Dubai is a city of wonders. The Emirates of Dubai has shown the world what can be achieved by being ambitious. This city of the United Arab Emirates is known for achieving impossible feats, and the most precious jewel that sits on its crown is the
Dubai Burj Khalifa,
the tallest building in the world. This building is the first thing that you see before you even land in the city. Standing taller than all the other skyscrapers of Dubai, the Burj Khalifa is an elegant steel structure that has broken several world records. Here we will tell you everything about the building that is the pride of the people of Dubai.
All About Burj Khalifa
Visiting one of the observation decks of the Burj Khalifa is a popular tourist attraction in Dubai. If you are planning to visit, here are some important things that you need to know.
Best Time to Visit Burj Khalifa
The ideal time to visit Burj Khalifa is just before sunset or during the twilight hours. During this time, you would get to see the city during the day as well as after dark, when the lights start shining. Also, the golden hour before the sunset would give you the chance to take some amazing photos. Alternatively, another great time to visit the Burj Khalifa observation deck is during sunrise. Watching the city transforming as the sun rises high is quite a surreal experience. If you visit the building after sunset, you would also be able to have an aerial view of the Dubai Fountain show.
Burj Khalifa Timings
Burj Khalifa is open 24X7 for you if you are a guest at the hotel or one of the residential units. On the other hand, the observation deck is open from 8:30 AM to 11 PM. If you want to visit the Burj Khalifa during sunrise, you need to check the timings on the website, as sunrise timings change as per seasons.
Burj Khalifa Location
The Burj Khalifa is located in Downtown Dubai, next to the Dubai Mall and the Burj Lake (Dubai Fountain). The address of the building is as follows: 1 Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Blvd.
How to Reach Burj Khalifa
If you are traveling to Burj Khalifa by the metro, you have to take the red line and alight at the Burj Khalifa metro station. From here, you can take the bus (F13 and F16) to reach the place. If you get down at Dubai Mall Metro Station, you can walk right inside the mall through the walkway that connects the metro station and the mall. The entrance of the Burj Khalifa is located inside the Dubai Mall. If you are traveling by car, you should exit Sheikh Zayed Road at Interchange 1 and enter Financial Centre Road, where the Dubai Mall is located. You can park your car at the parking area at the mall.
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Burj Khalifa: Inside Story
The Burj Khalifa is an architectural marvel. Erecting a building that is 2716.5 feet tall is no mean feat. Knowing the story of the building is as important as visiting the structure itself. Here is the complete inside story of the development of this mighty structure.
- Burj Khalifa Architecture
Burj Khalifa is owned and developed by Emaar Properties, while the architecture and design of the structure were undertaken by Skidmore, Owings and Merrill from Chicago, who also developed 1 World Trade Centre in New York City and Willis Tower of Chicago. Adrian Smith, the US architect, was the chief architect and Bill Baker was the chief structural engineer. Hyder Consulting was the supervising engineer, while Samsung C&T of South Korea was the primary contractor. NORR Group Consultants International Ltd. was the architecture supervisor of the entire project.
The design of the Burj Khalifa incorporates certain elements of Islamic architecture. While it looks sleek and modern, the building also has a traditional minaret and onion domes, which are usually found at a mosque. Apart from this, the building’s design and structure are similar to that of the Hymenocallis flower, an Arabian Desert flower. The building tapers as it reaches the top and finishes with a spire.
Due to the height planned for the structure, its construction needed some special elements. The architect had to make sure that the building not only withstands the force of the wind but also the extreme heat of the city during summer (temperature in Dubai can go up to 50oC in the summer).
A total of 11 million cubic feet of concrete (equal to the weight of over 10000 elephants) and 166,800 square feet of embossed stainless steel has been used in the building. Apart from this, it has been estimated that more than 26,000 glass panels (individually hand-cut) have been used for the exterior of the building.
- Burj Khalifa World Records
It is a well-known fact that Burj Khalifa is the tallest building in the world. However, it is not the only world record it possesses. In fact, this tower in Dubai has broken quite a few world records. Here we will look at some of the world records that the Burj Khalifa possesses.
- Tallest free-standing structure
- Tallest manmade structure
- Highest occupied floor
- Highest aluminum and glass facade
- The highest number of stories or floors
- World record for vertical concrete pumping
- Tallest service elevator
- Highest outdoor observation deck
- Elevator that covers the longest travel distance
- Highest mosque
- Highest nightclub
- Highest restaurant
- Second highest swimming pool
Apart from creating new world records, Burj Khalifa has also won several prestigious awards:
- Best Tall Building Middle East & Africa – Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat in June 2010
- Best Project of the Year – Middle East Architect Awards – 2010
- Global Icon Award – Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat – October 2010
Burj Khalifa Experiences
The Burj Khalifa is a multipurpose building. It has everything including a luxury hotel, various restaurants, residential units, corporate offices, a mosque, and two observation decks. We have mentioned some of the important experiences you can have inside this tall tower.
