High Standards at the Burj Khalifa
The tallest, most opulent and the shiniest. Nowhere in the world does luxury quite like Dubai. From huge malls boasting more designers than you can recall, opulent hotels resembling Arabian palaces, the lover of luxury will be in awe of this modern and populous city. But it’s not just the shopping that impressive in Dubai; it’s the modern and futuristic architecture which is unlike anything I’ve seen in my travels.
Wanting to have the biggest and best of everything, in 2010 the Burj Khalifa opened its doors to the world. Crowned the tallest building in the world back in 2008 before it was even opened, this futuristic skyscraper boasts 163 floors and its highest point measures in at 829.8m (2,711ft) above ground. Constructed purely of glass, steel, aluminium and reinforced concrete, this architectural marvel glistens in the sun making it presence seen for miles. On the Burj Khalifa’s 148th floor is an and observation deck which is open to the public and an experience you must do when in Dubai.
I have to admit I’m not overly fond of heights but have never really had an issue with tall buildings. I remember on the day of my visit; I was sitting in my hire car looking up at this huge building when I noticed my hands began to drip sweat. I remember thinking to myself “I’ve seen it, do I need to see the view from the top?’ The short answer is yes!
The Burj Khalifa offers two observation decks on Level 125 and 148 – 456 metres above the ground was fine by me, so I opted to only visit Level 125. The experience begins with at a 65-metre-long travellator which takes you through the history of Dubai to the present, before you begin your ascent to the top. You’re then escorted to a high-speed elevator which travels at 10 metres per second – I think this was the part I feared the most. The elevator itself is incredibly smooth and features coloured lights and video content to keep you entertained on the super short ride which takes less than 60 seconds. Is now a good time to mention it’s among the fastest lifts in the world? Another first for Dubai to add to its list.
On exiting the elevator, you’re greeted to a spacious deck which offers 360-degree views of the city and floor to ceiling windows. If you’re anything like me, it will take you a few minutes to build up the courage to get close to the windows but once you do the views are breathtaking. Level 125 also features an open air terrace which is an experience unlike any other and was my favourite place to stop for a selfie and be mesmerised by the views of the city, desert and ocean.
Level 125 is also home to one of the newest attractions, Dubai – A Falcons Eye view which allows you to experience the city from a unique perspective. These electronic telescopes are pointed in any direction and show you images of the chosen area of the city in an AR (augmented reality) view – very bizarre but incredibly cool at the same time. Once you’re done taking in the views and visiting the gift shop to purchase your memento (I bought a Christmas tree decoration), your experience is complete. I spent about 45 minutes taking in the views before hitting the Dubai Mall for a shop! You’re able to stay on the deck for 1.5 hours if you want to and could easily do this if you purchase access to 148. Would I recommend this experience for anyone travelling to Dubai? Absolutely. Like Dune Bashing, Camel Rides and basking in the opulence of your hotel, At the Top – the Burj Khalifa Observation Decks are a must in Dubai.
I skipped the queue and booked my tickets online using Viator Burj Khalifa ‘At the Top’ Entrance Ticket AUD from $51.02. Viator features traditional tours to once-in-a-lifetime experiences, with something for every kind of traveller in 450 destinations worldwide.