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Burj Khalifa – The World’s Tallest Building

Burj Khalifa – The World’s Tallest Building

DUBAI, HOTELS, MIDDLE EAST, TOURS, TRAVEL

No matter where you are in Dubai, the Burj Khalifa rises imperiously out of the sands of Dubai.   The Burj Khalifa stands at a stunning 2,722 feet (828 meters). It’s three times as tall as the Eiffel Tower and nearly twice as tall as the Empire State Building. That said, the structure’s symbolic place in the modern world is perhaps as noteworthy as its structural accomplishments.

The Burj Khalifa’s design resembles the lyrical and well-proportioned structure of the Hymenocallis flower, a regional desert flower that inspired architect Adrian Smith‘s vision of the iconic tower.

The Burj Khalifa towering in the background
The Burj Khalifa towering in the background

The tower also holds world records for: ‘tallest free standing building’, ‘highest occupied floor’, ‘highest number of stories’, ‘longest travel distance elevators’, ‘tallest service elevator’ and ‘second highest outdoor observatory deck’. The record for highest outdoor observation deck is now held by Canton Tower which was officially opened in December 2011.

The Burj Khalifa is shaped like a Hymenocallis flower
The Burj Khalifa is shaped like a Hymenocallis flower

Aside from being one of the most spectacular sites in the world, the Burj Khalifa provides a number of features designed to attract visitors.  The first 15 floors of the hotel make up the Armani Hotel. It’s the first hotel from fashion designer Giorgio Armani featuring spectacular views of Downtown Dubai from inside the world’s tallest tower.  The rooms are as sleek and stylish as you would expect, and the signature Armani Restaurant serves some of the best Italian cuisine in town.

Image Armani Hotel Dubai
Image Armani Hotel Dubai
Image Armani Restaurant Dubai
Image Armani Restaurant Dubai

Guests can even enjoy the views of the 902 foot-long Dubai Fountain , which shoots water up to 500 feet in the air from the bedroom windows at the Armani Hotel or from the terrace of the Armani’s Restaurant.

Armani Hotel Outdoor Terrace Burj Khalifa Dubai (Image: Arabian Business)
Armani Hotel Outdoor Terrace Burj Khalifa Dubai (Image: Arabian Business)

To come to Dubai without a visit to the top of the Burj Khalifa is unforgivable, so we brought the VIP Tickets online before we went. You can also purchase them at the Dubai Mall. Using our VIP Tickets was similar to a fast track access pass. Not only do you avoid the crowds to enter this iconic landmark, but it also gives you access to the exclusive observation decks and luxury lounges on the 124th, 125th & 148th level of this megastructure.

When we arrived, we spend some time admiring the exhibits on the building’s history.  Using our VIP Tickets, we skipped the general lines and waited in a special line. A gentleman escorted us and a small group of 10 others through a long hallway which displayed videos of the building and it’s construction until we reached the elevator.

At The Top entrance and elevator ride
At The Top entrance and elevator ride

Once inside the elevator, the ride took about a minute before we soared from the ground level to the 124th floor. We watched the display of floor numbers changing rapidly,  projections of landmarks on small TV’s throughout, and a display of flashing lights. We came to a stop on the 124th floor.

Once the elevator doors opened, we were greeted with a nice selection of treats, dates, and a cold refreshing drink in the observation lounge area on the 124th floor.   The views from the windows were jaw-dropping.  We wondered around admiring the staggering views of  the city of Dubai below from all angles.

The Observation Lodge - Burj Khalifa
The Observation Lodge – Burj Khalifa
A photo break on the 124th observation deck of the Burj Khalifa
A photo break on the 124th observation deck of the Burj Khalifa
A view from the 124th floor of the Burj Khalifa "At The Top"
A view from the 124th floor of the Burj Khalifa “At The Top”

If you’re a photographer, take a tripod with you to capture the endless panoramas towards the beach and over the city.

The observation deck of the 124th - Burj Khalifa
The observation deck of the 124th – Burj Khalifa

From the Burj Khalifa sky lounge, we were personally escorted to a dedicated elevator that took us to the highest point the 148th floor, soaring at 555 meters (1821 feet).  Floor-to-ceiling glass walls provide a breath-taking unobstructed 360-degree view of the city, desert, and ocean.  All we could say was “Wow, what a view”!

The views from the 148th Floor of the Burj Khalifa
The views from the 148th Floor of the Burj Khalifa
The view of the fountains below from the 148th floor of the Burj Khalifa
The view of the fountains below from the 148th floor of the Burj Khalifa
Observation Deck on the 148th Floor of the Burj Khalifa
Observation Deck on the 148th Floor of the Burj Khalifa

After spending 90 minutes wandering around, we stopped at the gift shop to pick up a few souvenirs to take home.

