Move over Google Street View, there is a new player in town – Dubai360.com. A brand new website that launched at midnight last night , it gives anyone with Internet connection an opportunity to explore the city of Dubai in a way that most of us residents have been unable to with our naked eye.
Touted as “the world’s first online interactive city tour” the Dubai360 moves beyond existing ‘street view’ applications that are still photographs seamlessly stitched together to create a virtual interactive map of the city by offering enhanced content such as video and increasingly popular time-lapse photography. These added extras definitely help to give a better sense of the city as the bustling metropolis it is, instead of seeing it as a static collection of eight-lane roads and record-breaking skyscrapers.
In a city where luxury and exclusivity are highly coveted and lure affluent tourists and business people, often some of Dubai’s most iconic locations are only accessible to those you can afford to pay for the experience… until now. While even your above average citizen of the world will never get to stay at the luxurious Royal Suite at the Burj Al Arab, now everyone can take the virtual tour and peek out of the panoramic windows at the city and ocean below. Afraid of heights but have always wondered what the Crown Prince saw from the pinnacle of the Burj Khalifa when he celebrated the 2020 World Expo win? Do you want to get face-to-face with a shark at Dubai Aquarium? Ride the Dubai Metro without the crowds? Now it is all just a few clicks away.
This is an incredible undertaking for a single city, and is an impressive technological feat. To date the website is a composite of half a million individual photographs shot from rooftops and helicopters with custom built mounts and poles. Users can also share content directly through social media or use quirky tools that warp spaces like ‘Little Planet or fish eye’ view.
Ismaeil Al Hashmi, the Project Manager for Dubai 360 explains the synergy between the project and the city itself, “Dubai 360 is illustrative of what Dubai stands for. It started off as an idea and was brought to life through the passion of talented and committed individuals. The project showcases the very best of what Dubai has to offer and we will continue to use the platform to demonstrate the progress the city makes.”
Seeing is believing, so watch the video below to see some of the highlights and log onto dubai360.com to try it yourself.