During a weekend seminar in Dubai In Feb 2012, we managed to “escape” to have our lunch somewhere. Where else? At The Top, Burj Khalifa. 🙂
I recall spending 3 weeks in Dubai in the summer of 2009, walking along Dubai Mall’s promenade waiting for the Dancing Fountain show… Burj Khalifa (called Burj Dubai then) was still under construction that time and I made a silent vow to return and see it after its completion. And this was it pancit!
So our “escape” was actually planned hehe. I bought our observation deck tickets beforehand. Check out the link: https://tickets.atthetop.ae/eticketing/homepage.aspx Buying the tickets online indeed saves a lot of moolah as compared to buying impromptu. And also to ensure the time sked. Time is gold, la?
After the morning session ended, we rushed to take a cab to Dubai Mall. No traffic, great! It was a dusty+windy (sandstormy) weather, but sure wasn’t going to dampen our spirits! We arrived a tad early, our tickets were for 1330 hours so we did have our lunch @ a Subway outlet nearby.
What we didn’t expect was the loooong, sloooow line. Nope, I am not exaggerating. We spent almost 2 hours from the ground up to the lift which took us to the observation deck, hehe. But anyhow, it’s not everyday you fall in line to go up Burj Khalifa. 🙂
At 124th floor, we finally reached the view deck and took turns using the binoculars / telescope thingy to see Dubai’s surrounding landscape (not so clear though as it was a dusty / sandstormy day).
We spent a few minutes more taking pictures and then just soaking the view, and then finally remembered lunch break is waaay over! Way down was faster and we returned to the seminar with big grins in our faces. Our Mini Mission Ghost Protocol: Accomplished! 🙂
Burj Khalifa (Arabic: برج خليفة “Khalifa Tower”), known as Burj Dubai prior to its inauguration, is a skyscraper in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and is the tallest manmade structure in the world, at 829.84 m (2,723 ft). Construction began on 21 September 2004, with the exterior of the structure completed on 1 October 2009. The building officially opened on 4 January 2010, and is part of the new 2 km2 (490-acre) flagship development called Downtown Dubai at the ‘First Interchange’ along Sheikh Zayed Road, near Dubai’s main business district. The tower’s architecture and engineering were performed by Skidmore, Owings and Merrill of Chicago, with Adrian Smith as chief architect, and Bill Baker as chief structural engineer. The primary contractor was Samsung C&T of South Korea.
The total cost for the project was about US$1.5 billion; and for the entire “Downtown Dubai” development, US$20 billion. In March 2009,Mohamed Ali Alabbar, chairman of the project’s developer, Emaar Properties, said office space pricing at Burj Khalifa reached US$4,000 per sq ft (over US$43,000 per m²) and the Armani Residences, also in Burj Khalifa, sold for US$3,500 per sq ft (over US$37,500 per m²).
The project’s completion coincided with the global financial crisis of 2007–2012, and with vast overbuilding in the country; this led to high vacancies and foreclosures.With Dubai mired in debt from its huge ambitions, the government was forced to seek multibillion dollar bailouts from its oil-rich neighbor Abu Dhabi. Subsequently, in a surprise move at its opening ceremony, the tower was renamed Burj Khalifa, said to honour the UAE President Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan for his crucial support. (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burj_Khalifa)