In a city of superlatives, Dubai’s Burj Khalifa tops them all – literally. The name means Khalifa tower, and at 2722 ft, it has been the tallest structure in the world since 2008. To put it into context, the Burj Khalifa is over half a mile high. It is hard to gauge how tall it truly is as you walk around Dubai’s downtown, where it is surrounded by many other seemingly tall skyscrapers. It is only when you are far away, driving along the highway, and you get a distant view of the downtown area that you can see how it towers over all the other buildings, being almost twice as tall.
You can visit the top with overlooks on floors 124, 125 and 145. For my sunrise visit, I only went to floor 124, which for me was plenty high. The elevator ride was just as amazing as the building – it whisked me to floor 124 in less than a minute, quietly and without feeling any motion, so that I did not think we were moving at all.
The building was designed by the same firm that also designed the Willis Tower in Chicago (which will always be the Sears tower to me) and One World Trade Center in New York city. The three lobed design for the tower was inspired by the Spider Lilly, a regional desert flower. For my engineering friends, the design uses a tubular steel system which allows it to use half the amount of steel that was used to build the Empire State building. The building is a mixed use facility, with an ultra luxurious Armani hotel, residences, restaurants and office space.
Not just an engineering marvel, but a beautiful one as well. A truly unique experience.
Thanks for visiting.