For some reason, 2016 was a great year of heights to me. I conquered a lot of towers and a peak that year without meaning to.
I started the year hiking up to Sirao Peak, a very spontaneous one with work friends. So spontaneous that I wore mom jeans to it. A month after, I found myself and my college friends at the top of the Tallest Green Building in The World, Taipei 101. This one’s planned and didn’t need a hike, so the fashion continues. Then back in September, I spent my boyfriend and I’s anniversary at The Shard, which I have yet to blog about but it’s featured in my London itinerary. The Tallest Building in the United Kingdom!
So having name dropped all that (geez, I know), I definitely did not think I’d cap off my year at the epitome of height and greatness, the tallest of all tallest-s, the Burj Khalifa. I thought, wow, what a perfect way to end my unexpected year of heights!
The experience was similar to that of Taipei 101, from tickets to lining up to riding an elevator and seeing the floor count tick beyond a hundred (still stuns me!). But oh the views! The views are definitely different.
The regular tickets were sold out (so I suggest you book yours months before you visit) but we were able to secure At The Top SKY experience ones. It was a lot more pricey than usual but it lets you in to 3 levels (148, 125 & 144) whereas regular tickets only go to two levels (125 & 124). Level 148 was more of a lounge rather than a viewing area given the exclusivity of things. Juices and macaroons were served to guests. A couple of couches were also available for comfort. But who would sit down at the highest observation area in the world? At 555 meters above ground, you get to enjoy the futuristic skyline of Dubai, the intricate road work of an intersection (my favorite!) and if it isn’t too foggy, you can spot The World. Because yes, Dubai decided to put The World on the map! Ha!
If you look closely at the sea, you could make out some of the The World islands.
After 30 minutes, you’d probably have enough pictures by then, you may proceed to Level 125. It is more crowded so if you go with the SKY experience, better take more photos at Level 148. Here you can take the obligatory photo taken by the At The Top staff, wherein you’re photoshopped in front of the Burj Khalifa. Rather ironic, since you’ve just had your photo taken IN Burj Khalifa, lol. Anyhow, as all photo souvenirs go, it comes with a not-that-affordable price, so up to you!
Level 125 is an indoor 360-view platform, but, if you want to go outside, there’s an open-air terrace at Level 124. You take the stairs from 125 to go down and you’ll notice it gets even more crowded. That’s because the elevator going down to the base of the tower is in Level 124. If you have SKY access, you need not line up. The queue looked like it would take 10-15 minutes for you to go down.
Burj Khalifa’s entrance and exit is located inside the Dubai Mall. The Dubai Mall itself holds a record, it is the World’s Largest Mall by total area. It is also the most luxurious mall I’ve been to. We went in and I was welcomed by Hermes, Hublot, Coach, and other top designer names. It also amazed me how several brands managed to open one there. I mean, come on, Sephora! Open one in the UK! While you’re at it, include Philippines!
They also have one of the largest aquariums I’ve seen, with sharks, mind you! I saw a diver hug one! After which, my little 3-year-old cousin, who I was accompanying to look at the giant aquarium and would probably swim in if you told him he could, said “Hmm, maybe I won’t hug a shark.. maybe I’m scared.” Haha! You could say, we were both astounded when the diver did so!
I’ve mentioned in my Souk Madinat Jumeirah post that I’ve only been to two souks, one of which is Dubai Mall’s The Souk which is centered mostly on jewelry and gold. I love the fact that the design of the souk’s interiors were also traditional similar to Souk Madinat Jumeirah. It was as if I was in another time and place.
That ends my very brief love story with Dubai. I hope you enjoyed them as much as I enjoyed writing and organized the photos. I’ll be back loving UK again next post, and I hope to see you there!