Travel Blogger. ESL Teacher. Optimistic Millennial Adventurer!
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It was Day 1 in Dubai, and I paid 500 AED ($136) for a ticket to the 148th, 125th and 124th floor observation decks of the Burj Khalifa, dubbed "At the Top". Expensive, right? In fact, that’s the most I’ve ever paid for an observation deck, and I’ve been to plenty.
Nevertheless, the price was worth the scratch off on my adventure bucket list. Within moments I was seated in a room with a group, given local tea, and a local tour guide led us up to high-speed elevators while giving us a brief overview of the numbers and construction of the Burj Khalifa.
Did you know that it's 829.8-meters (2722 ft) tall, contains 163 stories, has a whopping 57 elevators, and cost $1.5 billion to make? That's insane!
And then it happened: Less than 5 minutes later I was standing 555-meters above ground in one of the highest observation decks in the world.
Aside from being a pretty intimidating experience, the Burj Khalifa’s 148th floor observation deck offered a pretty impressive view of Dubai at first glance.
At one end sat a flock of towering skyscrapers that housed everything from offices, retail shops, restaurants, and hotels.
On another end I could spot the Arabian Gulf in the near distance, and I couldn’t wait to hit the beach in the next days.
Another end offered a view of the ridiculously massive Dubai Mall. It's crazy, the Burj Khalifa's shadow had spread at least a mile over its roof.
Beyond that mostly lied housing communities and empty patches of dry land--plenty of space for future developments which are sure to come.
Lastly, on another end sat the Dubai Fountain, the world’s tallest performing fountain that rest on a 30-acre man-made 'lake.'
Looking out at Dubai two things were clear: One, Dubai was a very modern city but a lot of it was still under development. There were a number of hotels, buildings, and attractions, under construction all across the city.
And two? There were palm trees and lush green patches of land here and there, but there wasn’t a lot of greenery in comparison to the size of the city. A tour guide did inform me that the government was making efforts to “turn the desert green” and is currently working on various environmental projects. So, kudos to that!
After awhile I hopped on the elevator and whisked down to the 125th floor observation deck, which was a far bigger space that was jam-packed with tourists.
There was an another outdoor observatory on the 124th floor. At 24 floors below the 148th floor observation deck I visited, it was definitely a far less thrilling experience but t=it was still pretty awe-inspiring.
It was just before 4pm and it was crazy that so many people had already started settling in to catch the sunset over Dubai at 7pm.
That wait was way too long for me so I made my way down, bought a t-shirt, and landed outside and in front of the Dubai Fountain where I had a clear, unobstructed view of the Burj Khalifa for the first time. “How could mankind have built something that tall?," I thought. Awesome!
I was snapping picture after picture of the Burj Khalifa when music suddenly began blasting from speakers around the promenade. The Dubai Fountain show had begun.
The Dubai Fountain
If there’s going to be a fountain show in front of the tallest building in the world, it's only right that it's just as grand of a performance as its host, don’t you think?
For the next 10-minutes I watched nozzles shoot water up as high as 150-meters into the air and to the melody of accompanying music.
I later found out that the Dubai Fountain nozzles can shoot up to 22,000 gallons of water in the air at a blink of an eye. A very impressive feat to say at the very least!
And everybody was out to watch the show. Men, women, old, young, and just about every type of complexion you can find around the world.
After the Dubai Fountain show I walked around and snapped just a few more photos, grabbed some popcorn shrimp from Red Lobster—I hadn’t eaten it in years—and decided to catch the movie Dunkirk at Dubai Mall’s Reel Cinemas.
What a fantastic way to end my first day in Dubai!
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