The Middle East is home to some of the world's most impressive architecture and incredible views. If you're planning to travel to the Middle East, be sure to have a camera at the ready to capture beautiful sunsets and the most memorable moments from your trip. Let's take a look at some of the most iconic and Instagrammable places to visit in the Middle East.
Burj Khalifa - Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Towering 830 meters high, Burj Khalifa is the world's tallest building and it makes a breathtaking mark on the Arabian Gulf. It contains residential units and the world's largest shopping mall, Dubai Mall. It's also home to one of the world's highest bars, Atmosphere Bar and Lounge, which sits on the 122nd floor. It's a true feat of modern architecture and engineering with its shimmering glass cladding and spiraling geometries that were inspired by local desert flowers. If you’re looking for exciting things to do in Dubai, visiting the world’s tallest building should be on your list.
If you want an impressive photo of the Burj Khalifa, you'll need to be some distance from it to squeeze all 163 storeys in the shot. There are lots of spots to choose from, but the Wings of Mexico Statue, the Dandelion Lights Sculpture, and the Dubai Steel Heart all make for highly Instagrammable shots with Burj Khalifa in the background. If you want a closeup shot, be sure to take a camera with a wide-angle lens to capture the full scale of this impressive building.
Museum of Islamic Art - Doha, Qatar
Whether you’re a solo traveler or traveling as a family, there are many beautiful Middle Eastern holiday destinations to visit on your next trip. Qatar is just one of the best destinations in the Middle East that blends together modern luxury, interesting history, beautiful beaches, and plenty more. One of the most stunning places to photograph for your feed is the Museum of Islamic Art situated in Doha.
Home to one of the world's largest collections of Islamic art collections, it makes sense that this museum in Qatar would be crafted as a work of art in its own right. It was designed by renowned architect I.M. Pei, who was 91 at the time and came out of retirement to travel the Middle East for inspiration. He came up with a simple yet highly effective and futuristic design that resembles a stack of cubes.
The best Instagram shot is in front of the main entrance when it's quiet and there are few other people around. For this reason, an early morning visit is recommended. The main lobby of the museum, with its grand circular staircase and moody lighting, also serves as a brilliant backdrop for beautiful photos. Aim for symmetry in your shots to reflect the precise geometry of the architecture.
Abraj Al Bait Towers - Mecca, Saudi Arabia
This impressive clock tower is 600 meters high and boasts 120 storeys, and it's one of Saudi Arabia's most iconic buildings. It was built on top of the historic Ayjad Fortress which caused some outcry in 2004 when construction started, but it is now deemed Mecca's key landmark since it stands just 50 meters away from Kaaba, the holiest site in Islam and where millions of Muslims travel each year in religious pilgrimage.
The building has a viewing tower just beneath one of the enormous clock faces, and this is a brilliant spot for Instagram photos. You can get shots of the clock face itself or incredible views across Mecca, Kaaba and the Great Mosque of Mecca. For shots of the Tower itself, be sure to take photos at night when the tower is lit up and the clock faces are illuminated. Keep in mind, however, that as the holiest city in Islam, Mecca can only be visited by Muslim tourists.
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque - Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
As the most-visited mosque in the entirety of the United Arab Emirates, and one of the world's largest mosques, the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is an essential visit for photographers. It was designed by Emirati, Italian and British architects and is designed to represent the interaction of Islam with the entire world. With marble mosaic floors, marble domes, and gold-plated chandeliers adorned with Swarovski crystals, it fuses the Muslim cultures of Morocco, Turkey, Egypt and Pakistan.
The UAE has plenty of beautiful and popular holiday destinations, particularly for taking photographs to document your journey. Visiting the Sheikh Zayed Mosque is a great opportunity as it looks very different during the day and at night, so you could capture the best of both worlds by visiting an hour before sunset. You'll get some spectacular shots from the central courtyard as dusk closes in. The incredible white and gold building becomes highlighted against the blue-orange sunset sky. There are also lots of photo opportunities inside since the mosque is filled with intricate carvings and marble designs.