At the Top of Burj Khalifa — The Tallest Building in the World

Posted by - November 5, 2012 | Category: Escapes, Middle East, United Arab Emirates

Tallest Building in the World, Burj Khalifa, Dubai, UAE

The tallest building in the world, Burj Khalifa, Dubai, UAEOn 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.

At the Top, Tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa, Dubai, UAEThe 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.

At The Top, Burj Khalifa tickets, Dubai, UAE

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. Model of the Burj Khalifa, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

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.

Looking straight down from the tallest building in the world

Yikes. Poor guy.Another view from the Tallest building in the world, Burj Khalifa, Dubai, UAE

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.View from the top of of the tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa, Dubai, UAEObservation deck, Tallest building in the world, Burj Khalifa, Dubai, UAEObservation platform in Tallest building in the world, Burj Khalifa, Dubai, UAEView of Dubai from the Burj KhalifaLooking out from the Burj KhalifaYou can also catch a glimpse of the infamous (and unfinished) World project – a series of man-made islands that ran short of money.View of the unfinished The World Islands project from Burj Khalifa, Dubai, UAEView from Burj Khalifa, Dubai, UAEIf 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.View of the largest mall in the world from iew of the largest mall in the world, Dubai Mall, from Tallest building in the world, Burj Khalifa, Dubai, UAEGift shop at the top of Burj KhalifaModels of the tallest building in the world, Burj KhalifaThere’s even a Gold ATM if cash is just too bourgeois for your tastes. Gold to Go, Gold ATM, Burj Khalifa, Dubai, UAESomehow I don’t think these two will be in the bullion line.Tourists at the Burj KhalifaIf 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?Camel milk chocolate at the Burj Khalifa gift shopOr perhaps some Burj Khalifa LEGO to commemorate the event?Burj Khalifa Lego, Dubai, UAEAnd 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.


Travel Tips:

  • 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.

How about you? Would you go to the Burj Khalifa so you could say you’ve been to the tallest building in the world?

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Subscribe to the Man On The Lam Newsletter

Get a monthly round-up of travel & lifestyle articles, plus unique content & hush-hush extras only for members.

52 comments - add one
  1. Missing out on marketing opportunities indeed. I bet you get tonnes of google searches to your site for World’s highest urinal (at least you will now 😉

  2. That is one big building. Also – that guy was obviously fairly keen to make sure the suicide worked out. If you’re going to kill yourself, I guess setting a record is the way to do it.

  3. That’s one VERY impressive view – and quite the ticket price if you just show up. I find it interesting that the place of worship and nightclub aren’t that far apart.

  4. Funny, my daughter was just reading about the guy who climbed up the outside glass years back. Took him only 6 hours! Now seeing the views from the top, he seems even more crazy to me than he did yesterday!

  5. I agree, I wasn’t fussed about the world’s tallest building but that view is pretty amazing – mainly because of the pool in the foreground. That poor guy, he probably just wanted to go home to India to visit his family :(

  6. Very interesting article Ray, I always enjoy reading them. So are you living out in there now and if so for how long? Just curious after reading the Ikea post earlier.

  7. What a building!! I have been obsessed with it since Tom Cruise was hanging out of a window (not sure on what floor, but way too high!) in MI4 – definitely on my bucket list to go up there one day :)

  8. I’m glad that not only did they construct the world’s tallest building, but they made some cool things to look at below, like that pool. how boring would it be if it was just endless desert? Pfft!

  9. I hadn’t seen photos from inside the Burj like this before, looks like an impressive tour. They really should get on all those extra ‘worlds highest’ titles though!

  10. Daaaaamn that’s crazy high! Getting dizzy just looking at the pics.

    Also, really sad about the Indian worker. I’ve read a number of articles that say that Dubai basically tricks workers from the Indian subcontinent into coming to Dubai, then confiscates their passports and essentially uses them as slaves to build the city’s skyline.

  11. I always have this anxious feeling every time I go up a supertall skyscraper, although I always managed to get to some of the tallest floors. However, nothing really compares to Burj Khalifa. Looking at your pictures makes me dizzy – but in a way that won’t stop me from visiting it one day.

  12. I don’t know if I’d call that view “great” but it certainly is unusual – not the typical skyline that you see when you go up a tall building in other parts of the world. But I imagine it’s one of those things that you’d regret not checking off the list if you’d gone all the way to Dubai!

  13. Insane view, straight up. Too bad U.A.E. doesnt have a more interesting view to offer. That being said, if you’re looking at it from an urban planning stand point, its fascinating.