At the Top, Visiting the World’s Tallest Building, Burj Khalifa, Dubai, United Arab Emirates


The Burj Khalifa was constructed as the worlds tallest building in order to transition the United Arab Emirates from solely and energy based market place into a world market place where more international recognition would be bestowed on the city. Visiting the observation deck at the Burj Khalifa was an experience we were keen to try, in this city of man made attractions. Our visit allowed us the ability to experience what it felt like to stand on the one hundred and twenty fourth floor of the world’s tallest building.

This post is one chapter on our second Round the World trip via Japan, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, and Poland. This trip was redeemed through Air Canada’s Aeroplan and through Starwood Preferred Guest (Marriott Bonvoy) loyalty programs. For more information on how this trip was booked, please see our trip introduction here. For other parts of the trip, please see this index.

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Activity: At The Top, Visiting the World’s Tallest Building, Burj Khalifa, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

The Burj Khalifa has been the tallest skyscraper and free standing structure in the world. It is a well known structure that has made it’s way into the landmark books of skyscrapers around the world. It was designed to be the centrepiece of large-scale, mixed-use development, which includes the elegant Dubai Mall. The decision to construct the building was based on the government’s decision to diversify from an oil-based economy, and for Dubai to gain international recognition. 

The building has a total height of 829.8 meters 2,722 feet, or some 154 floors including 9 additional floors for maintenance. The building cost over 1.5 billion dollars to construct over 6 years. I can’t imagine the amount of construction mess that this took to build, but it’s certainly a sight to see after it’s completed and ready for viewing.

A Few Upwards at the Burj Khalifa

Booking “At The Top”:

The booking for the world’s highest observation deck is completed on line. The reservation windows opens ninety days in advance. The access is time controlled, meaning that a time slot is required to be selected for your visit. The reservations were fully booking up about 3 weeks out at the time of our visit. I left it a little late and was unable to get my first choice sunset time, instead ending up with a 3:30 PM time.

The tickets announced “Get ready to enter the record books”. Get ready to enter the record books alright- the internet advance purchase admission price of 125 AED ($40 USD) is much better than the walk up price of 400 AED ($125), the most expensive observation deck ticket I’ve ever purchased. Indeed, these tickets can escalate like plane tickets if you don’t purchase early enough.

Arriving to the Burj Khalifa:

The Burj Khalifa is in the middle of a mixed Commerical Residential area with a whole variety of things that could keep visitors (and residents) of Dubai entertained.

The entrance to the Burj Khalifa is accessed through the Dubai Mall. We walked over to Dubai Mall after arriving by Dubai Metro from our stay at the Four Points by Sheraton Sheikh Zayed Road.

The Dubai Mall
An opulent mall
Fish Tanks of the Dubai Mall

Accessing “At The Top” at the Burj Khalifa:

The Burj Khalifa At the Top observation deck is accessed by elevators. The building holds several world records with the elevator construction including world’s highest elevator construction and worlds longest travelled distance elevators.

After a short wait, we entered onto a double decker elevator and took the ride all the way up to floor 124. It’s a bit surreal seeing “124” as the floor when you step off.

Floor “124”

Viewing “At The Top” at the Burj Khalifa:

Once you’re At the Top, you’re pretty much free to roam around for your reservation time. The attraction recommends a two hour visit, and we pretty much took that amount of time on our stay. It is especially weird viewing from so high up on floor #124; just surreal being on top of all the other buildings.

There were great views of the Dubai Fountain and surrounding complex area.

Views of Dubai Fountain from the At The Top
Views of Dubai Fountain
Views looking towards the Dubai Aquarium (left)

There were also views of the business district along Sheikh Zayed Road and the E 11 highway, which is the main through fare for Dubai and part of the primary highway that criss crosses the coast line of the United Arab Emirates. It stretches to Saudi Arabia at the Western side and all the way to Oman at the other Eastern side.

The Business District of Sheikh Zayed Road
Towers near Sheikh Zayed Road
Views Along Shiekh Zayed Road, including construction yet to begin

While the views towards the central business district and it’s towers, I thought that the views of the man made Dubai Fountain on the reverse side were the star of the viewing platform.

My Closing Thoughts on At The Top at the Burj Khalifa:

Much like some other attractions in Dubai, the At The Toop Burj Khalifa falls into the category of “I’m happy I did it”. It was a visit to the world’s highest observation deck.

Despite all the marketing and packages that can be sold to enhance a visit, our visit was perfectly pleasant without “luxurious beverages” or other enhancements. The experience of taking photos at the top, while memorable, won’t ever make it i

It’s still pretty cool to be on the 124th floor of any building. I think this makes the visit the most memorable part. Either way, we were happy to have visited and to have made this destination one of our attractions while visiting Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

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