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The Tallest Building in the World has a CRAZY View of Dubai from the Top!

Tallest building in the world Burj Khalifa Dubai view from the top

Looking down from the world’s tallest building.

What is the Tallest Building in the World?

I took the above photo by dangling my camera 1,825 feet above Dubai through an open slot in the guardrail of the tallest building in the world: the Burj Khalifa. Yeep! If there’s a slight blur to the picture, chalk it up to my trembling hand, and the gusts of wind from being so freakishly high up. That tower does not disappoint!

The tallest building in the world is the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, UAE. See the view from the top and learn tips about visiting!

The Burj Khalifa puts on a glorious light show at night.

The Burj Khalifa in Dubai is a Must-See

If you travel to the United Emirates, as I did when I was 5 months pregnant with our second child, there is a magnetic draw to the Burj Khalifa. Within 24 hours of landing, I was racing across the desert highway to ogle the famed tower for myself. In fact, during the week I spent in the UAE, I returned to the Burj Khalifa four different times, each visit awed anew.

Tallest building in the world Burj Khalifa view of Dubai

Tourists flock from around the world for a peek.

Going UP the Tallest Building in the World

It wasn’t until my last day in Dubai, however, that I finally summited the building. Getting up the Burj Khalifa is no small feat due to long lines, so I recommend planning ahead to snag your spot.

Tools like the Dubai Go Card and Viator Tours are great for grabbing discount tickets before you arrive to “At the Top,” the luxe Burj Khalifa observation complex “experience.”

Tallest building in the world Burj Khalifa view of Dubai

Humans created those islands in the water!

The Elevator Up the Burj Khalifa

I chuckled when I read on the Burj Khalifa website that they call the observation decks a “sky experience,” but indeed, an experience is what it is, from start to finish.

On the first elevator up, projections of other towering global structures race along the walls, until all of them melt away, and you’re actually standing in the first welcome lounge of the world’s tallest building.

The tallest building in the world is the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, UAE. See the view from the top and learn tips about visiting!

My pregnant belly and me, gazing down at Dubai.

Views of Dubai from the Tallest Building

Between floors 125 and 148, the Burj Khalifa offers multiple platforms from which to gaze down at the city far below, some indoors and some outside.

One of my favorite features was the machine pictured next, which shows what existed in that swath of land over time. Spoiler: it all used to be DESERT! How astounding that the megapolis of Dubai could be created upon sand.

Tallest building in the world Burj Khalifa view of Dubai

You can look at video of what the land used to be: DESERT!

How to Get Good Photos at the Burj Khalifa

My first tip for photographers planning a Burj Khalifa climb: The best photos of the ground below are to be found by sticking the snout of your camera through the open slots of the outdoor observation decks. See the slots between the horizontal rails, below? Use them if you dare!

The tallest building in the world is the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, UAE. See the view from the top and learn tips about visiting!

I love the shiny silver columns of the observation decks.

My second photography tip is to be mindful of light when attempting a picture with a person in the foreground. Because of the brightness of the Dubai sun against the observation decks, most angles will get you a silhouette, which can be artsy if that’s what you want (experiment with those shots!).

However, you’ll also crave some pictures with an actual visible face, and for those you’ll need a combination of hunting for the right beam of light, and, if possible, shooting in RAW format so that if you edit the photos later (ex: with Lightroom), the shadows can be turned down so the person’s pretty face can emerge.

Tallest building in the world Burj Khalifa view of Dubai

That lagoon turns into a lit fountain at night.

A final photo tip: That aqua-colored lagoon pictured above comes out really well in photos (no offense to the tan symphony of the dessert-building combo on the other sides), so make sure to get a bunch of shots in that direction! Oh, and at night, that pool turns into a dancing, spouting fountain light show, which is free to watch from the back entrance of the Dubai Mall.

Tallest building in the world Burj Khalifa view of Dubai

The ceilings of the observation decks are beautifully ornate.

Facts About the World’s Tallest Building

Now for some astounding facts about the Burj Khalifa. The building, which opened in 2010, is 2,722 feet tall counting both its 163 floors and the antenna, and looks like a flower when viewed from above (isn’t that awesome?) because its base is Y-shaped, and each section of floors adds additional “petals.”

The style of architecture is called “Neo-Futurism,” which I’d never heard of before, but now am highly intrigued about.

At the top of the Burj Khalifa

One of the lovely lounges in the world’s tallest building.

Next fact: Regular tourists cannot enter the lower floors of the Burj Khalifa because a highly exclusive hotel takes up the lower section of the tower. Can you imagine telling people you’re staying there? “Oh, no big deal… just sleeping in the tallest building in the world.”

Burj Khalifa Dubai

Lots of metal is needed to keep visitors safe from the edge.

How Much Did the Burj Khalifa Cost to Build?

The Burj Khalifa cost an estimated $1.5 BILLION dollars to build. Think that’s a lot? It’s only half the cost of the second most expensive hotel in the world, Emirates Palace which I visited in nearby Abu Dhabi!

Tallest building in the world Burj Khalifa view of Dubai

Me, feeling giddy to finally be all the way at the top!

Spiderman Climbed Dubai’s Tallest Building?!

Here are two more tidbits before you mosey on your merry way. On New Years of 2016, the hotel across the fountain from the Burj Khalifa (visible in many of these photos) was engulfed in a giant fire, but miraculously has bounced back from that calamity and is receiving rave reviews once again.

And finally, if you’re wondering if anyone has ever climbed the outside of the world’s tallest building, the answer is YES: A man known as “French Spiderman” climbed from the bottom to the top of the Burj Khalifa in 6 hours in March of 2011. Zowie!

Tallest building in the world Burj Khalifa view of Dubai

So many skyscrapers built upon sand.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this sky-high tour of the world’s tallest tower! Now I’d love to hear from you. Have you been to the Burj Khalifa? Would you like to visit? Do share!

See more architecture and art inspiration around the world!

The tallest building in the world is the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, UAE. See the view from the top and learn tips about visiting!

Look at the size of the Burj Khalifa!

I was a guest of Dubai Tourism for this escapade, but all opinions and camera-dangling views are my own. Some links in this article are affiliates which support this site at no additional cost to you. Happy travels!

 

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Marta

Thursday 12th of March 2020

I am saving this post! I was supposed to go to Dubai next week but, with all that's happening, I had to postpone. I am saving your tips for when I finally go, thank you!

Lillie Marshall

Friday 13th of March 2020

You will love it when you are able to see it!

Ryan Tran

Thursday 23rd of May 2019

I love your picture of The Burj Khalifa light show at night. It is gigantic. I feel wonderful and thrilled at the same time. Thanks for your blog. Ryan- 7 from Kuala Lumpur

Lillie Marshall

Friday 24th of May 2019

Thanks for your sweet comment, Ryan! I hope to visit Kuala Lumpur myself someday.

Diana

Sunday 17th of December 2017

Nice article, Lillie. Iā€™m felt like i was there - except for the sun and sand and wind at the top. What beautiful descriptions of what surely is a beautiful country.

Lillie

Monday 18th of December 2017

Thanks so much for reading and commenting, Diana!

Izy Berry

Monday 21st of August 2017

Real life sim city! It was such a cool feature to be able to see what the space looked like before any of the buildings were there!

Michelle Dela Cerna

Saturday 29th of July 2017

Thank you for sharing your beautiful story and some thoughts of Dubai, very detailed and well written! I would like to commend the Author of this Blog for sharing us an interesting idea. Keep it up a good job!!

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