Burj Khalifa Dubai – View At The Top

Burj Khalifa DubaiIf 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.

World's Highest Observation Deck at Burj Khalifa Dubai

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.

The tall towers on Shaikh Zayed Road look small from this height.
The tall towers on Shaikh Zayed Road look small from this height.
Even the Burj al Arab was barely visible through the haze.
Even the Burj al Arab was barely visible through the haze.
The World development of reclaimed islands is just visible in the distance.
The World development of reclaimed islands is just visible on the horizon.
Birds eye view of 'Downtown Dubai'.
Birds eye view of ‘Downtown Dubai’.
There is an open air viewing deck on Level 148 but with roasting temperatures this week approaching 48 degrees centigrade it was no place to linger.
There's still plenty of space for development in Dubai.
There’s still plenty of space for future development in Dubai.

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.

Top 10 Dubai Attractions – No.7, Burj Khalifa & Dubai Mall

Burj Khalifa, Dubai

Few people could fail to be impressed by Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building. Naturally its height is enormous – at 828m, it dwarfs the second tallest building in the world, Taipei 101 (509m).

Its design is clean and elegant and it is very photogenic, provided you can manage to squeeze it all into your camera’s viewfinder.

I have a theory that when any city announces it is starting to build the world’s tallest building, that is usually a signal to get out of the property market because a crash is coming. It certainly was the case in Dubai. There is some logic behind this assertion. Such towers are so phenomenally expensive to build that the only way their construction costs can be financially justified is to assume that completed units can be sold for staggering amounts and that is a sign of an over-heated property market. When property prices in Dubai took a tumble, this project, and many others, started to look in peril.

Of course there was no way Dubai would allow this flagship venture to fail and fortunately for Dubai, its oil-rich big brother down the road, Abu Dhabi, has some of the world’s deepest pockets and was willing to give whatever support was necessary. In recognition of Abu Dhabi’s help, the tower was renamed Burj Khalifa (in honour of Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed, Abu Dhabi’s Ruler and President of the UAE) – originally it was to have been called Burj Dubai.

Window Cleaners at Burj Khalifa, Dubai

Window Cleaners at Burj Khalifa, Dubai

The Burj has 1,292,500 square feet of glass and employs a team of 36 intrepid window cleaners who brave high winds, blinding glare, dust storms and searing heat to keep the tower spanking clean. I hope they get well paid! It’s a long way down to retrieve their squeegees if they drop them.

Visitors can buy tickets to the observatory called At the Top on the 124th floor. The cost is Dh125 per adult and Dh95 for kids. It was all sold out on the day of my visit so best to book online in advance to avoid disappointment.  Immediate Entry tickets for Dh400 are possible subject to availability which avoid the queues.

Man-made 30 acre lake at Burj Khalifa, Dubai

Burj Khalifa forms the centrepiece of a much larger development which includes Dubai Mall, a few hotels, apartments and office blocks and an attractive 30 acre lake where the impressive Dubai Fountain display, the world’s largest dancing fountain, is staged nightly.

Dubai Mall

Dubai Mall has all the famous brands and up–market stores that you would expect. Some expansion work is in progress as the Mall tries to hang on to the coveted title of … you guessed it, the ‘world’s largest shopping mall’.

The Souk at Dubai Mall

The Mall has its own Gold Souq which  in summer, is far more comfortable than the traditional outdoor Gold Souq in Deira.

Level Shoe District at Dubai Mall

Interior of Dubai Mall

The Mall is also home to Dubai Aquarium which includes a walkthrough tunnel, underwater zoo and glass bottom boat ride. If you don’t fancy splashing out Dh110 on the tickets you can get a free sneak preview through the viewing panel in the Mall.

Viewing Panel, Dubai Aquarium, Dubai Mall

I suppose if I had to rank my Top 10 Dubai Attractions, Burj Khalifa and Dubai Mall would have to come top.

Next Post: Top Dubai Attraction No.8, Madinat Jumeirah