“At the Top” with Burj Khalifa and the Dubai Fountains

6 May

No trip to Dubai can be complete without a visit to one of its iconic buildings – Burj Khalifa. This tallest man-made building in the world, took 6 years in construction and has numerous designing, engineering and architectural feats associated with it. The design of the building is in the form of petals of a Hymenocallis flower (which is a regional desert flower) and you can see the actual petal formations from the observation deck. There are numerous other interesting facts and figures associated with this building and you can read more on it here.

Burj Khalifa

Burj Khalifa

So when we were in Dubai, there was no way that we were missing out on a chance to actually see this building or Dubai from such heights.

A visit to the 124th floor (Observation Deck) at the Burj Khalifa is called “At the Top” and you need to purchase a ticket for the relevant time slots. We wanted to see the sunset over Dubai and hence decided to book the closest slot i.e. 4.30pm online. For your visit too, recommend that you book your tickets online well in advance as these evening slots are nearly always full and closer to the travel dates you don’t get slots of your choice easily.

At the Top, Burj Khalifa

At the Top, Burj Khalifa

Our visit here started at the reception of “At the Top”, which is on the lower ground level in Dubai Mall. We reached the reception 15 – 20 minutes before our slot and waited for them to announce entries for our time slot visit. We then collected our proper tickets (after showing the online booking confirmation) and deposited the large bags. There is a lot of security here and they scanned the cameras, wallets etc and frisked everyone. Post that we joined the long queue snaking its way inside the building.

A model of Burj Khalifa

A model of Burj Khalifa

This was one long queue (moving equally slowly) and all along it were interesting exhibits, photographs, displays and banners with more information on Dubai, its history, the Burj Khalifa, its construction, various milestones achieved while under construction, other tall structures in the world, etc etc. I guess this made the long wait quite bearable.

After an hour we finally reached the elevators which then took us to the 124th floor in a matter of seconds. The elevators opened at the 124th floor and we walked out to the observation deck for some fantastic views of Dubai all around us. We had seen the photographs of the Dubai skyline for each decade (in the Dubai museum) and were truly amazed at the changes, as compared to what it was only two decades ago. This was also the first time that I actually saw some sand in this desert city πŸ™‚

The Dubai Skyline

The Dubai Skyline

The toy cars :) View from Burj Khalifa

The toy cars πŸ™‚ View from Burj Khalifa

Finally some sand :)

Finally some sand πŸ™‚

The Burj Al Arab and The Palm Jumeira

The Burj Al Arab and The Palm Jumeira

Sun setting over Dubai

Sun setting over Dubai

Burj Khalifa - all lit up for the night

Burj Khalifa – all lit up for the night

We hung around for a long time here taking photographs from every angle, walking along the full perimeter and generally watching the sun setting over Dubai. From one corner we also saw the Burj Al-Arab and Palm Jumeira at a distance. Though I also tried to see the World Islands, but couldn’t spot them 😦 There was also a souvenir shop here but we didn’t shop for anything and after nearly an hour decided to head back to the Dubai Mall.

Dubai Fountains from Burj Khalifa

Dubai Fountains from Burj Khalifa

After roaming around the Dubai Mall for a bit, we decided to finally check out the Dancing Fountain / the Dubai Fountain here. This was especially planned for today, as we had been visiting the Dubai mall nearly everyday (at least 4 days by then) but had still not seen the fountains till then.

This Fountain is right outside The Dubai Mall on the lower ground floor waterfront promenade and there are signages all over the mall that show you the right direction. This fountain is a must see, as it is the world’s largest choreographed fountain system and illuminated by 6,600 lights and 25 colored projectors. It is also 275 m (902 ft) long, shoots water up to 500 ft (152.4 m) into the air and is visible from everywhere around the promenade. The show starts at 6pm in the evening everyday at every half hour, accompanied by a range of classical and contemporary music, both Arabic and western.

DUbai FOuntains, photo courtesy - wikipedia

Dubai FOuntains, photo courtesy – wikipedia

We decided to see the show from a height, hence went up the steps near the promenade and took our seats on the last step of the incline for a complete 360 degree panoramic view of the show. The first show started at sharp 6pm and the fountains projected water in the air in many different directions, patterns and combinations accompanied by a beautiful display of lights. It was a truly stunning sight and we sat here for at least 3 shows, where each show had something different in store for us.

We wanted to see all the shows for the evening but were too tired and hence decided to leave after the 3rd show. However I truly recommend this to everyone for at least one visit. And the best part is, that its free πŸ™‚

Post the show we went and sat at the entrance of the Dubai Mall for the Armani Cafe and ended the evening with a fabulous sight of all the high end cars in Dubai. You name a car and it was there. It was like being in an exhibition and it was really good to aspire that we might have one some day πŸ™‚

Tips for the Trip –

  1. Book the tickets online in advance as they are cheaper and the chances of getting the slots of your choice are higher.
  2. There is no place for sitting anywhere around here, so please wear comfortable shoes and be prepared to stand for at least 2 hours.
  3. This advice is courtesy chaitanyavs – Do not pay for the kaleidoscope at the Burj Khalifa- the views are exactly the same as through your camera.
  4. Watch the fountain show from numerous points around the promenade as each view is different.

33 Responses to ““At the Top” with Burj Khalifa and the Dubai Fountains”

  1. IshitaUnblogged May 6, 2013 at 22:49 #

    Briliant pictures, specially the one with Burj holding centre stage. From which side has that been taken? The fountain side from Souk Al Bahar?


