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Tallest Building in the World -The Burj Khalifa, Dubai

Updated on April 3, 2012
Azure11 profile image

Marian (aka Azure11) lived in Dubai for 7 years and now travels over there once or twice a year for business and pleasure.

The Burj Khalifa eclipses all other buildings around it in terms of height
The Burj Khalifa eclipses all other buildings around it in terms of height

Opening of the Tallest Building in the World

When the Burj Khalifa was opened officially on 4th January 2010 it was the tallest building in the world. As it was being built it broke many records regarding tallest buildings and structures and had already entered the record books. Even while it was being built it was not known for how long it would remain the tallest building in the world as there were already plans afoot for taller structures. However, these were all put paid to with the collapse of the financial markets in the years before which meant that companies no longer had the finance to build huge skyscrapers just for the sake of being the biggest.

On the official opening day of the Burj Khalifa, the name of the tower was changed. It was initially supposed to the called the Burj Dubai (burj means tower in Arabic) but this was changed to the name of the Abu Dhabi president, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al Nayhan who had effectively bailed out Dubai from their own financial crisis.

The tallest building in the world was opened with a massive fireworks display which pretty much brought the whole of Dubai to a standstill with huge numbers of people stopping their cars along the sides of the roads of Dubai to take photos.

There was a massive fireworks display for the opening of the Burj Khalifa
There was a massive fireworks display for the opening of the Burj Khalifa

How Tall is the Tallest Building in the World?

Well there are various measures and categories to be taken into account when measuring the tallest building. But the Burj Khalifa wins in the following categories:

  • Tallest Building in the World
  • World's Tallest Structure
  • Tallest Freestanding Structure
It is over 828 metres tall and has over 160 stories. The outdoor viewing platform is the highest in the world and it is on the 124th floor. 
The building itself eclipses all of the other buildings in Dubai some of which are pretty high themselves! Just take a look at the skyline and it looks almost twice as high as anything else and you can see it literally for miles.

What is in the Tallest Tower in the World?

So you may be wondering what the Burj Khalifa contains. Well, the building itself is linked to the Dubai Mall which is one of the biggest shopping centres in the world. But also the Burj Khalifa has it's own shops. There are also residential apartments, a hotel and a viewing deck. The hotel is the Armani Hotel so you know it is going to be top quality. There are also offices and corporate suites so it pretty much encompasses everything although not all of it is open yet.

View of the sea and the Sheikh Zayed Road from the Burj Khalifa viewing deck
View of the sea and the Sheikh Zayed Road from the Burj Khalifa viewing deck

At The Top - The Viewing Platform

So if you want to you can go almost to the top of the tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa, and check out the view from the open air viewing platform. The ticket price depends on if you book in advance or not. If you do book in advance then it will cost you 100 dirhams. If you arrive and buy a ticket then it will cost you 400 dirhams! Obviously the advantage if you just turn up is that you know what the weather will be like. Dubai is notorious for dust/sand storms which may give low visibility so you may take a chance of not getting a very good view. You can book a few days in advance if you are lucky or else it will need to be around a week. So if you only have a couple of days when you can make it anyway then it is wise to pre-book. You can check out ticket information here.

When you go up the Burj Khalifa, you will be taken by the longest elevator in the world, up to the 124th floor. There are only 2 stops on this lift, the bottom and the top! Once you get up to the top of the tallest building in the world, there is an open viewing deck (open at the top with some gaps in the glass at the sides so that you can take clear photos) which covers around a third of the tower, and around the rest of it is an internal viewing deck. So you can get views of surrounding Dubai for 360 degrees.

View of the fountains from the Burj Khalifa viewing deck
View of the fountains from the Burj Khalifa viewing deck

Other Dubai Attractions at the Burj Khalifa

If you are going to visit the Burj Khalifa then make sure you also watch the performance of the fountains outside it. They ave shows which include light and music with the fountains dancing at regular intervals from 6pm onwards. Grab a cup of coffee at one of the outside cafes or a bite of dinner and have your own personal fountain show. You can also visit the aquarium in the Dubai Mall or the Ice Rink that is in there too.

All pictures in this article are copyright myself and not available for reproduction, thank you.


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    • Azure11 profile imageAUTHOR

      Marian L 

      7 years ago from UK

      I'm not sure David, as there are offices that are at a higher level than the viewing deck. Maybe it was the point where you could get the best all round 360 degree view without the area becoming too small as the tower narrows the further up you go.

    • profile image

      David Z 

      7 years ago

      Do you know why the observation deck is so low with regard to the overall height of the tower?


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