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Burj Khalifa
What you need to know before your visit

The Burj Khalifa is THE ultimate skyscraper. It is the tallest building in the world and impresses not only with its height, but also with its unique architecture. When vacationing in Dubai, a visit to the Burj Khalifa should definitely be on the to-do list.

But what is the best time and way to visit the Burj Khalifa? How expensive are the tickets? And what else do you have to consider?

The name Burj Khalifa

The Burj Khalifa was originally named Burj Dubai, which literally means “Dubai Tower”. When it was inaugurated in January 2010, it was then renamed Burj Khalifa – in honor of the President of the United Arab Emirates.

Height and number of floors of Burj Khalifa

The tallest building in the world rises a full 828 meters into the skies. In total, the Burj Khalifa has 189 floors, but only 163 of them are actually functional.

Besides the world’s first Armani Hotel, the building also houses apartments, offices and some restaurants.

To ensure that everyone can enjoy the view, the tower features the two highest viewing platforms in the world: At the Top, Burj Khalifa and At the Top, Burj Khalifa SKY.

Plan your visit to Burj Khalifa ahead of time

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It is definitely recommended to plan your visit to the Burj Khalifa in advance, as the crowds can be massive, especially during the main season from November to March. You may have to wait in line for tickets for a long time, if you can get any at all. But if you book the tickets in advance, you are on the safe side and you can even save money, because the prices are often higher on the spot. So it pays off twice.

You can buy tickets to the viewing platforms either on the official Burj Khalifa website or with Get your Guide. The tickets are available from about $46 per person. Cancel your reservation up to 24 hours before the start of the event without any problems, if for example bad weather is expected. This is extremely rare in Dubai, but you never know.

When booking tickets, you need to choose between the following two viewing platforms.

The observation deck At the Top, Burj Khalifa

This viewing platform is located on the 124th and 125th floor of the building and offers a 360-degree panoramic view of Dubai. In just 90 seconds, the high-speed elevator transports visitors to the 125th floor. Unfortunately, it is located inside the building – without windows and thus without a view to the outside. Fortunately, you hardly feel the speed of 10 m/s, so you don’t have to worry about sickness.

Arriving on the 125th floor and thus at a height of 456 meters, a breathtaking view opens up to visitors from the spacious deck. A variety of skyscrapers built in the middle of a desert. From here you get an overview of the dimensions and the composition of the city.

The highlight of the floor is certainly the glass floor, which gives the fearless a terrific view straight down.

One floor below, there is another outdoor terrace with a spectacular view of the skyline. The outer walls of the terrace are glazed, but small gaps allow you to take photos without annoying reflections. Since the area is not fully protected against sunlight, make sure you have adequate sunscreen and bring water as well.

The cheapest tickets for the observation deck are available on Get your Guide. Once you have made your purchase, you will immediately receive an online voucher, which you can exchange for a valid ticket at the ticket office. Since an exact time must be selected when booking, you save a lot of time because the queuing is eliminated. It could hardly be more simple and relaxed.

The observation deck At the Top, Burj Khalifa SKY

This observation deck is slightly higher than the first one and is less crowded due to the price. It is located on the 148th floor and, in addition to an outdoor terrace at an altitude of 555 meters, also offers a premium lounge where visitors are served refreshments. Plus, there’s a personalized tour to learn more about the Burj Khalifa and Dubai’s skyline.

After the exclusive experience in the SKY Lounge, it’s time to go down to the 124th and 125th floors, where you can also have a look around. So in total this ticket provides access to three floors.

Again, it is a good idea to purchase tickets in advance to avoid waiting times. On Get your Guide you will get the tickets for about $108 per person. A decent upcharge for a view that really isn’t much better. The only advantage of this platform is its exclusivity and personal attention.

Sunset from above

Many tourists prefer to visit the Burj Khalifa during sunset. Reasonable, since you can not only admire the setting sun on the horizon, but also view the city in daylight as well as in the evening. You can check out exactly when the sun will set on your desired date here. In high season, the time of sunset ranges between 5:30 pm and 6:30 pm.

Be on top at least 30 minutes before sunset. If you booked the ticket in advance, there shouldn’t be any waiting time either, so you’ll be up there on time.

Access to viewing platforms and dress code

The access to the viewing platforms is through the basement of the Dubai Mall. Directions to At the Top, Burj Khalifa are clearly visible in the mall. At the ticket counter, you can then exchange your online voucher for a valid ticket or try to purchase a ticket for the day. Having booked in advance, you should be on time at the counter. However, it does not matter if it takes just a few minutes.

There is no dress code for the observation decks. So you can dress casually. Women in particular, however, should not be too revealing out of respect for Arab culture. But there are no consequences for too much naked skin here. You can read in my article what clothing is appropriate in Dubai and what you should keep in mind.

Is a visit to the Burj Khalifa worthwhile?

Although the price of at least $46 is high, the visit is definitely worth it. After all, if you ever have the opportunity to stand in the tallest building in the world, you should take it. The panorama will remain unforgettable.

But you can easily forget about the expensive tickets for the SKY Lounge if you’re only interested in the view. 456 meters of elevation is quite enough for a breathtaking view.

If you would like to buy tickets for the sunset, you should also be mindful of the crowds. For instance, in the morning it is much quieter and you can enjoy the time at the top even more. It’s a matter of personal preference.

Burj Khalifa Ticket: Access to the 124th and 125th floors. Book easily with get your guide.

The At.mosphere Lounge in Burj Khalifa

But there is still an alternative to the observation decks: the At.mosphere Lounge, located on the 122nd floor.

With a reservation in the lounge, your visit to the Burj Khalifa will be even more exclusive and relaxed. You can enjoy delicious drinks and dishes there while gazing at the Dubai skyline. This very special experience is available from $60 per person. And this is not an entrance fee, but the minimum consumption. The money is thus not “lost” but eaten.

An evening in the At.mosphere Lounge is perfect for special occasions or for a successful end to your Dubai trip. Find all the information about the reservation, the procedure and the menu in my At.mosphere article.

Access to the At.mosphere lounge and dress code

Unlike the observation deck, access to the At.mosphere Lounge is not through the Dubai Mall, but through the Armani Hotel. Since the entrance is not so easy to find, it is best to take a cab and get a ride to the Armani Hotel.

As for the choice of clothes, be sure to dress a little fancier. Otherwise, if you are dressed too casually, you could be denied access to the entrance. Information about the dress code will be provided together with the confirmation of the reservation. Smart casual or business casual will do just fine, though.

Burj Khalifa Hotel

Can you spend the night in the Burj Khalifa? Yes, as mentioned earlier, there is the world’s first Armani Hotel in the Burj Khalifa. It covers 11 floors of the building and prices range from $400-$600 per night. So it’s not for the average traveler’s wallet.

Given a reservation at the At.mosphere Lounge or the At.mosphere Restaurant, you can at least get a glimpse of the hotel’s lobby. So we had a coffee there beforehand as we arrived too early for our reservation.

Dubai Fountain

After your visit to the Burj Khalifa, be sure to check out the Dubai Fountain. It is THE cost-free highlight in Dubai. For all the info on the impressive fountain, check out my Dubai Fountain article.

If you’re lucky, you’ll also be able to watch the Burj Khalifa itself shine in the brightest of colors. The tower has in fact become the object of a gigantic LED show. As far as I know, the LED show takes place every evening, from 7:30pm to 11pm. But the show times can sometimes vary.

Do you have any questions about the Burj Khalifa? Just ask me in the comments below and I’ll be happy to help you out as soon as possible.

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