The title sort of rhymes, doesn’t it, depending on your English accent and Arabic pronunciation, eh?
I contemplated titles like ‘Burj Khalifa: Where dreams come true‘ or ‘Burj Khalifa: Proof that dreams come true‘ but they would be too cheesy, right? And I am fully aware it is only my personal opinion, and that many have full, legitimate reasons to consider it a nightmare or disaster, so I avoided those generalising titles. Then I contemplated ‘Cruising up the Burj Khalifa‘ but despite its clever pun I figured it didn’t incorporate enough my personal EMOTION of going up the highest building in the world. Then I contemplated something on the lines of ‘Burj Khalifa: high in both height and happiness levels‘, but that would be a double hi therefore linguistically silly, and rephrasing it would risk dodgy misunderstandings.
So alas, I released my inner poet (we’re still talking about the title). And it’s not an exaggeration, because the Burj Khalifa was my travel dream #1. As you are all fully aware, and maybe you can now be satisfied by the fact that I will no longer (maybe) go on and on about it anymore.
The Burj Khalifa holds, amongst others, the following records:
- Tallest building in the world
- Highest number of stories in the world (yes, they’ve played on that pun too on their website of ‘Burj Khalifa and its 160 stories’
- Highest occupied floor in the world
- Highest outdoor observation deck in the world
- Elevator with the longest travel distance in the world
It’s a year after, and I still can’t believe I’ve actually done it. Though Kim and I were good and went up through the inside, unlike our pal Mr Cruise, but all the same, it was an experience of a lifetime.
After a quaint little breakfast at a Mall café, we advanced to the Burj Khalifa. It was exciting for Kim too, as she hadn’t been up the tower despite being in the vicinity for the whole of its life time – she and her family have lived in the United Arab Emirates for a while now, and experienced the whole building of the Burj Khalifa (and most of Dubai, to be fair), from crazy dream, to starting the excavation in January 2004, to the finished reality of a 828m-high tower in January 2010. I guess Tom Cruise climbed it pretty soon after the inauguration.
Before going up in the majestic elevator, we walked through corridors covered with pictures of the various stages of the Burj Khalifa. This was fascinating in comparison to most downstairs exhibitions for epic buildings, but rather frustratingly non-view-filled and down-to-earth to what I wanted to be doing asap, climbing the tower…
Once we got to the top, I cried. Kim half-laughed, half-sympathised. This was truly a dream come true, I was at the top (ish, it would’ve been super expensive to go any higher) of the Burj Khalifa, Dubai, with a fantastic view of bare, surreal, futuristic Dubai and its surrounding barren dessert. We spent ages going round, taking epic photos and admiring the views. It was insane, no words would do my feelings or the experience any justice. Officially wordless.
My favourite human-starring pictures are the ones from this set:
There were these handy gaps in the windows – you went to stand on this ledge and manouevred (quick poll: how do you spell that word!?) your head sideways through the gap, get your star photographer to another opposite ledge gap and voilà, your star pics are ready. I pride myself with the fact I haven’t seen pics like this before… COPYRIGHT ME MUMSIE WHEN YOU TAKE SUIT K? 😉
A level lower was an inside area, which was as impressive despite its attractiveness-lessening feature of it being completely enclosed inside. (True, the higher level was mostly inside too, but at least you had access to, er, the outside air.)
It had interesting information about surrounding views, but our favourite moment was when we got a certain window area to ourselves, taking countless photos and epic slow-mo skipping videos with the most epic backdrop one could wish for.
There were also various interactive thingies, like a cool video of Dubai from the sky projected onto the floor.
After a good few hours enjoying the bliss of the Burj Khalifa, we packed ourselves back into the second fastest elevator in the world (I’ve been in the fastest too btw, * proud mos *), and off to explore the rest of the secondary attractions of the fabulous Dubai.
Let’s finish with some travel journal excerpts.
Burj Khalifa, a new adjective should be invented for you, as you and the experience of climbing you has no fitting adjective descriptive enough in today’s language.
Incredible comes close.