The imperious sight of the world’s tallest building is unmistakable. Towering above the Dubai landscape at 829.8 meters (2,722 feet), the Burj Khalifa is a breathtaking sight and can be seen up to 95 kilometers (59 miles) away. But if you are a modern-day architecture lover like I am, there will be only one thing on your mind – getting to the summit to admire the amazing view from the top of Burj Khalifa!
When you consider the height of the Burj Khalifa, it certainly makes many of the world’s other leading structures look pretty small. We have been fortunate to experience many in the Western Hemisphere, such as the Willis Tower in Chicago and of course, the Empire State Building in New York City which was once the world’s tallest building (I know that may surprise you but it held this accolade until 1972).
History of Burj Khalifa
Let’s take a look at the history behind the world’s tallest building in comparison to other leading landmarks around the world so hopefully, it will provide a better perspective about the views that you will see once you climb to either the 125th or 148th floor of the Burj Khalifa.
The above graphic immediately gives a clear indication as to the size of Burj Khalifa in comparison to other iconic structures around the world. It is over twice the size of the Empire State Building and literally dwarfs this skyscraper along with many of the world’s other “super skyscrapers”.
I think it’s fair to say though that in the present day super skyscraper talk, the Burj Khalifa is on a completely different level to other structures.
Until the completion of the Jeddah Tower in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, expected in 2020, there is going to be nothing else close to this structure that is well acclaimed as the pride of Dubai.
The history of the Burj Khalifa dates back to 2004 when construction first started on this mega skyscraper. The structure was finalized in 2009, at least in terms of the exterior and is made primarily of reinforced concrete.
Neo-Futurism – a corollary to technology, being the structures built today byproducts of new materials to create previously impossible forms. (Jean-Louis Cohen)
In terms of architectural design, this has a unique ‘neo-futuristic’ design, stereotypically associated with the modern day era and an idealistic belief in the need to embrace technology. What was once deemed to be impossible, is now the future of architecture.
What You Need to Know
It’s critical that you are well prepared before heading to the Burj Khalifa. We suffered the experience of having to wait for quite a long time to collect our tickets at ‘will call’ but if you are purchasing tickets on the day rather than online, we encourage you to get there as early as possible. However, before purchasing tickets, it’s worthwhile knowing exactly how to reach the entrance to the Burj Khalifa.
Directions to the Burj Khalifa
If you are utilizing the Dubai Metro system (it’s a great service and we strongly encourage you to use this!), you will alight at Burj Khalifa/Dubai Mall. The entrance to the Burj Khalifa to visit the ‘At The Top’ viewing platform(s) is located on the lower ground floor of the Dubai Mall.
What you won’t realize after deboarding the metro is that you will be required to walk at least 10-15 minutes along above ground skywalks/tunnels until you reach the Mall. Head to the Lower Ground floor and hopefully you won’t have too long to wait!
The first choice you will need to make is to decide whether you want to visit level 124/125 or go all the way to the highest viewing platform at level 148. There is a dramatic difference in the ticket prices so ultimately it will be down to personal preference. I think either option you choose, you can certainly claim that you have been “on top of the world” at least in Dubai anyway!
I think either option you choose, you can certainly claim that you have been “on top of the world” at least in Dubai anyway! ***Please note, the admission prices below are accurate as of December 31, 2016, and subject to change. We encourage you to check the At The Top Burj Khalifa website for the latest prices.***
Level 124/125 (Adults) – AED 125 (Approximately $34 USD)
Level 124/125 (Children 4-12 yrs) – AED 95
Level 124/125 and Level 148 (Adults) – AED 350 (Approximately $95 USD)
Level 124/125 (Children 4-12 yrs) – AED 350
Also, please note the above prices are for ‘non-prime’ hours. There is a surcharge on all ticket prices if you choose to visit between the hours of 3:30 PM – 6:00 PM daily. Prices are also substantially more expensive if you want ‘immediate’ entry access so again, it’s beneficial to go ahead and book your tickets in advance!
The View from the Top of Burj Khalifa
As with all tall structures, patience is a virtue when it comes to heading through security and waiting for the elevator to take you to the top. There is plenty of information to keep you occupied, providing an in-depth history of the Burj Khalifa construction and exactly what it takes to build a structure over 2,700 feet tall.
After about 20 minutes, our journey to the top started. We had tickets to levels 124 and 125 and the elevator takes you all the way to level 125 after which you can take the spiral staircase to level 124. The moment we left the elevator a staff member greeted us and said, “Enjoy the views!” She wasn’t lying!
Superlatives like awe-inspiring, breathtaking, panoramic and stunning spring to mind. I could go on but none of these will ever do the 360-degree views around Dubai justice from the top of Burj Khalifa.
Whether you are keen to find your favorite Dubai landmark or simply want to admire the scenery, you could easily spend hours at the top. Time literally gets away from you but that’s ok because this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to admire beauty from the world’s tallest building.
Dubai is an incredible city at street level but from a birds-eye perspective, it’s even more mesmerizing. The gorgeous Burj Al Arab hotel stands proudly in the distance while in the other direction you can appreciate the gold/spice souks that provide a more authentic feel to Dubai.
I love the inclusion of various telescopes that offer full HD displays and high zoom capabilities. From such a high vantage point, it’s imperative that visitors have the opportunity to pinpoint certain landmarks at ground level and these new telescopes offer this with ease.
Six of these telescopes are on level 125 and another six one level down. The beauty of these telescopes is that they are FREE to use! All too often when you are in viewing observatories, there is an additional charge to zoom in on your favorite attractions around the city.
Words will never do enough justice to the view from the top of Burj Khalifa. Hopefully, some of our pictures will inspire you to visit Dubai because the Burj Khalifa alone is enough of an attraction to make this a city you need to add to your bucket list.
We had an amazing couple of hours admiring the views around Dubai and even though we ‘technically’ didn’t visit the highest viewing platform, I don’t think anyone can argue that even at levels 124 and 125, the views are breathtaking.
I think Dubai is one of those cities that you cannot help but fall in love with. There are so many reasons to encourage visitors to explore this city, none more so than the Burj Khalifa. Even though it’s a relatively new attraction, it’s an iconic reflection of Dubai and one that you HAVE to sample whenever you visit the United Arab Emirates.
We were incredibly fortunate to stay in the gorgeous Shangri La Hotel in Dubai and have a suite overlooking the Burj Khalifa. It’s just one of those landmarks that you can never tire of staring at. The design may be quirky and not necessarily to everyone’s taste but no one can take away the fact that it is an architectural marvel.
Disclaimer – We received a complimentary ticket and a discounted rate on the second ticket at the Burj Khalifa for consideration of a blog post. The views contained within this post are entirely our personal opinion/experience and we received no final compensation for this.