Burj al Khalifa is the most famous skyscraper in Dubai and UAE.
Well, this building pushes boundaries in many ways regarding its heights, construction, and security.
Burj al Khalifa – Khalifa Tower.
What to know before visiting Burj al Khalifa
How to reach Burj al Khalifa
Burj al Khalifa is situated at 1, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Boulevard, next to the Dubai Mall.
You can reach it by taxi or by car – there is available parking in the Dubai Mall.
Another option: take the metro Red Line to Burj Khalifa Metro Station. Be aware that you need to walk about 20 minutes from the metro station to the “At the Top” counter.
Construction of Burj al Khalifa
During the building of the Burj al Khalifa, the whole of Downtown Dubai was built together around it.
By the way, it is the highest building in the world with a height of 828 meters, and it is the tallest self-supported building as well.
The Hymenocallis flower or Spider Lily, a regional desert flower, inspired the American architect Adrian Smith to build this unusual tower.
The base of the building is triple-shaded.
The construction is equal to approximately the weight of 100,000 elephants.
The construction started in January 2004, finished in 2009, and was opened on the 4th January 2010.
First, this “vertical city” was known as Burj Dubai. However, after the financial support of the former president of the UAE and the ruler of Abu Dhabi, Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the building got the name Burj al Khalifa in his honour.
The total cost of construction of the building was 1,5 billion US dollars. The owner is EMAAR Properties, an Emirati multinational real estate company.
Three sections of the Burj al Khalifa
The building consists of three sections which are arranged around one core.
1. Armani Hotel and residential part
The Armani Hotel occupies the concourse to the 8th level and 144 Armani residences from the 9th to the 16th level. The Armani Signature Suites are located on the 38th and 39th levels. And six Armani restaurants are offering various food in this hotel. By the way, everything was designed by the famous Giorgio Armani.
Then, there are 900 luxury residences from the 19th to the 108th level including studios and one to four-bedroom suites.
At.Mosphere, the world’s highest restaurant and lounge is on the 122nd floor.
2. Observation decks
So, there are three levels for enjoying the view of the city and the Arabian Gulf.
You can take also “a virtual flight” above Dubai or walk on glass which is crashing under your feet.
The first observatory desk “At the Top of Burj Khalifa” is located on the 124th and 125th levels at 456 metres.
The second one is “At the TOP Burj Khalifa SKY”, located on the 148th floor, at 555 metres.
The “Lounge Burj al Khalifa” is on the 152nd, 153rd and 154th levels.
In fact, it is the world’s highest lounge at 585 meters with an outdoor terrace.
3. Office space
The third part belongs to the Corporate Suites, located from the 112th to the 154th levels.
Certainly, this 360-degree view is breathtaking, whether it is day, night, sunset or it is foggy weather.
Some interesting facts about Burj al Khalifa that will surprise you
♦ Burj al Khalifa has 163 floors, 57 elevators and 8 escalators.
◊ Observatory elevators go at a speed of 10m/s, up to 504 metres.
♦ About 12,000 people worked during its construction.
◊ Three sky lobbies, spas, four pools, and health and wellness facilities are available.
♦ The Burj Gardens are partly irrigated with the water collected from the building’s condensate collection system.
◊ It takes about 120 days to clean all windows of the building.
♦ This building has the highest aluminium and glass facade in the world.
Visiting time and price tickets
Opening time for visiting is 8 AM – 11 PM, every day during the year.
You can buy a ticket at the counter “At The Top” on the lower ground level of Dubai Mall. To avoid a crowd, purchase a ticket online and show it at the counter.
The price depends on the time of the visit.
1. “At the Top”, for the 124th and 125th levels.
Non-prime hours: 8 AM – 3 PM, 6 PM – 11 PM, price is 43 EUR.
Prime hours for sunset: 3 PM – 6 PM, the fee increases up to 63 EUR.
2. “At the Top SKY”, for the 124th, 125th and 148th floors.
A premium experience includes skipping the line and access to the 148 floor, open terrace, and refreshments.
Non-prime hours: 10 AM – 6 PM, the price is 143 EUR.
Prime hours: 7 PM – 9 PM, the price is 103 EUR.
3. “Lounge Burj al Khalifa”
The Lounge access includes coffee, tea, or a glass of bubbly with gourmet canapes.
The ticket for the Lounge costs about 200 EUR per person, and you can book a ticket here.
Since this site is very crowded all the time, you have to arrive at least 30 minutes before the scheduled time. And during the peak season, it is advised to come even 90 minutes earlier. For example in September, we waited one hour to get to “At the Top”, in the evening hours.
Burj al Khalifa Combos tickets
So there are tickets for visiting only Burj al Khalifa Tower. But you can take a combo ticket as well. It included a visit to Burj al Khalifa, and for example the excursion of Dubai Desert Safari, or a visit to the Aquarium/Underwater Zoo in Dubai Mall.
The light show and special effects
There is a special system of stroboscopes installed on the facade of the building. They can be individually programmed making fabulous light shows and sparkling effects.
So, visitors can enjoy the spectacular laser show from Burj al Khalifa every evening from 6 PM to 11 PM.
In combination with fireworks, it is a fantastic scene for the New Year celebration or some special days and events.
By the way, if you would like to celebrate New Year’s 2024 in the sky, you can do it at the observatory desks on the 124th and 125th levels. This event includes enjoying the Dubai view with a live DJ and a selection of food and drinks. The ticket price for this evening is from 300 EUR to 400 EUR.
In front of Burj al Khalifa and Dubai Mall, there is an artificial Burj Lake. It covers about 12 hectares area.
You can take a ride in a traditional abra boat and see the Burj al Khalifa from a different perspective.
The ride lasts about 30 minutes on the lake going around the Burj promenade, Dubai Mall, 5* Palace Downtown Hotel and Soak al Bahar.
The ticket for the Abra ride costs 18 EUR. You can buy it online or at the ticket counter “Lake Ride” entrance point in front of the Dubai Mall, on the Burj promenade.
Only 6 six people can be in the abra boat which is perfect for enjoying the ride.
We took a ride at about 6 PM and caught a little bit of day and night moments and saw a fountain show from the lake.
One of Dubai’s highlights is the Dubai Fountain Show.
The fountain is 275 m long, meaning that it is the world’s largest dancing fountain system. It was designed by a Californian company WET Design, known after the fountains at the Bellagio Hotel Lake in Las Vegas.
Jets push up 22,000 gallons of water to 140 metres high in the air, while 6,600 lights and 25 colour projectors illuminate the fountain. Well, that is a fantastic spectacle 😍
The marvellous fountain dance of water and lights is held two times during the day at 01 PM and 01:30 PM.
In the evening you can watch an amazing show every 30 minutes, starting from 6 PM to 11 PM. The program can change, for example during Ramadan, to fit in with fasting hours, or for public holidays.
Usually, the show lasts about 4-5 minutes, depending on the song’s duration, from classical to contemporary Arabic and world music.
And no matter how many times you watch it, every time you are surprised by a fantastic fountain performance.
Burj al Khalifa
Well, visiting Dubai is not complete without visiting Burj al Khalifa.
Even fans of “Mission Impossible – Ghost Protocol” remember the famous scene of Tom Cruise climbing on this building.
But you don’t have to do this.
Just enjoy the views of Dubai Downtown, Burj Lake and fountain dance from its observatories.
Rising from the desert, this building is the heart of the town and the most popular tourist attraction in Dubai.
Well, that is Burj al Khalifa, a wonder of modern architecture.