Waiting for Sunrise at the Burj Khalifa

Waiting for Sunrise at the Burj Khalifa

When Jave realized that Dubai is home to the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world, Dubai immediately moved to the #1 spot on his travel wish list. Along with the Burj Al Arab, Dubai’s 7-star luxury hotel, standing at over 2,700 feet and more than 160 stories, the Burj Khalifa is Dubai’s architectural claim to fame.

Once in Dubai, our first sighting of the towering Burj Khalifa occurred as we whizzed past downtown Dubai on the freeway en route to our hotel. We craned our necks out of our car’s window in a futile attempt to snap a photo, but we only captured blurry images at best. But even in those fleeting moments, we were able to get a sense for just how incredible the Burj Khalifa is.

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A shot of the Burj Khalifa from our car on the way to breakfast

Our next sighting took place as we ventured to breakfast one morning at a restaurant located at Souk Al Bahar. Little did we know that our restaurant and the surrounding residential area offers prime views of the imposing high rise.

A shot of the Burj Khalifa from Souk Al Bahar
A shot of the Burj Khalifa from Souk Al Bahar
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Souk Al Bahar residences near the Burj Khalifa and The Dubai Fountain…incredible!

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And while we appreciated the views of the Burj Khalifa from the ground up, we were looking forward to the chance to take in the views from the top down. We finally got our chance early on the morning of our reserved At the Top experience from the Burj Khalifa’s observation deck.

On the morning of, Jave, who’s usually not a morning person, was more than happy to rise well before the crack of dawn so that we could make it to the Burj Khalifa in time to watch the sunrise. Our Uber driver picked us up from our hotel, and we made our way through the city’s deserted streets and were dropped off in the parking garage at the Dubai Mall. To our dismay, although security was present, the doors were locked. Fortunately, another group of tourists were also trying to make their way in for the At the Top experience, so together, we were able to explain to the guard that we needed to get to the entrance to the Burj Khalifa quickly before sunrise.

Making our way through the empty Dubai Mall
Making our way through the empty Dubai Mall
A model of the Burj Khalifa at the mall
A model of the Burj Khalifa at the mall
Now THAT'S a chandelier!!!
Now THAT’S a chandelier!!!

One of the security guards led us through the empty Dubai Mall – the world’s second largest mall where we spent countless hours lost and frustrated – and provided directions for the rest of the way to the Burj Khalifa’s reception area.

Reception area and entrance to the observation deck
Reception area and entrance to the observation deck

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After walking for what seemed like forever, we finally made it to the reception area, and from there, we made our way to the elevator that whisked us up to the observation deck at a speed of 32 feet per second.

Part of the corridor leading to the elevator
Part of the corridor leading to the elevator

When the elevator doors opened on level 124, we went through a revolving door and out onto the deck which features glass walls that provide unhindered views of the city, desert and ocean below.

Surprisingly, there weren’t too many people on the deck when we arrived, so we were able to easily choose a spot to stand while waiting to witness the sunrise. While we waited, a photographer went around snapping photos that people could later buy. As time passed, the deck started to fill with more and more visitors, and we were grateful that we arrived early enough to claim our spot as we watched the light progress from night to day…

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Looking up at the moon. As you can see, although we were on the 124th level, a lot of the building still towered above us. There's another observation deck closer to the top.
Looking up at the moon. As you can see, although we were on the 124th level, a lot of the building still towered above us. There’s another observation deck closer to the top.

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The sky is starting to lighten
The sky is starting to lighten

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The Dubai Fountain below
The Dubai Fountain below

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For more details and to book your At the Top experience at the Burj Khalifa, click here.

PINNABLE

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Have you, or would you watch the sunrise from the top of the Burj Khalifa?

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