If you’re the type of person who enjoys extreme heights, then a visit to “At The Top” on level 124 of the Burj Khalifa (aka The Dubai Tower) in United Arab Emirates might belong on your bucket list. The Burj Khalifa has more than 160 floors and is the tallest building in the world at 2,716 feet. That’s over a half mile high! Construction started in 2004 and the building was officially opened in 2010.
The public observation on level 124 allows visitors a 360 degree walk around the tower perimeter, including indoor and outdoor sections. The elevator ride up is itself a bit of an attraction. It’s amazing how quickly you ascend 124 stories. I had to swallow to clear the pressure in my ears three times. Once you reach “At The Top” you’re welcome to take you own photos with friends or purchase professionally done images with a variety of photo-shopped background arrangements that make it look like you’re doing crazy stunts outside the building. After a few minutes of looking out at the incredible skyline of Dubai, if you’re not too queasy yet, you can even try sticking your head out the slot in the glass barrier and looking more than 1,000 feet down towards the music-synchronized fountain below. The fountain show runs every half hour, and it’s really impressive at night when accompanied by the light show.
As with most everything in Dubai, the Burj Khalifa is a great place for the family to visit. It’s clean, everything works, and the staff are professional, courteous, knowledgeable, and fun. My friends and I were up there more than an hour, and not at all bored with the views. There’s plenty of nicely prepared graphics showing the tower in various stages of construction and lots of facts (for geeks like me and most of my friends) to read up on how it was built, how many tons of this and that, all the good stuff. Tickets for prime hours at the Burj Khalifa typically sell out days in advance, so be sure to visit the online ticket purchase site and purchase your tickets ahead. Depending on the time of day you go up, the tickets range between $30 and $50 and are very well worth the cost. Access to “At The Top” is from a corridor that’s shared with the Dubai Mall. So if there are people in your party that aren’t up for the trip to level 124, they can hang out in the Dubai Mall and shop till they drop, which itself is another amazing Dubai structure (4 levels, over 1,200 shops, a shopper paradise).
And if you’re not one for spending the rest of your time in Dubai at the Dubai Mall or Mall of the Emirates (however, both are worthy of at least some of your time and travel budget), for just a few dollars, you can ride the really handy futuristic-looking Dubai Metro down to the old Dubai City Center where you’ll find the Dubai Museum. The museum is built around the Dubai Fort with some impressive re-constructed old time fishing boats. What’s even more interesting (not to mention thankfully in the air-conditioning) are the multitude of displays and artifacts in the underground chambers, including an excavated skeleton of an embracing couple that dates more than 3,000 years ago. Now that’s togetherness.
The Burj Khalifa tower and Dubai Museum are only a tiny fraction of all that Dubai has to offer. It’s an amazing city loaded full of things to do. I’ll be going back and chipping away at my to-do-and-see list of Dubai attractions every time I get the chance.
Have you visited the Burj Khalifa and Dubai Museum?