The Burj Khalifa Experience, Dubai
Dubai is one of those places that everyone seems to want to visit at least once. Whether it’s for a beach holiday, to explore the sites or to have a great shopping trip, Dubai seems to appeal to a lot of different people.
I first visited Dubai back in July 2013 for three and a half weeks on my way home from my year abroad in Australia. Fast forward to 2017 and I’ve visited Dubai twice more. And one thing that I would recommend to anyone on their visit trip to Dubai?
Go and see the Burj Khalifa – the tallest man-made structure in the world.
At a height of 830m to the top of its tip, the Burj Khalifa truly is the icon of Dubai.
How To Get There
The Burj Khalifa is located in Downtown Dubai and can be seen almost immediately as you drive into the city.
The easiest way to visit is to hop on the Dubai Metro Red Line – the stop that you need is handily named ‘Burj Khalifa/Dubai Mall’. The metro in Dubai is clean, efficient and affordable and I would highly recommend this option. The only time it gets a little uncomfortable is at rush hour but that’s to be expected! And even then it’s still nicer than the London Tubes at rush hour…
The alternatives are to drive yourself or get a taxi. Taxis are more expensive than the metro but still much more affordable than taxis in other large cities around the world. If you drive then be careful on the roads – I’ve seen safer ones! Malls often have free parking throughout the week so keep an eye out for these times.
Also in the Area…
- THE DUBAI MALL
If you want to make a bit of a day trip out of visiting the Burj then you could check it whilst you are visiting The Dubai Mall (the world’s biggest shopping center). The Burj Khalifa is located right outside the mall and you can get some great views up at it from ground level. Outside the mall there are lots of places to grab some food or drinks so why not sit and admire the structure for a bit longer? Cost? Free to enter
- THE DUBAI FOUNTAIN
Directly in front of the Burj on the man-made Burj Khalifa Lake, you’ll find the Dubai Fountain, the world’s largest choreographed fountain system. The Dubai Fountain is also the world’s tallest performing fountain and offers an amazing water, music and light show every day. There are a couple of afternoon shows each day but the best time to visit is in the evening between 6-11pm as there is a show every 30 minutes and it looks great in front of the sparkling lights of the Burj Khalifa. Cost? Free
- THE SOUK AL BAHAR
The Souk Al Bahar has some great little bars, restaurants and cafes inside, as well as more traditional shops and tourist stalls. Worth a walk through at least! If you fancy, you could eat dinner in one of these places whilst overlooking the Dubai Fountains. This is what my family and I did at a great Italian restaurant and it was magical. Cost? Free to enter
Here you can see the tops of the fountains from one of the restaurants in the Souk Al Bahar.
Visiting the At The Top Experience
However, if you truly want to experience the Burj Khalifa as I did, then you can visit the At the Top Experience and get amazing views across Dubai. With your ticket, you will get access to the 124th an 125th floors of the Burj Khalifa to visit the observation decks. Since I last visited, you can now buy a more expensive ticket that gives you additional access to the At The Top Sky Experience on the 148th floor which (from what I’ve read) provides you with a more personalised experience.
How much does it cost?
You can buy tickets on the day of your visit but I’d recommend buying tickets in advance so you can plan your day around your slot. This will also save you lots of money – win win! If you book your ticket online then you will save AT LEAST double the money compared to buying your ticket on the day.
At the time of writing, a ticket to the At The Top experience is 125AED for adults, which is about £27.
However, you can also pay a bit extra to visit at peak times (sunset hours) which will set you back 200AED, or approximately £44. The At The Top Sky Experience will set you back even further at a hefty 350AED (£76) for non-peak times and 500AED (£109) for peak times.
How long do I need?
The recommended visit time for At The Top is 1 hour and 30 minutes. This should give you enough time to explore all the decks, marvel at the views and read about the construction of this amazing building in the exhibition on the way out too. However, you can stay longer if you just haven’t had enough of those views yet!
P.S. Make sure you arrive at least 10-15 minutes prior to your ticket time.
What time of day should I visit?
Arguably the best time of day to visit this experience is just before sunset so that you can see the city transform from day to night, but that’s why it costs more at that time of day than any other. If you’re trying to save some cash then I’d recommend visiting the At The Top Experience during non-peak hours and then catching the sunset from the ground. You’ll save money on the entry ticket but still be able to enjoy the sunset for free.
However, I do think it would be pretty cool to visit for sunrise. Sunrise visits are every Friday and Saturday from 05.30am.
How do I get there?
To get to the At The Top Experience, you can enter from inside Dubai Mall which is heavily signposted and super easy to find.
From ‘the top’ you can see the gigantic Dubai mall looking as insignificant and unimpressive as any other mall as well as buildings such as The Address Downtown Dubai (another skyscraper with 63-stories) which looks as though you could now simply push it over with your little finger. And of course, you could see the Dubai Fountains from above too.
If you know me then you’ll know that I love observing cities and places from a height so I was a little mesmerized by the views from up here. From this height I could see across the entire of Dubai and the buildings that had previously looked massive to me when I was stood next to them on the ground now suddenly looked like mini lego buildings that I could pick up and play with. I found the road systems snaking away in the distance particularly fascinating as I had never before stopped to consider how people plan the building of a city like Dubai. Incredible.
The 124th floor used to be the highest outdoor observation deck in the world when it was first built but was soon surpassed by a number of others. Since then, the 148th floor (555m above ground) has been opening, making the Burj Khalifa home to the highest observation deck in the world once more.
As well as being the tallest building in the world AND the tallest man-made structure in the world, the Burj Khalifa has also holds a number of other records:
- Tallest free-standing structure in the world
- Tallest structure in the world
- Highest number of stories in the world
- Highest occupied floor in the world (imagine living there!)
- Highest outdoor observation deck in the world
- Elevator with the longest travel distance in the world
- Tallest service elevator in the world
Check out some more of the facts here.
And did I mention that the elevator takes you up to the 124th floor at a height of 452m in less than a minute?
No? Well, it does and if that doesn’t make your ears go funny then I’ll be impressed! The technology, architecture and design of this building truly is incredible. Definitely read about it’s construction on your way out too, it’s fascinating.
All in all I thought the At The Top Experience was a pretty cool experience and have happily placed it on my ‘must-do in Dubai’ list. If you’re interested in other things to do in Dubai, then make sure you check out my other posts on the United Arab Emirates before you go!
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