felicia fancies

January 31, 2010

up the burj khalifa

Filed under: pretty places — Tags: , — Felicia @ 6:40 PM

Two days ago I took a short trip up a very tall building. My mother and I went to Dubai Mall the Friday before to purchase tickets a week in advance. The entrance is at the lower ground of Dubai Mall where the ticket counter and gift shop is located and is often dizzyingly crowded. This sign is perpetually outside the ticket counter, so unless you’re willing to fork out AED400 for immediate entry, buy them nice and early (either in person or online [coming soon]) for AED100.

After our tickets were checked, we were led to an area where we could admire a small model of the Burj Khalifa before passing through security and posing in front of a green screen so that at the end they can charge you AED100 for a picture of you in front of… a Dubai night scene. I wonder if they had some ulterior motive for taking those pictures because I didn’t see anyone actually buying them.

A look back at the people buying tickets. LOL flash.

There seemed to be so many little models of the Burj Khalifa.

We were led through a maze of hallways and escalators and even a moving walkway.

The hallways got progressively darker until finally, we approached the lifts. By approach I mean stand in line to join another line for the lifts. We didn’t have to wait for too long before entering the very dimly lit lift. The walls have lights that move in the opposite direction – meaning they light up in an upward direction when the lift is going down and vice versa. Combined with seemingly unmoving lift, it really felt like we didn’t go anywhere. This is the mirrored ceiling and that is me, taking a picture.

So far, everything has been very dark. My pupils were dilated and I was beginning to feel sleepy from the dim surroundings. And then the inevitable happened.

The lift doors opened and the first thing we are greeted with is a burst of light from the outside. Blue, blue sky, white ceilings and white floors. A man dressed in white stood in front of the lifts, greeting everyone as we exited.

Apparently the lifts overshot their destination and we went to heaven instead. No, it’s just the At The Top observation deck on mighty level 124. What’s the best thing to do when you’re at the top? Look down, of course.

(The next few pictures have been tweaked because it was a hazy day and visibility in the distance was not so good. Blues are bluer and whites are whiter, but everything else is the same.) (Also click to see bigger images)

The roof of Dubai Mall.

The Dubai Fountains. Peformances are every 20 minutes 6pm to 10pm on weekdays and 6pm to 11pm weekends.

(A small detour – this is what happens when it’s a little windy when you’re watching the musical fountains.)

In the distance, The World islands, (apparently) another stalled Dubai project. Apologies for the incredibly bright blue in this picture. I couldn’t get the grey out without making the blue so eye-popping. Here is the original.

Sheikh Zayed Road with the Metro line running alongside. I get all SimCity fan from this point onwards.

The Financial district.

A massive interchange.

The Dubai Mall Metro station.

We even experienced the outside air at the 124th floor. And it was lovely. This is my mum.

See how everyone seems to be carrying those big honking DSLR cameras? I got whupped near the back of the wrist, between the radius and ulna, with one of those things by some man who thought it was safe to dangle his 1kg camera from his shoulder. People, hold those deadweights in your hands or put them away in their padded bags! /rant

Outside, this was the only thing I saw when I looked up.

A layer of haze.

I took the opportunity to relieve my bladder at level 124. In case anyone is wondering, toilets are the same at that height, you know, the kind that flushes while you’re still using it.

A picture of me. I thought it was funny because the dude next to me was seriously a protein shake-guzzling, fee-fye-fo-fum giant.

They refer to the gift shop as the “Boutique” but really, it’s just a gift shop.

Before we left, I looked down on the shadow of the Burj Khalifa.

At this point, we’ve spent over an hour at the top, so it was time to get in line to go back down. On the walk to the exit, we were treated to more long hallways and mini-Burj Khalifas.

The Address Hotel.

Long hallways and a sampan-shaped bench in case you get tired.

Back on the ground, there is another small tall building.

You know how they had a last minute name change from Burj Dubai to Burj Khalifa after Dubai was thrown a financial lifebuoy by Abu Dhabi? Oddly enough, every single time the building was mentioned by name on wall signs and displays inside the Burj Khalifa, it was always referred to as the Burj Dubai. Hm…

In Dubai Mall, just outside the ticket counter, there is a souvenir shop that was selling these adorable salt and pepper shakers.

It was guarded by a life-sized camel. Yes, those are midget jazz musicians underneath.

Bloomingdales still hasn’t opened. In fact, it seems like nothing much has progressed for the Bloomingdales in Dubai Mall since the last time I visited in January 2009.

And here we are, back in its shadow.

All pics, except for those with timestamps, were taken by me. The timestamped pics were taken by my mother.



  1. coooooooooooooooooooooooooooool

    excatly what I was looking for…

    It feels like I have been “At the top”

    Pitty Burj Dubai wan’t opened on my last visit in march 2009, but I’ll surely visit this march 2010

    I hope hope hope , I can buy online tickets in february 😉

    Comment by me — January 31, 2010 @ 8:20 PM

  2. Just happened to StumbleUpon your site and really enjoyed it. I have been obsessed with the Burj Dubai since I first learned of it, and have watched its progression. Your photos are great, and a nice narrative as well. Enjoyed it very much. Thank you.

    Comment by Glenda In Toronto — February 2, 2010 @ 2:44 AM

  3. Thanks! My good friend is living in Dubai, and now I can tell her I’ve been to the top! I wonder if she’ll pick me up a set of those salt and pepper shakers…

    Comment by Brianna — February 3, 2010 @ 5:03 AM

  4. Nice!!!

    Comment by NN — August 7, 2010 @ 1:39 PM

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