I get it. You’ve got the travel bug and your passport has called for more stamps across the numerous empty pages you left unattended during the pandemic.
And now, you’ve set your sights on traveling to the Middle East, and more specifically, Dubai has been chosen as your next grand adventure away from home.
Your research on top things to do in Dubai has led you here, as it’s no surprise that the Burj Khalifa is one of, well, if not thee top attraction in the city.
But what do you know about the Burj Khalifa? Wait, have you even discovered all the cool things that take place inside of it? Well, I’ve got you covered.
Sit back, relax, take notes, and let’s dive into everything you need to know about visiting the Burj Khalifa in Dubai.
Where is it Located?
The physical address for Burj Khalifa is:
1 Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard,
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
When Was it Built?
Burj Khalifa opened its doors on January 4th, 2010, but construction began on the project as early as January 2004. Designed by Adrian Smith and team, of Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill, the same group that drew up plans for Chicago’s Sears Tower, Burj Khalifa was originally conceived of due the government’s plan to transform the country’s image as an oil-based economy to one that is of exceptional tourism and services.
Burj Khalifa would serve as the heart of a central, large-scale developmental downtown Dubai project that would include thousands of homes, over a dozen residential skyscrapers, Dubai Mall, and artificial lake.
Here’s a fun fact: Its architectural design was inspired by the Hymenocallisor Spider Lily, which is a regional desert flower.
How Tall is it?
Burj Khalifa is 2,717 feet tall (828 meters) and currently retains the record as the world’s tallest building and freestanding structure. The record was obtained after topping out in 2009 and surpassing Taiwan’s Taipei 101, which was the tallest building recordholder at the time.
For your reference, here is a list of the top 10 skyscrapers in the world as of 2022:
1. Burj Khalifa – 2,717 ft / 163 floors – Dubai, United Arab Emirates
2. Merdeka 118 – 2,227 ft / 118 floors – Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
3. Shanghai Tower – 2,073 ft / 128 floors Shanghai, China
4. Abraj Al-Bait Clock Tower – 1,972 ft / 120 floors – Mecca, Saudia Arabia
5. Ping An International Finance Centre – 1,966 ft / 115 floors – Shenzhen, China
6. Lotte World Tower – 1,819 ft / 123 floors – Seoul, South Korea
7. One World Trade Center – 1,776 ft / 94 floors – New York City, USA
8. Guangzhou CTF Finance Center – 1,739 ft / 111 floors – Guangzhou, China
9. Tianjin CTF Finance Centre – 1,739 ft / 97 floors – Tianjin, China
10. China Zun – 1,731 ft / 109 floors – Beijing, China
What Records Has it Broken?
Burj Khalifa holds a number of astonishing world records. For example, outside of knowing that it’s the tallest skyscraper in existence, did you know that:
- At 163 Floors, it’s the building with the greatest number of floors.
- It’s got the world’s highest elevator.
- It’s also got the world’s fastest elevator.
- Has the highest outdoor observation deck.
- Has the world’s highest nightclub.
- Has the world’s highest restaurant (At.mosphere / 122nd floor).
- Showcased the world’s highest New year’s fireworks display.
- Dubai’s façade is made up of 26,000 glass panels.
Believe me, that list goes on.
What’s Inside Burj Khalifa?
Burj Khalifa contains 300,000 sq. feet office space, 1.85 million sq. feet of residential space, two hotels (Armani Hotel Dubai and the Armani Residence), two observation decks (At the Top Sky observatory and At the Top observatory), a restaurant (At.mosphere), a lounge (The Lounge: Burj Khalifa), and three sky lobbies that feature spas, pools, sundecks, wellness centers, and more.
You’ll find 144 luxury Armani Residences located between floors 9 and 16 of the Burj Khalifa. Each room—either a one or two bedroom suite between 100 and 200 sq. meters—contains designs personally inspired by Giorgio Armani.
Furthermore, Burj Khalifa is where you’ll find the world’s first Armani Hotel, situated between concourse and floor 8, and the Armani Signature Suites on levels 38 and 39.
The Lounge, located on levels 152, 153, and 154, is the world’s highest lounge. Visitors can enjoy tea, coffee, and stunning views of Dubai from 1,919 ft. in the air.
What tourists really love to visit Burj Khalifa for are its observation decks.
How are the At the Top Observation Decks?
Burj Khalifa’s At the Top observation decks are a part of the must-do experiences you can’t miss before leaving Dubai. There are two: At the Top Sky, located on the 148th floor, and At the Top, located on floors 124 and 125.
At the Top Sky – Level 148
Tickets to At the Top Sky include a welcoming introduction of the Burj Khalifa by a local Guest Ambassador. They’ll provide a brief history of the skyscraper along with facts and figures.
Afterwards, take the world’s fastest elevator to the 148th floor, where you’ll be greeted with a complimentary refreshment in the SKY lounge. You can observe Dubai from the inside, or, head to the outdoor terrace for spectacular, adrenaline-pumping views of Dubai from 1,820 ft. above the city.
Next, descend to levels 124 and 125, which are also included in your package.
At the Top – Levels 124 and 125
If there’s a fear of heights or some other reason that only gets you to level 125 and 125, don’t worry, those views are just as remarkable.
You’ll find a spacious, artsy lounge and 360-degree observatory on floor 125, which brings in crowds at all hours of the day that it’s open.
