Tallest Building in the World, Burj Khalifa, Dubai, UAE
On a recent visa run to Dubai from Oman, the one thing I craved was a visit to the Burj Khalifa, I mean, it is the tallest building in the world after all. And that’s bucket list material.
The sad bit is, tickets to the Burj Khalifa are not cheap – starting at 100 AED ($27.25 USD) for a dated and timed ticket booked online in advance, up to a whopping 400 AED ($109 USD) to just show up, make faces at the poor slobs in line, and head on up there. That’s a lot for what basically amounts to an elevator ride. Luckily the folks at GetYourGuide came through with a couple of complimentary tickets for me and my better half.
Deceptively named At The Top, the observation deck is actually on the 124th floor (the highest floor is the 163rd), but I guess At The 3/4 Mark doesn’t quite roll off the tongue as nicely, so At The Top it is.
The Tallest Building in the World, yes, but what else?
In the holding area, while waiting for the fastest elevator in the world, located in the largest mall in the world, on your way to the tallest building in the world, you can read the litany of “Firsts” and “Mosts” and other assorted accolades bestowed upon the Burj Khalifa, including:
- The world’s highest place of worship (a mosque on the 158th floor)
- The world’s highest nightclub (144th floor)
- The world’s highest restaurant (At.mosphere on the 122nd floor)
Not listed, but really should be: World’s Highest Bathroom, World’s Highest Urinal, World’s Highest Automatic Hand Dryer. You get the picture. Burj, you’re missing out on some marketing opps here.
Also noticeably absent was any mention of what was quite possibly the World’s Highest Suicide. In May of 2011, an Indian cleaner — upset that his employer would not grant him vacation leave from work – climbed through an air vent on the 147th floor and hurled himself from the side of the building.
To give you some perspective, that’s 23 floors ABOVE from where this shot was taken.
View From Burj Khalifa
The views from the top though are magnificent, albeit a little haze-filled depending on the day. And while Dubai doesn’t quite yet have the crowded skyline of places like New York or Hong Kong, it’s trying damn hard to remedy it.You can also catch a glimpse of the infamous (and unfinished) World project – a series of man-made islands that ran short of money.If you can’t wait to get back to the largest mall in the world (pictured below), there is some shopping to be had At The Top.There’s even a Gold ATM if cash is just too bourgeois for your tastes. Somehow I don’t think these two will be in the bullion line.If the Burj bullion, or the Khalifa keychains at the top aren’t to your liking, there’s a much better selection in the gift shop at the bottom in the Dubai Mall.
Camel milk chocolate, anyone?Or perhaps some Burj Khalifa LEGO to commemorate the event?And if you’re not up for shelling out the dough to get to the observation tower, the view of the outside of the world’s tallest building is pretty decent too I suppose.
- Book your tickets to Burj Khalifa online well in advance to ensure you’re not stuck paying 400 AED.
- Since only the entry to the observation deck at Burj Khalifa is timed (you can stay up there as long as you want), try to get tickets for late afternoon so you can see the sunset.
- There can be queues inside to get on the elevator even with your timed ticket. If you’ve got your heart set on seeing the sunset, choose a time at least 60 minutes in advance so you’re not disappointed.
- Don’t get cranky if there’s haze obstructing your view. This is the desert, it’s to be expected.