With the opening of the Ain Dubai ferris wheel, the most glamorous of Emirates managed to set yet another all-time record: that of the tallest observation wheel in the world. And of course the newest of Dubai attractions is not just another ferris wheel because some capsules even double as a dinner, party or concert venue. This is yet another eye-catcher to add to your Dubai itinerary.
The Ain Dubai now joins an impressive list of iconic Dubai landmarks that spark the imagination. Other renowned record-holders are the Burj Al Arab as the most luxurious hotel in the world, the Palm Fountain as the largest fountain in the world, the Dubai Fountain as the tallest fountain in the world, the Burj Khalifa as the highest building in the world, the Dubai Mall as the largest mall in the world, the Gevora Hotel as the highest hotel in the world and the Address Beach Resort with its highness infinity pool in the world (and an exceptional place to stay in Dubai). The United Arab Emirates, and Dubai in particular, never seize to amaze.
Time to learn more about the Ain Dubai ferris wheel and to discover what makes it so sensational.
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IMPORTANT UPDATE: Ain Dubai is currently closed. So far, a reopening date has not been set.
Facts and figures about the Ain Dubai ferris wheel
From the ground to the top of the upper cabin, the Ain Dubai or Dubai Eye measures a whopping 250 m (820 ft). In comparison, the High Roller in Las Vegas is only 167 m (550 ft) tall, the Singapore flyer only 165 m (541 ft), the famous London eye only 135 m (440 ft) and the long-awaited New York wheel will only be 128 m (420 ft) tall.
The construction consists of over 11,200 tonnes of steel. In comparison, only 7,300 tonnes was used to build the Eiffel Tower.
Ain Dubai opened on 21st October 2021, only 3 weeks after the start of Expo 2020 (which, as you know, was postponed and takes places from 1st October 2021 until 31st March 2022).
The Dubai ferris wheel has 48 cabins with a theoretical capacity of 40 persons each. Do note that in times of COVID-19, the Dubai wheel operates at reduced capacity. Also, some of the cabins are equipped with a bar and others are set up for dining, limiting the capacity to 12 persons. All cabins are equipped with floor-to-ceiling windows, airconditioning and free wifi.
One full rotation takes 38 minutes which is plenty of time to take in the sensational views. What’s cool is that the Dubai ferris wheel is in constant motion and doesn’t even need to halt when people are exiting or entering.
Where is Ain Dubai
The Dubai ferris wheel is located on Bluewaters island, the artificial island that’s connected to Jumeirah Beach Resort (JBR) by means of a pedestrian bridge named The Wharf Link. Bluewaters island offers a sophisticated mix of residences, entertainment options, boutiques and restaurants as well as two luxurious hotels: Caesars Palace Dubai and Caesars Resort.
Here’s how to get to Ain Dubai:
- There’s a direct link from Sheikh Zayed Road to Bluewaters island (exit 31), which allows for easy access by car or taxi.
- By metro, take DMCC station on the Red Line. From there, either take a cab or walk to Bluewaters Island along The Beach at JBR and across the 265 m (870 ft) long pedestrian bridge. It takes about 25 minutes to reach the Dubai wheel from JBR at a leisurely pace.
- Take a water taxi to the set-to-be-opened Bluewaters Wharf Station. Check the RTA site for more info.
- Soon, you’ll also be able to hop on a driverless vehicle from the Group Rapid Transit (GRT)
Tickets to the Dubai ferris wheel
Can’t wait to experience the world’s largest ferris wheel yourself? Booking your tickets in advance is highly recommended in order to avoid disappointment. There might be a ticketing desk at the base of Ain Dubai but your chances to secure a last-minute ticket are slim. The Dubai wheel is operational from 10 am to 10 pm and closed on Mondays. (At least it is in the first months of 2022, timings may vary by season.) It is advised to arrive 30 to 60 minutes prior to your experience.
Here’s an overview of the ticket options, all of which are available online:
- Ain Dubai Views is the standard ticket and offers access to a shared observation cabin during daytime or evening. Time slots are available every hour on the hour. Note that there will be a supplement to board at sunset. Tickets prices start from AED 130 (AED 180 for the golden hour experience and AED 250 for the sunset experience) for adults and kids aged 12 and up and AED 100 (150 for the golden hour and sunset experience) for kids between 3 and 12 years of age. Toddlers under 3 years of age will receive a complimentary ticket on arrival.