Tourists without a fear of heights (or with strong faith in engineering) will find the Burj Khalifa one of the most exciting vacation experiences imaginable. A one-night stay at the Armani Hotel can range from anywhere between $500 and $2,000, though the latter price tag is reserved for the “signature” suites.

The building has its own Metro stop, the Burj Khalifa Station which is a 10 minute walk away and you can book tickets online.  My only regret was that we didn’t go at sunset to see the city of Dubai by day and night from the top.

  • The observation deck is open 7 days a week from 8:30 am to 10pm.  The last entry is 45 minutes prior to closing.  Every Friday and Saturday, enjoy sunrise visits from 5:30 am.
  • The observation deck is accessed from the lower level of the Dubai Mall near the food court.

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About the author

Carmen Edelson is the Founder and Senior Editor of Carmen's Luxury Travel. Carmen has been traveling the world for over a decade. Our travels allows her the opportunity to pursuit her itch to travel to the best luxury destinations, and experience those first class tastes from around the world.

30 Comments

  1. Jackie Sills-Dellegrazie
    January 22, 2017 at 11:00 pm
    Reply

    I knew Burj Khalifa was the tallest building in the world, but nearly twice the size of the Empire State Building is insane! It’s hard to comprehend what that height would look and feel like. The views from the top are amazing. Thanks for the tip about going at sunset to see both day and night views.
    Jackie Sills-Dellegrazie recently posted…How to Plan a Successful 1 Week Utah National Parks Road Trip ItineraryMy Profile

    • Carmen Edelson
      January 24, 2017 at 2:20 pm

      The views from the top are spectacular, and you certainly feel the heat from the sun when you go outside. At night you can see the city all lite up, and that’s the view that I wished we saw.

  2. Jo
    January 23, 2017 at 12:32 am
    Reply

    I wanna visit Dubai so bad.. Burj is a stunning structure. I loved your pics from the 148th floor – those are some spectacular views of the city. What else did you see in Dubai and which other places do you recommend?
    Jo recently posted…Goa Beyond the BeachesMy Profile

    • Carmen Edelson
      January 24, 2017 at 2:24 pm

      We went on a seaplane over the city, we went on a 4×4 drive on the dunes, then rode a camel. Check out my article on “Top Things to Do and See in Dubai” here: http://bit.ly/2iCGTuQ

  3. Nathan
    January 23, 2017 at 1:02 am
    Reply

    Your pics are so great! I really want to visit here one day. It would be such an experience. I would love to stay in an Armani signature room but… it’s nice to have dreams!
    Nathan recently posted…Where to Eat on Gili Trawangan, IndonesiaMy Profile

    • Carmen Edelson
      January 24, 2017 at 2:26 pm

      We stayed at the Tai Hotel and my view out the window was of the Burj Khalifa. I definitely would go back to Dubai in a heartbeat.

  4. melody pittman
    January 23, 2017 at 1:34 am
    Reply

    Holy goodness that would be an adventure just riding the elevator. I’ve seen dozens of posts of the lavish hotel but not once did it ever sink in that it was THE Armani Hotel. 😉 Cool stuff Carmen. 😉
    melody pittman recently posted…Spiro’s Taverna- Greek Eats in Vero Beach, FLMy Profile

    • Carmen Edelson
      January 24, 2017 at 2:29 pm

      The elevator ride is quite an adventure going up. My ears pop instantly, and you can feel the pressure. Once you’re at the top the views are amazing.

  5. Stacey Veikalas
    January 23, 2017 at 5:30 am
    Reply

    I knew it was the tallest but I had no idea HOW tall … Dubai looks amazing, we really need to go!

    • Carmen Edelson
      January 24, 2017 at 2:42 pm

      It’s like your walking on top of the world when you are on the 148th floor of the Burj Khalifa.

  6. Kerri
    January 23, 2017 at 6:17 am
    Reply

    I remember when this building was being built. I think the most visual thing for me is it being twice the size of the Empire State. That building is super tall so to think it’s twice that – amazing! Spectacular views from the high points.

    • Carmen Edelson
      January 24, 2017 at 2:30 pm

      They started the construction in 2004, and finished in 2010. It’s hard for me to imagine another building being built higher than this one in the future.

