On this cold, cold day, I’m going to take you back to a place where we could take a bit of warmth from. One of the must-do and highlights of my Dubai trip was going to the top of the world (quite literally) – the Burj Khalifa. Every time I hear someone says they’re heading to Dubai, one of the first things I tell them to do is the Burj Khalifa, “At the Top” attraction. Aside from the bragging rights that come with it, (“Why yes, I have been to the tallest manmade building in the world”) this is an activity which you can both during the day or at night.
So maybe, you’ve been too caught up having too much fun at the desert during one of Dubai’s world-class safari tours or splurged a little too much at one of the two malls in Dubai, and you are leaving tomorrow. Then you simply cannot miss this attraction! The good news is the tower is open all day long and visitors can come in during the day or evening, depending on your preference. To ensure getting in at your preferred time as well as having as much time and photo opportunities here, find out what you should do in advance below!
Visiting the Tallest Building in the World
To get to the top, you do need to purchase tickets. I advise you to do so in advance (i.e. you want to go in the morning, purchase your tickets the night before if you can – it will save you so much time!) Remember that last entry 45 minutes prior to close if you decide to purchase it at the booth. The line-up, should you choose to buy it in-person, can get very very long, wasting previous time you could have used to go up the tower.
Fortunately you can purchase your tickets online so you can manage your time better. For the view you’re getting, the price is quite reasonable: for AED125 (roughly C$40), you get to experience this amazing view and have the bragging rights.
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The experience is unparalleled, even if you’ve been atop of other observation decks around the world. You get to see the amazing view of Dubai’s skyline and juxtaposition of desert and modern buildings, stretches of sand and carefully carved out islands, that symbolize Dubai so well.
The queue was organized, and we moved fairly quickly (the perks of getting an 8:30am tickets!) This is an attraction that you can do for as little as 1.5 hours. As you walk through the hallway towards the elevator, you are treated to a little bit of vision and building history behind the construction of the Burj Khalifa. I really enjoyed the informative tour prior to getting up. They walked us through various aspects of the building including the design (why it was shaped like a flower when seen from an aerial view), the architects involved, the meticulous planning, and the construction (which took only a mind-blowing 6 years to finish). You then take a 124-floor ride to the observation deck which took several minutes, and go past a metal scanner once you’re at the top.
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Daytime provides the most beautiful view of the Dubai skyline, so I recommend going early. The other benefit is that you have a full day to spend on whatever else you plan on doing. The Burj Khalifa is conveniently located next to two other attractions including the Dubai Fountain and Dubai Mall, both equally must-see destinations, for lovely pictures and window-shopping.
The value of $40 will differ between people, but if you do have the opportunity (even if it is a one-day stop or a couple of hours of layover in Dubai!) this is one must-see attraction that simply cannot be missed!
What You Need to Know
- Getting there: Take a taxi or one of Dubai’s public transportation option. Get off at the Dubai Mall Station if taking the Metro or take buses #27 or 29 that service the Dubai Mall.
- Where to Stay: I stayed at the Ramada Plaza Jumeirah Beach Residence aparthotel as I went with 11 other friends, and our group size made it logical to stay here
- Currency: The United Arab Emirates Dirham is known as the Emirati Dinar trades for CAD$1 = AED2.95. It is currently pegged to the USD dollars at a rate of 1 USD = 3.6725 AED.
- Don’t Forget: Book your tickets in advance to secure your spot! Early morning is prime viewing hours without all the tourists. Note that the Burj Khalifa charges different price for prime vs. non-prime hours. You can book your tickets in advance online or in-person, the day before.
- Burj Khalifa Sky: The newest addition to the Burj Khalifa is a new observation deck which allows you to go Level 148, 24 floors higher than the regular observation deck (Level 124/125) for an added fee.
- One more thing: Visiting Burj Khalifa and Dubai Mall together is most sensible as the two are located right next to each other. The fountain is far more spectacular at night though!
Have you been to Dubai?