Dubai Layover: The Burj Khalifa – World’s Tallest Building

After spending a brief moment at the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi to, at the very least, see its famous white domes and opulent architecture and designs, we hopped on the Etihad Shuttle for a 1 hour drive into Dubai to see the iconic Burj Khalifa.

(Previous post – first stop on our 14 hour layover: Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi)

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We would only have time for 2 things in Dubai:

1) Go up the World’s Tallest Building, Burj Khalifa (this post)

2) Relax with some Fancy Afternoon Tea at the Palace (next post)

Burj Khalifa

Just keeping looking up!

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Basic Stats and World Records

At over 828 metres (2,716.5 feet) and more than 160 stories, Burj Khalifa holds the following records:
  • Tallest building in the world
  • Tallest free-standing structure in the world
  • Highest number of stories in the world
  • Highest occupied floor in the world
  • Highest outdoor observation deck in the world
  • Elevator with the longest travel distance in the world
  • Tallest service elevator in the world

How to book

Book your tickets online in advance for a discount! You are given options to select a specific time, with peak times being the most expensive (before sunset).

We booked for 3:00 pm.

At the Top (Level 124) – 125 AED
Sky (Level 125 + 148) – 350 AED

Extra for prime hours (200 AED and 500 AED)

After getting dropped off at the Etihad office, we hailed a cab towards the Dubai mall. To get to the entrance for the Burj Khalifa, we walked through the giant Dubai mall (one of the largest in the world by total area) and past the Aquarium where I saw giant stingrays and other fish!

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There are separate lines for men and women and you need to pass your bags through a metal detector.

Once inside, you walk along a pathway that gives you some history behind the building.

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In the elevator, they display a movie for you that showed you rising up against other buildings like the Empire State Building and CN Tower. It really gives you a sense of perspective since the elevator doesn’t have windows (those fearful of heights will be grateful for this!)

As you leave the elevator and venture out onto the deck, staff members offer to take some photos of you pretending to sit on the edge or jump off the side. We didn’t pay to purchase these 🙂

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It’s pretty amazing how high up you are and the reason you come here (for the views) speak for themselves! Eric has a bit of a heights phobia when it comes to man-made objects so he didn’t stay long. I lingered around long enough to get these shots.

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Two interesting options that we didn’t go for:

1) You can pay extra to go to a higher level observation deck (price listed earlier)
2) You can dine in the restaurant (menu)
A bonus of eating at the restaurant, is that your ticket up to the Burj Khalifa is included! But, of course, the menus don’t come cheap!
A two-course lunch will run 375 AED and a three-course lunch is 500 AED. About $135 CAD or $180 CAD for some perspective.
I loved the idea of doing a fancy high tea in their lounge with the views away from the crowds, but Eric wasn’t sure he could handle being that high up, for that long. In the end, we chose to go back to ground level, and scout out a nice place with a view of the building.
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We settled on Afternoon Tea at the Palace.
Read about it in my next post and check out the delicious tea and pastries…we lucked out and arrived on a special afternoon with unlimited portions 🙂
View my Abu Dhabi and Dubai Flickr Gallery here.

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