Burj Khalifa – At the Top – Things to Do in Dubai
Six years of blood, sweat and tears and now Dubai has the tallest building in the world. By the time you read this, the record will probably have been broken. In any case, this elegant mega structure stands at 828 feet tall and has broken a multitude of world records such as the highest and fastest elevator installation, the highest outdoor observation deck, the highest place of worship, the highest restaurant and nightclub and the highest fixed lavatory in the world! Yes, that’s true.
Initially named as the Burj Dubai during its development, the government of Dubai changed its name to the Burj Khalifa paying homage to the President and head of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Khaifa bin Zayed Al Nahayan.
The tallest building in the world is made up of 900 luxury apartments, over 40 floors dedicated to office space and the first ever Armani Hotel with 160 luxury suites, studios and classic rooms. For eating and entertainment, the highest restaurant and bar in the world is At.mosphere at the 122nd floor where just a steak can set you back $100 (USD). Armani also boasts five of its own restaurants and a funky nightclub – the Armani Privé. Turning up here in your day clothes just won’t do.
The world’s tallest observation deck known as ‘At the Top’ is on the 124th floor and is a smooth 60 second ride. If you visit Dubai, the ‘At the Top’ viewing experience in the Burj Khalifa is one of our top things to do in Dubai – even if you are acrophobic!
You’ll need to plan your visit to the top of the world in advance to achieve the viewing slot of your choice. 1700 – 1830 are probably the most popular time slots to go due to sunset views. During the popular seasonal holiday periods (Oct – May) you may have to book up to 5 days in advance to grab these popular time slots, so it’s advised to make the trip to the booking office in Dubai Mall as soon as you arrive in Dubai. Our smart tip is to plan in advance and book your slot online and the likelihood of getting the day and timeslot of your choice will be a lot better. However, you don’t have to visit during sunset. Visiting during the early afternoon can also be a lovely experience. So long as you have a somewhat clear day you will enjoy the At the Top experience to the fullest. Unfortunately, Dubai does have its overcast and cloudy days which could be disappointing. However, the designers behind the observation gallery have invented a clever virtual telescope in which the position you are observing through the telescope can be shown as it is on a clear day and by night/day. There are several of these telescopes available around the observation deck and cover every viewing angle.
Once you are at the top of the world, take in some of Dubai’s most amazing views. Just as you can see the Burj Khalifa from every part of the city, you can see the whole city from Burj including the Palm Jumeirah, the World islands, the Emirates Towers and the rapid continuous growth of Dubai. If you are lucky enough to grab a slot after 5pm – stay and watch the Dubai musical fountain show – it’s great to view it from a different angle!
There will be a photographer taking a photo of you at the top. It’s not really staged, but once you get to the bottom, you will face the scourge of the best sales people in Dubai trying to sell you the memorabilia. You can pay for a photo for about 220 Dhs, which is a little steep. But they also play the game of combination products (magnets etc) or buying the rights of the photo. Don’t feel forced to buy them. It is a great memento, but the photo that you really want to have is the photo from the bridge at the bottom of the Burj looking up. That one costs between 65 and 85 Dhs to get a professional one taken – or if you can take one yourself, it’s free!
Points of note:
If you are super organised, we recommend buying your tickets online before you arrive in Dubai, so you don’t have to go to the Dubai Mall immediately. If money is no object to you or you plan to spend your whole holiday at the Dubai Mall, then feel free to ignore this advice
The actual entrance to the At the Top tour is via Dubai Mall and not from Burj Khalifa.
For those who want to go even higher, you can pay AED 500 to access the even higher Sky Experience. That makes At the Top not really At the top, but you know – it’s all marketing.
You can’t actually go to the Armani hotel from At the Top. There is a separate entrance for this and you’ll need reservations.
There’s no real time limit once you get to the top, but many people don’t usually stay for long as, apart from the views, there’s only a memorabilia shop to purchase gifts from.
You can buy anything from Burj Khalifa Lego to Burk Khalifa branded Camel Milk chocolate, so it’s a good opportunity for gifts
Make sure you arrive 15 minutes before your allocated time slot.
Be sure to gulp down as the elevator shoots up!
When – Daily, 10am to 10pm, 10am to midnight
How Long – An hour for the tour, another half an hour for the queuing and merchandise purchasing.
Location – Dubai Mall / Burj Khalifa
Cost – Adults 100 for general admission (400 for immediate entry), children (4-12 yrs) 75 for general admission (400 for immediate entry) Children under 3 are free.
Booking – To purchase tickets in advance visit tickets.atthetop.ae or visit the booking office in Dubai Mall
More info – See the official site at burjkhalifa.ae