    • getsetandgo May 7, 2013 at 15:03 #

      Thanks Ishita and this is from the fountains side πŸ™‚


  2. Rosemarie May 6, 2013 at 22:53 #

    I really love your travel writing.


    • getsetandgo May 7, 2013 at 15:04 #

      Thanks a million Rosemarie… Its comments like this that just keep me going πŸ™‚


  3. aladybird May 6, 2013 at 23:20 #

    Very pretty pics!
    Did you get a chance to view the fountain show from the Burj Khalifa deck? That is a beautiful sight, as well :).


    • getsetandgo May 7, 2013 at 15:06 #

      Hey, that sounds awesome. Unfortunately we didn’t, but I will definitely add this to the list of things left to do in Dubai πŸ™‚


  4. dnambiar11 May 7, 2013 at 05:15 #

    Wow!! splendid views. I’d love to do this one day.
    Thank you for taking us there. πŸ™‚


    • getsetandgo May 7, 2013 at 15:07 #

      Thanks πŸ™‚ It is a must visit place and please feel free to write to me if you need any help in planning your trip to Dubai πŸ™‚


  5. indianemiratigirl May 7, 2013 at 08:16 #

    Did you visit madinat souk and Atlantis. Dont miss these two places as they places not to be missed


    • getsetandgo May 7, 2013 at 15:18 #

      Hey, we visited Atlantis but unfortuntaly missed the medinat souk. Will definitely add it to my things left to do Dubai list (for my next visit) πŸ™‚


  6. corneliaweberphotography May 8, 2013 at 12:45 #

    Wow, so this is the other side of Dubai, the modern and futuristic world!!!!! Controversary to what you have seen in the other part. I must say I do like more the older more unseen part of Dubai what you have shown so beautifully in it’s origin and rooted face.


    • getsetandgo May 27, 2013 at 21:13 #

      Thanks Cornelia. Personally I liked old Dubai with its unique antiquish old world charm and flavor more but I did enjoy the shopping in the modern part too πŸ™‚


  7. Woolly Muses May 9, 2013 at 17:16 #

    Great photos. We were planning to visit Dubai later this, tentatively back twelve months. You have made me more eager to visit Dubai


    • getsetandgo May 27, 2013 at 21:15 #

      Thanks Woolly. Do visit Dubai and let me know your thoughts on it πŸ™‚


  8. Roger May 10, 2013 at 10:49 #

    Very nice overview, thank you! Do you know if you can leave a significantly big travel bag (like twice the size of a carry-on) before you go up?


    • getsetandgo May 27, 2013 at 21:17 #

      Thanks. And I am not sure about the bag size. Sorry.


  9. TravelNina May 22, 2013 at 12:55 #

    Amazing pics ! Dubai is one of the fav destination of the travelers and you have captured its skyscrapers beautifully !


  10. Our Jaipur May 25, 2013 at 13:32 #



  11. RESHU MALHOTRA June 29, 2013 at 00:20 #

    Glad you had a good time in Dubai.


  12. K Divinity November 14, 2013 at 20:23 #

    Hi fellow traveller,
    I had a question,
    was your card immediately credited with the ticket amount as soon as you purchased the ticket or later?
    I have bought 3 tickets and my card isn’t credited yet and I don’t want any issues or disappointments once there.

    Many thanks


    • getsetandgo November 16, 2013 at 00:26 #

      Hi, our card was immediately credited with the expense. Maybe you can call the credit card call centre and confirm once.


    • Jay June 3, 2014 at 12:26 #

      Hey, I also have the same problem of my card not getting credited. Did you face any issue on the purchased tickets?! or all green n rosy?! your reply would help


      • K Divinity June 3, 2014 at 12:53 #

        If it’s a debit card, the amount will be deducted a day before your booking. That’s what happened with me, so just take your printed ticket with you.
        I had mailed the customer care with my query on the same though.
        It’s amazing at the top! Hope you’ve booked a good time.


      • Jay June 3, 2014 at 13:12 #

        Thanks a lot for your reply…

        I used a Credit card…wonder why its not credited yet…I called the bank, they don’t have any clue on why this transaction is not reflecting in the bank systems… Then I called the customer support of AtTheTop.ae, they said, if I have the confirmation e-mail and confirmation code then everything should be fine. Anyway I have written an email to the customer care as well, will wait for their response….

        I have got the 4.30 slot, so that I can get a view of Dubai during day, sunset n night.. just awaiting to get amazed…


  13. Shana January 16, 2015 at 03:00 #

    I was just about to book a 5:00pm ticket for 5:53pm sunset, but after reading your comment that it took at least an hour from ticket time to reaching the elevator, I am nervous. Would you recommend we get the 4:30pm tickets instead? Would hate to pay the extra for the time slot and then miss seeing the sunset, let alone seeing some daylight as well.


    • getsetandgo January 26, 2015 at 20:55 #

      Hey, sorry if this is a late response but if you haven’t booked yet then do keep a buffer for the waiting downstairs…. Once you reach the viewing platform you can stay for as long as you like… SO even if you make it up early, you can always wait around for the sunset ….


  14. Czarina September 21, 2015 at 14:33 #

    Hi, im choosing between day and night time slot in going up burj khalifa. Since you having done both time slots, what would you recommend? Thank you!


    • getsetandgo September 21, 2015 at 14:51 #

      Hey, choose a sunset slot…. That way you can see the day and night views… Else my favourite is the day vies as you get an actual sense of the city….



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