The Armani Hotel, the first of its kind in the world, occupies the first fifteen floors of the building. It was designed by Giorgio Armani and is known for its unique and opulent designs. Apart from 304 luxury rooms and suites, the hotel also has two fine dining restaurants, a magnificent spa, and a popular nightclub.
There are 900 residential units or flats inside the Burj Khalifa, all located between 19 and 108 floors. These include bespoke studio, one-bedroom, two-bedroom, three-bedroom, and four-bedroom flats. There is also a library, a gourmet market, a meeting place and recreation room for residents, a cigar club and a gourmet convenience store inside the Burj Khalifa. You will find an indoor and outdoor swimming pool on the 43rd and 76th floors of the building. Moreover, each floor has a fully equipped gymnasium, a yoga room, and a massage room. The residents of the Burj Khalifa also have access to the spa of the Armani Hotel.
The rest of the building (except levels 122, 123, 124 and 148) is occupied by corporate offices. The corporate offices cover 12 floors of the building, while the rest is occupied by the Corporate Suites Lounge, which is located on the highest floors of the building. The suites are a premium business destination for high-level corporate personalities and leaders. The lounge lobby of the corporate offices is located on Level 123.
Located on the 122nd floor of the building, At.mosphere is the highest altitude restaurant in the world. Apart from delicious food, it also gives you an amazing view of the city. The highlight of the restaurant is its high tea complete with clotted cream, cucumber sandwiches, and scones. If you cannot make it for high tea, the place is also great for a-la-carte dinner or breakfast buffet. Whichever meal you choose, you would have an amazing gourmet experience as the fruits and vegetables are sourced from an Australian organic farm, while all the meat-based food is cooked in an old-style Spanish charcoal oven. A unique fact about the restaurant is that it uses electricity for cooking instead of gas.
While you need to be a guest to visit the hotel, restaurants, spa, residential homes or the offices of the Burj Khalifa, you actually buy tickets to visit the observation decks of the building. The observation decks of the Burj Khalifa are open for the public every day. The first observation deck is located on the 124th floor and 125th floor (highest outdoor observation deck), while the second one is on the 148th floor and is named At The Top. Both the observation decks offer a 360o view of the city. They also have special telescopes through which you can check out the popular landmarks of Dubai more closely.
After visiting the observation deck, you can also visit At The Top souvenir shop. Here, you would be able to buy different types of souvenirs related to the Burj Khalifa as well as Dubai to take back home. You would find the Burj Khalifa in everything right from t-shirts to mini models. If you want to splurge and take back something unique, you would also find a Burj Khalifa laden in Swarovski crystals.
The LED light show happens every day for five minutes when the entire building glows with different colors, designs, and patterns. This marvellous night show changes every fortnight, and there are some special presentations on important days. The best place to watch the LED light show is standing outside the Dubai Mall. You also get to appreciate the beauty and the magnificence of the building.
Burj Khalifa Facts
Although we have covered all the crucial details of the Burj Khalifa, there are some important facts that you should know:
- The Burj Khalifa has 200 floors in total, of which 163 are occupied.
- The building has 58 elevators (double-decker) and runs at a speed of 10 meters per second.
- It took 6 years to complete the entire project. The construction of Burj Khalifa started in 2004 and the building was inaugurated on January 6′ 2010.
- It took 12,000 workers and 22 million man-hours to complete the construction of the building. Workers from 30 onsite construction companies were hired for this project.
- Three of the largest cranes in the world as well as 45 different types of stones were used for the purpose of construction.
- You would find the works of 85 world-renowned artists at various places in the building (mostly on the hotel floors).
- Hollywood actor Tom Cruise climbed the building while shooting a sequence for his movie Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol.
- Two highly experienced French BASE jumpers (Fred Fugen and Vince Reffet) jumped from the pinnacle of the Burj Khalifa (at 828 meters), breaking the Guinness world record for the highest Base jump from a building.
Tips Before You Visit Burj Khalifa
Knowing about some important tips would ensure that your visit to the Burj Khalifa is smooth.
- If you want to visit Dubai, especially Burj Khalifa, the first thing you need to do is get a valid Dubai tourist visa.
- Decide on the time and date of your visit and book your tickets online. Booking your tickets in advance is a great way of saving money and time as you do not have to wait in a queue to buy one.
- Always arrive at least half an hour before the time of appointment on your entry ticket.
- There is no time limit for staying at the observation deck. Although it just takes a little over one hour for the entire Burj Khalifa tour, you can stay as long as you want to enjoy the view.
- Dress modestly, i.e., keep your knees, cleavage, and arms covered while visiting the Burj Khalifa or any other public place in the city.
- You can plan your Burj Khalifa trip in such a way that you enjoy other Downtown Dubai activities like shopping at the Dubai Mall, watching the Dubai Fountain Show and dining at a fine dining restaurant in the area.
Burj Khalifa, Dubai’s tallest tower, is truly a manmade spectacle, which displays the geniuses and ability of the human mind. So, if you are in Dubai, this is one place you must not miss.