Burj Khalifa#5 in Best Things To Do in Dubai
Although we don't recommend experiencing it the way Tom Cruise did in "Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol," the Burj Khalifa is a crucial item on any Dubai agenda. Rising 2,722 feet above the city (that's a whopping 160 stories), the Burj Khalifa proudly holds the title of "world's tallest building." But that's not the only title this tower's got under its belt. The Burj Khalifa is also the tallest free-standing structure in the world and home to the highest outdoor observation deck in the world. You know what that means: gorgeous views. Visitors are invited to ride the elevator to the 124th floor for breathtaking city vistas extending all the way out to the Persian Gulf. Special telescopes also show scenes of the city from different points in time, allowing you to experience every stage of Dubai's history. You can also travel higher to the 148th floor, the world's highest observation deck, but it will cost you extra.
Traveler reviews were mixed for the world's tallest building. On the one hand, visitors say it's a must-see simply for its world-famous distinction, but on the other hand, some found the attraction to be overpriced with lackluster views. A few tips: If you to decide to take a trip to the top, book in advance because they sell out quickly. If you can, schedule your visit around sunset: According to travelers, the spectacular views more than make up for the long wait to the top.
The Burj Khalifa towers over downtown Dubai and is easily accessible from the Burj Khalifa/Dubai Mall metro station. You can visit the observation deck from 8:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily (last entry is 45 minutes before closing). Admission prices depend on the time you go, but general admission during off-peak hours is 135 dirhams (around $37) for adults and 100 dirhams (roughly $27) for children ages 4 to 12. To get to the 148th floor, tickets start at 370 dirhams (about $100) for both adults and children. To learn more, visit the Burj Khalifa website.
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#1 Burj Al Arab
Overlooking the Persian Gulf from its perch between Jumeirah Beach and the Palm Islands, this stunning building has wowed architecture buffs since it opened in 1999. Its curved glass façade – modeled after the sails that have graced Dubai's waterways all these years – shelters a world-class, über-luxurious hotel located on its own man-made island. The hotel not only houses the tallest atrium in the world at nearly 600 feet high, but it is one of the tallest hotels in the world. Architecture aside, amenities include revolving beds in some suites, as well as a helipad, in case you thought arriving via a complimentary Rolls-Royce was too pedestrian.
But you don't have to stay at the Burj Al Arab to enjoy it (and let's face it, most can't). Those who aren't crashing at the hotel can gain entry by grabbing a bite at one of the on-site restaurants. Among them are Nathan Outlaw at Al Mahara, which features floor-to-ceiling windows guarding a massive fish tank, and the sky-high Al Muntaha, located on the scenic 27th floor of the building.
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