Noticed a slim, pointy-looking building when you come across Dubai photos on Instagram? That, Burj Khalifa, is currently the tallest building in the world. Even though I visited a little while back, I have to write about Burj Khalifa here before another skyscraper overtakes its height!
Visiting Burj Khalifa – currently the tallest building in the world
Burj Khalifa opened in Dubai in 2010 after 6 years of construction and clocking over 20 million man-hours, at a cost of USD$1.5 billion.
Almost expecting crowds when we reached the entrance at about 10am, I was surprised to notice that there was barely any queuing involved. In no time, the elevator had sent us to level 124, whoa.
A few fun facts about Burj Khalifa!
Pointing toSoaring into the Dubai sky at 828m high, Burj Khalifa is 2.7 times the height of Eiffel Tower!
- It has more than 160 stories.
- Burj Khalifa holds World Records for the tallest building, the highest number of stories, elevator with the longest travel distance, and four other records!
- The amount of concrete used would equal the weight of 100,000 elephants. Imagine the construction involved!
- Burj Khalifa is home to the first Armani Hotel in the world, and also Armani Residences. There’s also 900 units of premium, residential apartments between levels 19 – 108. With facilities spread across different levels, I’m just imagining how it’ll be like to be swimming in the pools high above the world, or even getting to practise yoga with a view.
- It’s very difficult to get the entire building in your frame when you’re trying to compose a shot from the ground floor. I don’t have one so I’ll show you one by Glo from The Blog Abroad.
- Burj Khalifa is so tall that you can spot it from as far as 95km away. I don’t know how far 95km is, but I kept seeing it when we were driving. Btw, Tom Cruise climbed that structure for Mission Impossible. Which means I’ve already been to 2 places he went, including Pulpit Rock in Norway, yay! Also, not sure why but I always find it a hilarious deal to use the toilets at these skyscrapers in the world. I didn’t poop, but imagine how far down your poop travels to the bottom of the building? 🤣
Did you also know, the initially planned name was Burj Dubai?
The name was changed to Burj Khalifa at the last minute.
There’s a little story behind it. A few quick facts: Dubai is a city in UAE. Abu Dhabi, the more low-profile city in UAE, is the capital city (and Abu Dhabi is veryyyy rich). All good now? Ok great.
In 2010, Abu Dhabi lent Dubai $10b to prevent Dubai from suffering an economy collapse. To honor Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahyan (Abu Dhabi’s ruler and also the President of UAE) for the help, this architectural wonder’s name was thus changed to Burj Khalifa.
- Come 2019 to 2020, another building (Creek) in Dubai, and Jeddah Tower in Saudi Arabia, will surpass Burj Khalifa to become the world’s newer tallest buildings at over 900m.
At The Top, Burj Khalifa
If you’re visiting Dubai, you really should head up Burj Khalifa for the experience. There’re 2 tiers to choose from:
1) At The Top,
2) At The Top Burj Khalifa Sky.
The first gives you access to levels 124 & 125, while the higher tier is for access to those + level 148. I went for the first tier and it was good enough.
Have you went up those skyscrapers overseas and sometimes feel, the views all look the same? I felt that at some of the high buildings in Taipei, Seoul, and Tokyo. Those typical views definitely didn’t apply at Burj Khalifa.
Views from the top of the world’s tallest building
It was a sunny day and a little hazy in the distance, but still a sight to behold! I was a little overwhelmed by how small everything – even tall buildings – appeared from 124 levels up. The cars on the highways moved like the tiniest of mini toy cars. In the distance, Burj Al Arab, the famous sail-shaped hotel, struggles to peek out through the haze.
At level 125, it’s an outdoor terrace where you can enjoy the sun. You’re still kept safe by glass panels all over. Are you a little confused by the photo below? The glass for the interior of the building is so shiny and reflective that I can take a mirror image this easily, hehe.
Tips for visiting Burj Khalifa
- Book tickets ahead, but not too far ahead as the weather in Dubai can be quite.. hazy.
- If you’re budget-conscious, simply buy the tickets for the first tier instead of access to the 148th floor. From what I heard, the views are not too drastically different.
- At the indoor observatory area, it’s glass panels all over which you need to take note for the sake of photography, as there’ll be lots of reflection.
- There’s a photography area where you can take photos against a solid-colored backdrop, and the professionals will super-impose your shots to their special pre-created templates. The result is a photo souvenir that looks as if you’re scaling Burj Khalifa or more. When we visited, each photo souvenir cost AED 290 (S$112 / USD$79). You get a printed piece of one photo you chose, while you can download the digital versions for the other ones.
Are you intending to visit Burj Khalifa?
Visited: Nov 2016
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Information sources: The Globe And Mail | The New Yorker
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