  7. Castaway with Crystal
    January 23, 2017 at 6:46 am
    Reply

    Wow that is an amazing hotel/building. Looks so smick. Georgio did a good job there 😉
    Castaway with Crystal recently posted…The Local’s List: Things to do in SydneyMy Profile

    • Carmen Edelson
      January 24, 2017 at 2:31 pm

      The Armani Hotel is very chic, and they spared no cost when it came to the decor.

  8. Emily
    January 23, 2017 at 9:57 am
    Reply

    It’s hard to imagine how high this building must be – I’ve never been to any building nearly as tall. I thought the Empire State was pretty high! Dubai is on my list as a stopover the next time I’m Asia-bound and Burj Khalifa looks like a must-do. Although I very much doubt I’ll ever be able to stay there, sadly!
    Emily recently posted…Getting Twitchy: A Day Out at Slimbridge Wetland CentreMy Profile

    • Carmen Edelson
      January 24, 2017 at 2:33 pm

      Dubai was high on my bucket list, and I’m glad I had the change to go visit. Out of all the cities I visited on my last trip, Dubai was the best.

  9. Clare
    January 23, 2017 at 1:59 pm
    Reply

    148 floors wow, I am not sure I could go that high as I am scared of heights!! The views though do look amazing and I guess when I go to Dubai I will go as I don’t like missing out. Would love to stay in the hotel but I think it will be well out of my budget!!
    Clare recently posted…The Travel Whispers Blogger ChallengeMy Profile

    • Carmen Edelson
      January 24, 2017 at 2:34 pm

      I have a fear of heights too, but as long as you don’t get too close to the windows or look down, you will be fine.

  10. Juliette @ Snorkels To Snow
    January 23, 2017 at 4:56 pm
    Reply

    Oh my gosh this is so impressive! What absolutely spectacular views. I can’t imagine how high it really is – I’ve never been in a building that high!
    Juliette @ Snorkels To Snow recently posted…HOW TO TRAVEL TO FIJI FOR CHEAP!My Profile

    • Carmen Edelson
      January 24, 2017 at 2:35 pm

      I thought the Eiffel Tower was high, but I was blown away when we reached the top of the Burj Khalifa.

  11. Helena
    January 23, 2017 at 10:44 pm
    Reply

    I have always wanted to go here (I once had a dream that they had an outdoor waterslide from the top to the ground!!). Dubai has always intriegued me as in someways I think I will love it and others I am not so sure. I will have to go there one day and try and work it out!

    • Carmen Edelson
      January 24, 2017 at 2:37 pm

      You will fall in love with Dubai with all the amazing things to do and see in the city. We had a wonderful time exploring all the sites.

  12. Hannah @GettingStamped
    January 23, 2017 at 11:09 pm
    Reply

    I have been to Dubai many times on layovers but never gone out exploring…what a view!
    Hannah @GettingStamped recently posted…The 77 Best Things To Do In Milwaukee! | A Local’s Guide to MilwaukeeMy Profile

    • Carmen Edelson
      January 24, 2017 at 2:38 pm

      All you need is 3-4 days in Dubai to see most of the sites. I highly recommend a visit next time you are traveling through.

  13. Sia
    January 24, 2017 at 5:07 pm
    Reply

    Such an interesting place! I’ve never bothered to check what’s inside of it even though I know (like everyone else) Burj Khalifa and how iconic it is. I didn’t know there’s an Armani hotel inside. Everything looks so glamorous. The view from the top seems almost unreal – like in a game or movie from the future.
    Sia recently posted…+Tova cafe and working space, Sofia, BulgariaMy Profile

    • Carmen Edelson
      January 26, 2017 at 6:54 pm

      Looking down over Dubai you do feel like you are looking into a futuristic movie from the future.

  14. Megan Jerrard
    January 24, 2017 at 10:17 pm
    Reply

    I did the unforgiveable :D!! My trip to Dubai was in 2007, and I’ve regretted not actually going into the Burj Khalifa, so hoping to get back at some stage. The views of the tower were wonderful and awe inspiring, but it seems like the views out over Dubai from within are even more stunning! Might look at a night or two at the Armani Hotel 🙂

    • Carmen Edelson
      January 26, 2017 at 7:00 pm

      I can’t even describe how it feels to be looking down over all of Dubai. The view is breathtaking and well worth the visit.

  15. Lauren
    January 26, 2017 at 11:57 pm
    Reply

    This building is crazy! And here I thought our CN Tower in Toronto was tall. This one seems to go on forever and ever! Very cool experience.

    • Carmen Edelson
      January 28, 2017 at 2:13 am

      It really does seem to go on forever and ever!!

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