If you are ever in Dubai with money to spare you can take an elevator ride to the observation decks near the top of Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building.
The VIP tickets (stands for Very ‘igh Price) cost a jaw-dropping AED500 but give fast track access to the observation deck on Level 148 where there is a very elegant lounge staffed by Guest Ambassadors serving fresh juices and canapés.
The high speed lift whisks visitors to Level 124, ears popping along the way. An audio visual show is displayed on the walls of the darkened lift during the brief journey.
At Level 124 (called At The Top) guests transfer to another lift up to 148 (At The Top Sky).
The lift buttons go all the way up to Level 154 but these upper levels are private offices or residences. (There is a penthouse on the market at the moment for AED102 million if you are interested.) There is also an Armani Hotel in Burj Khalifa.
At a height of 555m above the ground you would expect to see spectacular and far reaching views. Unfortunately Dubai does suffer from hazy, dusty or sand storm conditions for much of the year and this week was no exception.
The most impressive views were straight down and the buildings below looked like a town planner’s model.
Here are a few pictures of the view.
Visitors who don’t wish to fork out AED 500 for the experience can obtain standard tickets for AED125-200 (depending on the time of day) giving access to Level 124 only, where the view is nearly as good. By booking online for a fixed time and date you can minimise queuing too.
Madinat Jumeirah Resort describes itself as ‘an authentic recreation of ancient Arabia, capturing the natural beauty of the region’. I’m not sure about the ‘authentic’ part – it’s more like an Arabian themed Disneyland – but the owners, Jumeirah Group, have certainly created an outstanding resort which deserves to be included among Dubai’s top attractions.
The resort comprises two first class hotels, a traditional souq, some 40 restaurants and bars, a mini-waterway complete with abras, a private beach and a number of beachside luxury holiday villas all designed in stunning Arabian style architecture incorporating Dubai’s trademark wind-towers.
The famous Burj Al Arab hotel overlooks the resort which is also next door to the excellent Wild Wadi Waterpark. If I had money to burn I would probably have chosen to stay in one of their exquisite private villas. Since I don’t, I had to make do with a meal at one of the nice restaurants and watched the world go by.
Perhaps the Jumeirah Group would like to invite me and my family back for a complimentary stay in exchange for this extremely flattering write-up!
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