On the 124th floor sits an open-air deck for outside viewing. Visitors wait there for hours on end to view the sunset over the city.
What Can You See From At the Top?
There’s lots to see of Dubai from the At the Top observatory. You’ll be able to look down of the numerous skyscrapers and residences situated around Burj Khalifa, and catch the top of Dubai Mall, as well as Dubai Fountain and the Arabian Gulf in the distance.
Ticket Prices for At the Top
Here are the prices for tickets into each observation deck:
At the Top Sky
Adult/Child: AED 399 (7pm-10pm)
Adult/Child: AED 553 (12pm – 6pm Prime Hours)
FREE: 4yrs. and Below
At the Top
Adult: AED 169 (5am-3:30pm/7pm-12am)
AED 244 (4pm-6:30pm Prime Hours)
Child: AED 134 (5am-3:30pm/7pm-12am)
AED 152 (4pm-6:30pm Prime Hours)
When’s the Best Time to Visit At the Top?
The best time to visit Burj Khalifa’s At the Top observation decks is during non-prime hours when tickets are cheapest, which is early mornings between 5am and 12pm and 2 hours before closing. If high ticket prices aren’t an issue, the best time to visit is about an hour before sunset.
Where Can You Take the Best Picture of Burj Khalifa?
Honestly, Burj Khalifa is so tall that you can see it from miles away, and thus, anywhere is a good place to take the best picture of it.
It’ll be hard to get its full frame it an image the closer you are to it, so venturing out far enough is key to capturing some truly great shots.
Here are some recommendations for the best places to take pictures of the Burj Khalifa:
- The Dubai Steel Heart
- The Wings of Mexico Statue
- Soul Al Bahar
- The Adress Downtown Hotel
- Soho Garden
What Can You Do Near Burj Khalifa?
Dubai Mall sits at the base of Burj Khalifa. The world’s largest mall, Dubai Mall consists of over 1,200 retail outlets and more than 200 restaurants and cool leisure attractions, including Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo, KidZania, a VR Park, cinema, an ice rink, and a 20,000 sq. foot multi-sports complex.
Dubai Mall receives has received over 100 million visitors in a year and is considered one of the top places to visit in Dubai.
What’s more, you can’t leave Dubai without taking a picture in front of The Waterfall, the iconic artwork piece featuring life-sized statues of human divers jumping down the side of an indoor waterfall structure.
Here are some interesting facts about Dubai Mall:
- Dubai Mall opened in November 2008.
- Its retail floor area is a whopping 5,400,00 sq. feet.
- It received 37 million visitors in its first year.
- Popular outlets include Louis Vutton, Tiffany and Co., Bloomingdale’s, Borders, Miniso, Hallmark, and more.
- Dubai Mall host international restaurants that serve American, British, Chinese, French, Indian, Italian, Japanese, and Middle Eastern food.
Just outside of the Burj Khalifa sits Dubai Fountain, which is the world’s tallest performing fountain. The show is carried out on a 30-acre lake and features nozzles shooting as much as 22,000 gallons of water over 150-feet in the air at any given time. The water dances to local and international melodies and uses 6,500 lights and 50 color projectors to create a dazzling display at night.
Most people view the Dubai Fountain water show from the 892-foot boardwalk situated next to Dubai Mall. There are opportunities to watch the show from aboard boat rides around Dubai Fountain as well.
The Dubai Fountain show is free to the public and takes place every 30 minutes daily from 6pm to 11pm.
Dubai Opera opened its doors in 2016 and has hosted numerous performances and events in its 2000-seat Dhow themed auditorium, from opera and theatre shows to concerts, stand-up comedy acts, ballet, and conferences.
You can take tours of Dubai Opera, too. The Architecture Tour provides insight on the building’s wonderful cultural aesthetics and shares stories about Dubai Opera’s heritage and cultural significance through its architecture, sculptures, and artworks.
The Backstage Tour takes guests on a 45-minute behind-the-scenes tour of the auditorium, making stops on stage, in dressing rooms, at seat storage areas, and more.
Souk Al Bahar
You only need a few minutes’ walk from Burj Khalifa to reach Souk Al Bahar. The vibrant marketplace is home to lively entertainment, over 100 shops, 22 eateries, cafes, lounges, and stunning views of Burj Khalifa and its surrounding Arabesque buildings.
Souk Al Bahar is great if you’re looking for more of a localized shopping and dining experience that’s situated in downtown Dubai. You won’t find a bevy of western or international foods and outlets.
What’s more, Soul Al Bahar host occasional events and is a popular location to watch New year’s fireworks. Expect lots of tourists when visiting the popular destination.
Dubai doesn’t have too many large green spaces, so it’s good to take advantage of their presence, especially if they’re close to attractions you’ll be visiting. With that, welcome to Burj Park, a clean, 3.2-mile park consisting of sprawling grass fields perfect for picnics, along with jogging paths, sculptures, and a play area.
The park frequently holds events and is considered a great place to take kids when they need a relaxing break from all the sightseeing and shopping you’ve done in downtown.
Well, there you have it—all you need to know about visiting Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest skyscraper located in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Did you find out anything about Burj Khalifa that you didn’t know before? What excites you must about visiting it? What fun attractions do you plan to explore nearby?
There are tons of questions that need answers, and I can’t wait for you to share your pictures across social media and tag #EarthCurious. Safe and happy travels!