Sunday, April 15, 2012

Visitor Adventures: The Burj Khalifa

No trip to Dubai would be complete without a view from the top of the Burj Khalifa. Well, not actually the top, more like floor #135 or so, but close enough. The trick to a good visit to the Burj Khalifa is a combination of luck and planning. The planning is getting tickets online in advance, which are less than 1/2 the price and ensure you'll get in. The luck has to do with the weather. While we really don't have rain here in Dubai, we do have a lot of sand, that likes to hang out in the air, and ruin the view.

Another tip is to snag the slot about 30 minutes before sunset so you can see the view in the daylight and then later, the night lights of the city. The view overlooks the Dubai Mall fountains, which are a bit like the fountains at the Bellagio in Vegas and were designed by the same person. The light and water show from the top is pretty spectacular as you'll see in the video Brian shot below.

Other cool facts:
  • you get to ride one of the fastest elevators in the world to get there - and it's the smoothest ride you can imagine
  • you can buy some gold from the Gold ATM at the top and even get a small bar with the Burj Khalifa imprinted on it
  • the observation deck is actually outside, so you feel a bit like Tom Cruise from the last Mission Impossible movie ... okay, only a tiny bit
  • there are bathrooms at the top and we found ourselves wondering about how you would need to design such a system so the pressure of a flush didn't take down the whole building. ;)

 One of the gold bars you can buy from the ATM. I think this one was around $300.

 This shot is one of my favorites. Taken from the restaurant where we had dinner that same evening.
 A video Brian shot of the fountain show.

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