Burj Khalifa in Dubai is significantly the tallest building in the world, and although I have been to many other skyscrapers around the world, including Taipei 101, the Jin Mao Tower in Shanghai, and the Shard in London, nothing compares to the glorious Burj Khalifa. As with everything in Dubai, bigger is better!
You can see from the illustration above just how large the Burj really is compared to other famous supertalls from around the world. The great thing with the Burj is that even if you are scared of heights or don’t want to pay the extortionate entrance fee, there is still enough to do around the tower itself, such as the opulent Dubai Mall, and the fanciful Dubai Fountains which have water and laser shows periodically throughout the day. For the keen photographer among you, there are incredible photo opportunities from the foot of the tower (especially at dawn or dusk when the Arabian sun has a crisp, tinted shade) which will leave you needing to buy a new memory card for your camera!
I paid 125AED for my ticket to the observation deck of Burj Khalifa, affectionately known as ‘At the Top’. This is very expensive (around £22 at current exchange rates) and it can be even more expensive if you do not buy your tickets in advance, which works out at about 400AED or £60 per adult! It is important to book online on the official Burj Khalifa ticketing site and get a specific time and date for your visit (you can choose which time, as long as places are still available), as this clearly saves you a lot of time and money. On the way in to the Burj, you will see the entrance to the luxurious Armani Hotel which is located in the upper reaches of the tower. It costs around £700 per night to stay even in the cheapest of these rooms!
I did not get any photos of the elevators as it was too packed like sardines in a crushed tin box, but once ‘at the top’, the views were amazing. I have flown in and out of Dubai on a few occasions and with a window seat in the plane you can also get great views of Downtown Dubai, and of the Burj itself, but of course you not actually in the building! Inside the Burj Khalifa observation deck, as you can see from the photos above, you get unobstructed floor-to-ceiling panoramas of the emirate and out to the Arabian Gulf! Of course, there is a souvenir shop up there as well, in case you wanted to add to your experience and get a few mementos for friends and family back home.
All in all, despite it being a very expensive attraction in Dubai, and perhaps something that only needs to be done once, the fact remains that Burj Khalifa is one of the ultimate ‘things to do’ when in the United Arab Emirates, and as long as you do not have any fear of heights, then it should be ticked off of your bucket list as soon as you get the chance!