Dubai may be an international playground for global superstars, but no one can eclipse the biggest star of all, the Burj Khalifa. Rising gracefully from the desert, Burj Khalifa honors Dubai with its extraordinary union of art, engineering, and meticulous craftsmanship. Very few things can beat a sunset experience at the stunning venue. So when I got the opportunity to soak in the aura of that opulent structure, I went for it, no questions asked.
Described as both a ‘Vertical City’ and ‘A Living Wonder,’ Burj Khalifa, developed by Dubai- based Emaar Properties PJSC, is the world’s tallest building and described as a ‘Global Icon’ by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, an honor bestowed on tall structures only once in 10 or 15 years. Situated on Level 148 of Burj Khalifa, I was told that the top experience offers visitors unprecedented views of the city and beyond from an outdoor terrace and features a premium lounge.
The entrance for the same is right from Dubai mall from whereon I was guided by the team.
The guide accompanying us started by sharing that At the Top, Burj Khalifa observation decks on levels 148, 125, and 124 are the must-see attractions as they offer the most breathtaking views of the city the surrounding emirates. I loved the elegant welcome area that features monumental fields of LED displays reflecting the three-core design inspiration of Burj Khalifa. Traveling at a speed of 10 meters per second, the journey to Level 124 took approximately 60 seconds.
Burj Khalifa features 57 elevators and eight escalators to meet the residents’ travel needs and visitors to the tower. The building service/fireman’s elevator has a capacity of 5,500 kg and is the world’s tallest service elevator.
My guide shared that it is the first ‘mega-high rise’ building in which certain elevators are programmed to permit controlled evacuation for certain fire or security events. Burj Khalifa’s observatory elevators are double-deck cabs with a capacity of 12 to 14 people per cab. They travel at 10 meters per second.
I enjoyed several interactive features, including ‘Dubai Then and Now,’ charting modern Dubai’s evolution and revealed how Burj Khalifa dramatically alters the city skyline. Moreover, I watched in amazement as specially designed projections gave me the feeling of flying over global landmarks as I ascended to Level 125.
At 456 meters, Level 125 offers a spacious deck tastefully decorated in Arabic mashrabiya for 360-degree views so stunning that I immediately got to capturing my Burj Khalifa moments. The features there also allow you to integrate reality and special effects with green screen photography.
Furthermore, I also set off on a virtual reality experience to the pinnacle of Burj Khalifa, a new immersive experience which allowed me to step on an inspired glass-floor with a twist, feeling the glass crack underneath my feet, as I explored the lofty heights from 456 meters in the air.
The deck also features a beautiful outdoor terrace and holds the Guinness World Record for the world’s highest observation deck. As I soaked in the aura of the magical space over sunset and coffee inside the lofty structure, it was an experience unmatched.
In addition to the magnificent views offered of Dubai and beyond from At The Top, Burj Khalifa, visitors can also learn more about the landmarks in the region through the innovative Viewfinder. The interactive Viewfinder replaces the traditional coin-operated telescopes in other observatories and features a video camera and touch-screen to provide information supported by advanced graphics and 3D animation. We were told that over 1,000 pieces of art by prominent International and Middle Eastern artists adorn Burj Khalifa’s interiors and the surrounding Emaar Boulevard. Many of the pieces have been specially commissioned by Emaar as a tribute to the spirit of global harmony. No wonder, soaring high at 555 meters (1,821 ft), At the Top, Burj Khalifa SKY, is a one-of-its-kind, must-experience journey for every individual to the highest man-made vantage point on earth, and the experience itself is well worth every dirham.
Price: Starts from 149 AED for level 125 + 124 and goes up to 379 AED for level 148+125+124