Burj Al Arab
  • Ibn Battuta Mall
  • Dubai Marina Mall

Why is it recommended not to visit Sheikh Zayed Road during the peak rush hours?

As Sheikh Zayed Road is one of the Dubai's primary highways, interconnecting various spots in the city, it experiences heavy traffic jams during rush hours during the early mornings and late evenings. Plan your travel to the Sheikh Zayed Road accordingly, as you do not want your Dubai experience to be ruined by peak traffic.

What makes Sheikh Zayed Road so special?

Sheikh Zayed Road is a leasehold community where each private developer or builder has built staggering skyscrapers and architectural marvels with a unique design and concept.

What else can I uncover during my Dubai trip to experience its fascinating culture and dazzling ambiance?

You can look at the following experiences to explore Dubai:
  • Desert Safari
  • Art and culture
  • Nature-driven landmarks
  • Historical landmarks
  •  Ramadan



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