Visiting the Burj Khalifa at Dusk was a highlight of my time in Dubai. Read on for my tips and takeaways from this amazing architectural feat.
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Towering a 163 stories tall, the Burj Khalifa stands alone. Not only does this massive tower dwarf all the surrounding buildings in Dubai, it holds the record as the tallest skyscraper in the world…by over 1000 feet. Why would someone build such a monster and to such height?
In short, because they could. Besides showing off, the Burj Khalifa was built as a centrepiece to a complex that attracts foreign visitors and foreign money. It was conceived as a way to diversify the economy and attract money that is not based on the oil industry. With the recent awarding Expo 2020 and the numerous international events finding their way to Dubai since the Burj Khalifa’s completion, it is safe to say that vision has payed off.
A Thing for Heights
While this is all well and good, there was a different view that attracted me to the tower. I had heard that visiting the Burj Khalifa at dusk and seeing a sunset from the observation deck is unreal. Sold. Being someone that loves vantage points as well as engineering marvels I was eager to get to the top. Perhaps a little too eager as I booked tickets for the day we arrived in Dubai. Jet-legged and sleepy-eyed we made our way up to the 124th viewing floor for the misleading “At the Top, Burj Khalifa Experience.” The tower continues on for an additional 39 floors! Still, 124 floors above the desert is pretty high I suppose!
To the Top
Before taking a ride to the top we passed by a directors chair and a signed photo of Tom Cruise clinging onto the side of the building while filming Mission impossible. All I could think is the chair looked shorter than I imagined.
Hot tip: book a time slot well in advance to visit The Burj Khalifa at Dusk. This gives the unique view of the sun going down below you. With plenty of time to spare before sunset, we boarded the world’s fastest elevator and were whisked upwards at 40 miles per hour. I watched the floor numbers climb at an alarming rate. Naturally, I couldn’t help but think of “Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator” blowing through the top of the Chocolate factory.
Once on the top, there is not much to see besides the incredible view. And what a view it is. Our day was a little hazy but cool none-the-less.
The Burj Khalifa at Dusk
There is an indoor viewing area and a small outdoor area and that is pretty much it. With an hour to kill before sunset, we enjoyed the dry heat and waited it out. In retrospect, we could’ve had a more comfortable visit by heading to the At.Mosphere restaurant which is located just two floors below. Although there is a minimum fee per person to dine or have drinks in the worlds highest restaurant, you get the same view with a meal or drinks and comfortable seats. My loss, your gain people!
The most interesting feature is the interactive telescopes that show you the current view and what it looked like years ago. This impressive time-travelling feature puts just how fast Dubai has grown into perspective.
After an interesting angle of the Dubai Fountains going off below us, it was on to the main attraction. Tip, be sure to stake out a spot to enjoy it from. We watched the sun vanish into the Persian Gulf over the shoulders of others. Nonetheless, it really is a spectacular sight. Imagine the sun extinguished into the water below. Unreal.
Satisfied with the Burj Khalifa at Dusk show we (quickly) made our way down to the ground level. Along the exiting walkway is a wall dedicated to those involved in bringing this marvellous feat of engineering to life. Of course, rich investors and Government officials are all present. More interesting is the faces and stories of the construction workers and engineers that actually built the tower. Nice touch Burj Khalifa!
All in all a great (although pricey) trip to the top of (sort of) the Burj Khalifa Tower. A visit to Dubai without seeing the cities centrepiece up close just wouldn’t do. For best sights and colours be sure to visit the Burj Khalifa at dusk.