Burj Khalifa construction began in September 2004. We saw what will be the tallest tower in Dubai and the world today slowly rise up from the ground until it was inaugurated five and a half years later in January 2010.
I've always wanted to go up there since it opened. Now the long wait is over. I finally get to tick it off my bucket list. My family and I went up to the observation deck of Burj Khalifa located at the 124th and 125th floor of the tower and watched the sunrise painted the whole of Dubai in golden hues. We literally saw Dubai awaken that day. Observed it unobstructed with 360 degrees view 452/455 meters above the ground. I've Instagrammed photos of Burj Khalifa so many times from different vantage points before, but this time it is the other way around. I'm taking photos of Dubai from where I stand, At The Top of Burj Khalifa itself.
I purchased our Sunrise + Cafe tickets from At The Top counter in Dubai Mall a week ahead. It costs 125 AED for adults and 95 AED for children age 4-12, a total of 440 AED ($120) for the four of us. Sunrise tickets are available for Friday and Saturday viewing throughout winter in Dubai. At The Top sunrise tickets include light breakfast (coffee or tea with cookies or freshly baked croissant) which can be availed at The Café until 08:00 am.
Journey to At The Top Burj Khalifa
We left the house in Sharjah at 5 am Friday morning for our 5:30 am visit. The kids were excited so it wasn't a struggle to prepare them that morning. It had been foggy few days leading to our visit and it was drizzling while we're on our way to Dubai. I remained hopeful since the weather app says partly cloudy with no chances of rain. Maybe it actually meant light rain showers.
We arrived in Dubai Mall in less than 20 minutes. Parked our car at At The Top visitors designated parking in Dubai Mall's Lower Ground, Cinema Parking (Green). The entrance to At The Top is only through the Dubai Mall which I find very convenient.
It's unusual to see Dubai Mall empty like that with just a few maintenance people and early risers like us waiting for the gates to open. Some half asleep and some wide awake, others excited to get to the observation deck. Those who have tickets including us went straight to the At The Top lobby. It is advisable to arrive 15 minutes early of your schedule to have ample time to check the interactive display about the Burj Khalifa.
After the main lobby and security check, our journey to At The Top began.
Prince and Mica were both amazed to see how Burj Khalifa was built. Both of them stopping at each LCD TV screen to check the facts and figures.
Prince was more drawn to the details, stopping and reading each and every information. Ferald even told him that he used to work in an international freight forwarding company back then where he collects and deliver packages at the construction site office of Burj Khalifa itself almost every day.
After several stops, we reached the infamous high-speed elevator. This elevator is the third fastest in the world. It can zip you up to Burj Khalifa's observation deck in more or less than 60 seconds. When I told Prince the night before that we will be visiting Burj Khalifa observation deck, this was the fact he told me he knows about. He was thrilled at the thought that he's going up there with the same elevator.
What we thought could be an ear-popping experience was just a slight pressure in our ears probably because the elevator was super fast, even the kids didn't complain. Before we know it, we found ourselves exiting the elevator and entering the 124th-floor outdoor terrace greeted by a glittering Dubai.
The view was stunning!
View of Sheikh Zayed Road Skyline, Bur Dubai, and Deira at night
View of the complex first interchange on Sheikh Zayed Road, also known as Defense Roundabout
My kids wide awake at 5:30 am enjoying the view
The Burj Khalifa still stretches up for many floors from the observation deck so technically we are not at the very top just yet. I was standing on the 124th floor where I took this photo while the Burj Khalifa has a total of 163 floors.
View from the top of Burj Khalifa facing Business Bay, Jumeirah, Internet City towards Abu Dhabi. The purple streak that you see on the upper right of the photo is the newly built Dubai Water Canal
Interactive screens are available on the viewing deck with four different settings; video, day, night and historic, to help visitors view Dubai in different perspectives. It will also show you the names of different places you point it to.
My son reading more of Burj Khalifa's facts and figures
I had my fair share of ogling at many beautiful sunrises from different places but this one is rather special.
This is us living the dream of going up to Burj Khalifa, the tallest tower in the world and watching the sunrise from its observation deck.
Booking sunrise tickets give you the advantage of seeing Dubai as it sparkles in the night, slowly watch it come alive as the sun rises and view it in all its glory in broad daylight.
We stayed up there to our heart's content clicking more than a hundred photos, naming places and iconic landmarks.
The Burj Al Arab and The Palm Islands on the upper left and Dubai Water Canal in the middle of this photo
The World Islands
Of course, taking few obligatory photos for keeps. Here are some of my favorite shots of our family at the top of Burj Khalifa.
Team Roque at the top of Burj Khalifa
Prince and Micaela-my kids at the top of Burj Khalifa
Father and Son at the top experience
Me and my son doing a high five at the top of Burj Khalifa
The souvenir shop of At The Top have plenty of beautiful merchandise to choose from.
My kids only wanted for each of them a coin pressed with Burj Khalifa design worth 10 AED each which can be made and dispensed on your own from these Burj Khalifa souvenir machines.
We linger in there some more just to internalize the whole experience and to live in the moment.
Also, make use of one of these modern and futuristic hammocks to rest our tired legs
and later on to freshen up a bit
Having stocked our minds with beautiful memories to keep, we headed to the elevator that will take us to the ground.
Just when we thought the experience was over, we were ushered by a film inside the elevator about Dubai as we descend.
Passing through a corridor with more information about the making of Burj Khalifa.
bidding farewell to the tallest structure in the world.
This brand new experience actually made us love Dubai even more.
Have you been to the Burj Khalifa's observation deck? How was your experience?