Book your tickets on GetYourGuide – Book your tickets on Viator – Book your tickets on TripAdvisor
- A Family Pass is only available on off-peak times, this ticket type offers access to a shared observation cabin for 2 adults and 2 kids between the ages of 3 and 12. Ticket prices start from AED 370 (which is more interesting compared to the standard rate of AED 460). The add on rate for an adult or teen is AED 130 and for a child AED 100.
- Optional extras are lounge access (including one drink per person) before or after the ride and digital images. You can book these upon arrival too but it may cost you just a bit extra.
- Ain Dubai access is also included with the GoCity Dubai All-inclusive city pass and one of the options on the GoCity Dubai Explorer city pass.
In addition to the standard tickets, Ain Dubai offers a range of unique, customizable experiences. Birthday parties for kids, teens and adults are available from AED 4 020. Dining options and private events (from karaoke to gender reveal and beyond) are available from AED 5 360. This comes with access to a private cabin for 8 to 10 guests as well as the catering of your choice.
Those looking to add a touch of glam to their Dubai ferris wheel experience, could opt for one of the social experiences. There are several packages available, some in a standard observation cabin and others in a more luxurious premium cabin, that include lounge access and/or beverages. There’s even a Skybar cabin that comes with bartending service and music for an unforgettable night out.
Our Ain Dubai golden hour and sunset experience
We visited the Dubai ferris wheel 10 days after the official opening and had booked our tickets just a few weeks ahead. We really wanted to experience the sunset from up high but unfortunately, those tickets were no longer available. The next best thing was golden hour and, much to our delight, we were still able to book those time slots for the four of us.
The taxi dropped us of at The Beach at JBR and we enjoyed our walk to Bluewaters Island while taking in the views of and from the pedestrian bridge.
It was 15 minutes before our 7 pm time slot when we arrived at the base of Ain Dubai. When we approached the entrance, there wasn’t a line in sight. Our tickets were scanned but the time on the ticket wasn’t really checked. We could just walk through the security checkpoints and take the escalator to the waiting lounge. From there, we had a direct view of the boarding platform. After having our picture taken by a photographer, we were invited to head out to the boarding platform. This was only 7 minutes after we arrived at Ain Dubai and 8 minutes before our actual time slot.
The timing on our tickets was not checked so it didn’t seem to be that strict (but that might just have been due to the fact that this attraction had only just openend). We were boarded together with about 10 or 12 other guests. The cabin was spacious, with plenty of room to roam, and equipped with benches. Not that we actually sat down during the ride, the panoramas were just too inviting. Ain Dubai operates in a really smooth way and you can’t feel a thing of the wheel’s actual movement.
The 360-degree views from up high are spectacular. You can see the striking architecture of the Address Beach Resort with its sensational rooftop infinity pool, the JBR coastline, the Dubai Marina and even the Burj Al Arab. Palm Jumeirah, with its iconic Atlantis The Palm resort, the fun-filled Aquaventure Dubai water park and impressive Palm Tower, is right there at your feet. The views over the Arabian Gulf are endless. If you’re in luck and the sky is not too unclear like it often tends to be, you can even see the skyline of Downtown Dubai with the Burj Khalifa as a proud eye-catcher.
We loved the golden hour setting with the sun casting its warm light over the Dubai skyline. It was such a memorable experience. Timing-wise, 38 minutes is just right.
After exiting our cabin, we took the escalator down and arrived in the boutique where an assortment of mugs, water bottles, t-shirts, baseball caps, keychains and other souvenirs from Dubai are on display.
We opted not to visit the Seaview Lounge on the first floor or the modern bistro cafe on the ground floor. Instead, we explored Bluewaters Island at dusk and ended up having dinner at one of the restaurants at The Beach at JBR.
When will you take a ride on the largest observation wheel in the world?
That’s it for our guide on the Ain Dubai ferris wheel. Now we can’t wait to find out what you think about this newest Dubai landmark. Have you had the chance to experience the tallest ferris wheel in the world yet or will you add it to your Dubai itinerary? Let us know in the comments!