Saturday, October 25, 2014

On Top Of The World - The Burj Khalifa SKY

From the highest viewing platform in the world, inside and out on a balcony of the tallest building in the world, you can see for miles and miles. The spread of Dubai's buildings, the sea and the desert, all at your feet.

I had agreed to going along to the At The Top experience with the girls, which reached the 124th floor; but then heard that a higher level was just opened at the Burj Khalifa a mere 5 days before we rode the elevators to these heights. 148 floors up, with an outdoor viewing platform, and an added view at the 125th floor - the At The Top SKY. So I did both!

The difference between the two was immediately obvious (apart from the price tag), when we were ushered into a plush Departure Lounge within Dubai Mall for the SKY experience at our designated visit time, and introduced to our personal guides. We were served Arabic coffee and stuffed dates, before we were split into smaller groups to take the ride up.

Walking past the crowds lined up for the At The Top experience, we were taken through the Fast Track lane, past the many screens and boards of information about the building of the great building, and to the specific elevator to the 125th floor. Once at this level, just 1 minute and 20 second after leaving the ground floor, we changed lifts to ascend to the 148th.

Greeted by a plethora of staff at this lounge in the sky, offering juice refreshments and morsels of treats such a tiny macaroons and baklava, we then took in the sweeping views from the floor to ceiling glass windows.

Taking a seat by the window and enjoying the service was the height of luxury, much of one half of this level felt like a posh hotel lobby, rather than an observation deck.

Taking ourselves away from the beautiful seating, we all started working our way along the windows in an anti-clockwise direction, picking out the bits of Dubai we had become familiar with from our touristy days prior.

We could see the buildings of Sharjah, and Bur Dubai, and then worked our way along the sea edge view.

Possibly the only vantage point of The World was found here, other than boarding a light plane for the experience. The World is the man-made island formation off the Dubai coast, a resort to resemble the continents of the world.

Looking out towards the Dubai Marina skyscrapers, and the iconic Burj Al Arab, we had the sinking sun as a backdrop for this, making the view even more magical.

Reaching the other side of the building, we could venture out onto the balcony and feel the heat whilst looking down on the world below. Here, the decked balcony had seats to comfortably enjoy the view - and railings along the edge, if needed! Watching the traffic flow around the spiderweb of roads, and the movement around the Dubai Mall fountains, felt like eavesdropping on the world below.

Once we had had our fill of the cracking view at this level, and enjoyed another juice to cool off, we took the elevator back down to floor 125, for some more views.

This level is pretty much empty space, letting the outside vistas speak for themselves. From here we could look down to the balcony on the 124th level, and all the people taking in the city views from there.

The shadows the Burj Khalifa made upon the ground all that way down below were very impressive.

The very top level available to the public (we were told there are office spaces and the like all the way up to the 160th floor) was far superior to the 124th experience. The higher level wowed, when I actually expected it to be fairly similar. Well worth the added cost, for the extra ear-popping elevator experience, and breath-taking views - in addition to the personalised service right through the experience.

Jouljet Notes
Serious Tip: Tickets for either level should be booked in advance online or at the ticket office in Dubai Mall, slotting into a specific time.
Time Spent: The information stated that we would have just 30 minutes at the top level, and then as long as we liked down on 125. In reality, no one moved us along from floor 148, and we enjoyed a generous amount of time up there, taking in the views.
Cost: The At The Top SKY experience is 400DHS, or around $124
Quirky Tip: It helped to have a bit of an internalised map of Dubai from my day of being a tourist in the city, which meant I knew what areas and buildings I was looking at from all the way in the sky.


  1. I have never been that high in a building before! I wouldn't normally do to many things like this, but I probably would here for the height alone!

    1. The 2 elevators are over in a flash, but it's obvious you are up high just from those. But the views are unmissable!


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