Burj Khalifa, Dubai; View from the top of the World

It’s not everyday that the opportunity to visit a Guinness World Record presents itself. Travelling in the superfast lifts to the 124th floor of the World’s tallest building the Burj Khalifa in Dubai is available to anybody visiting the Emirate and breaks a number of records.

The world's tallest existing builiding the Burj Khalifa in the Emirate of Dubai on Mallory on Travel, adventure, adventure travel, photography Iain Mallory-300-3 -Burj Khalifa

The shimmering needle-like Burj Khalifa, Dubai

The space age looking building located in fashionable ‘Downtown Dubai’ among other high-rise buildings, shopping malls, stylish restaurants, chic coffee shops and the famous dancing fountains. The shimmering needle of glass dominates the cityscape however, stretching high into the hazy Dubai sky and protruding directly from the modernist concrete oasis.

The shopping mall beneath the Burj Khalifa in the Emirate of Dubai on Mallory on Travel, adventure, adventure travel, photography Iain Mallory-300-6 -burj-khalifa

Fisheye view from the Mall

It apparently isn’t the building with the most glass but possibly the most window cleaners. I counted a team of 15 suspended several hundred floors off the ground, like tiny spiders on a thread of web.

The scale model of the Burj Khalifa ticket sales area in the Emirate of Dubai on Mallory on Travel, adventure, adventure travel, photography Iain Mallory-300-7 burj-khalifa

Scale model of the World’s tallest building

It is a very popular attraction and even at midday there are many visitors waiting patiently in line to ride the elevators. At peak times such as sunset it is fully booked despite costing around £20 for the experience and 4 times this amount for the pleasure of jumping the queues.

There are a few displays in the ticket sales area, including a scale model of the tower, a visual comparison chart of the current highest buildings on the planet and various inspiring comments at the staging points on the way to the top.

The visit to the observation deck named the ‘At the Top’ experience is a bit of a misnomer, there are a further 39 floors. These are mainly apartments many of which are still unoccupied, it seems the world’s most desirable address is not as popular as anticipated.

The views from the deck are worth the queues, looking down over the city, the promenade area is far below where people seem like ants staring upwards at the tower as the viewer did just minutes before. The outskirts of the modern city which rose literally rose out of the desert can easily be seen, along with the distant gulf. Ssurrounded by further tall buildings, but towering high above them all, casting a substantial shadow like a huge sundial.

The view from the Burj viewing area near the top, in the Emirate of Dubai on Mallory on Travel, adventure, adventure travel, photography Iain Mallory-300-11 burj-khalifa

Downtown Dubai

An ever-present heat haze hangs over Dubai, as if looking at it through a sheet of glazed glass. It does not detract from the views and it is easy to imagine these impressive views as the sun goes down.

The Burj Khalifa was named after the leader of oil wealthy neighbour Abu Dhabi which recently bailed out the Emirate to the tune of a cool £6.13 billion. This is apparently the current cost of having a world record named after you.

Window cleaning the Burj Khalifa style in the Emirate of Dubai on Mallory on Travel, adventure, adventure travel, photography Iain Mallory-300-14 burj-khalifa

Extreme window cleaning

The view of Downtown Dubai from the Burj Khalifa the top of the Burj Khalifa on Mallory on Travel, adventure, adventure travel, photography Iain Mallory-300-10 burj-khalifa

The Emirate of Dubai, on the edge of the desert

At 829.8m it is the tallest existing man-made structure but it breaks several other records. This includes the highest and fastest elevators installation, the highest restaurant and nightclub, the list goes on however it is does not have the highest observation deck. It did when built but has since been overtaken by the Cloud Top 488 on top of the Canton Tower. Admiring the views however I didn’t mind, it still felt like being on top of the World just a for a few minutes.

Looking down on the Emirate of Dubai from the Burj Khalifa on Mallory on Travel, adventure, adventure travel, photography Iain-Mallory-300-10-1.jpg burj-khalifa

Looking down on the Emirate


Comments 21

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      wow Jennifer have a great time, not my favourite city but still many great things to experience. I look forward to reading your take on it.

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  1. Colleen Brynn

    I have nightmares about skyscrapers… one of few recurring type dreams I have. I blame the fact that I was in the world trade centre on Sept. 1, 2001… The nightmares began subsequently thereafter. Not sure that I’d be going up this one, but I am definitely the type to not let something pass me by especially if I’m somewhere like Abu Dhabi!!! I would probably end up doing it, all the while shaking and quivering in my shoes. Eep!

  2. Ruth

    Ohhh wow, these photos are amazing. If I visit Dubai, I will definetly do this (no matter the price). I know I will be very nervous (like when I visited the Shanghai World Trade Center) but I wouldn’t miss the view for anything.

  3. Paul

    I must admit that I never had a great desire to visit Dubai. I mean that in context, as in I want to see everywhere that there is on this planet, but Dubai has never been high on my list. When I stopped over for just an hour on the way from London to Perth a year ago though, I was absolutely fascinated to see the high rise city rising from the middle of the desert and my curiosity went up a notch or two. Add to this the stories of people I know who had spent time in the city, and now it’s really somewhere that I want to visit.

    I love the photos. What a staggeringly amazing view.

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      I didn’t really get long enough there to be able to really explore Paul. Therefore only scratched the surface which seemed very superficial. The views are amazing but would love to go back and see the real Dubai, get under it’s skin and see some genuine culture. Thanks for commenting.

  4. Sherif Hassan

    Have not visited Dubai for Several Years now. Planning on going there October this Year. Seems like I will see lots of Changes. Dubai now is also a Major Luxury Cruise Destination !

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      Have a great time when you visit Sherif, I’d love to return too, didn’t get to see enough last time, need to explore somemore.

  5. Charli l Wanderlusters

    It’s times like these I wish I was not so fearful of heights. I’ve suffered with crippling panic every time I’ve attempted to ascend a tall structure and consequently miss out on spectacular views such as this. The images look as though taken on another planet. It’s incredible that we can build such record breaking structures in the most remote of locations!

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      I hope you get over that fear if you make it there Charli, the views on a clear day must be amazing. I’d love to be up there at sunset, probably breath-taking.

  6. PurpleTravelKate

    That looks like an utterly amazing experience. I think I might have a small freakout on the way up, the thought of the lift makes my stomach leap, but I reckon it would be just so worth it.

  7. Jay B.

    Stunning stunning views! Must be an amazing feeling when you´re standing on the world´d tallest building looking down at the other skyscrapers.. Not to mention that the lift ride itself must be an adrenaline experience travelling two three floors per second!

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