The Inside Story Of The Spectacular Burj Khalifa

The Inside Story Of The Spectacular Burj Khalifa


There was a time when travelers thought that India’s Qutub Minar, built in 1193, was the world’s tallest building. Standing at a mere 73 meters, the building impresses today not for its height but for its beauty and historic significance. The Eiffel Tower opened to the public in 1889 sparked people’s romantic imagination for a century and half. A series of other ‘tall’ buildings followed, and then came the Taipei 101 in China, standing at 508 meters. It was considered the world’s tallest until 2010 dawned and the world saw true magnificence in height, as it were. The Dubai Burj Khalifa has outstripped all other tall marvels not only for its height, which is a stupendous 828 meters, but also for its sheer unmatched beauty. The building is 160 floors comprised of many architectural miracles. Do you want to know more?
Burj Khalifa Dubai

Bespoke Namesake Luxury
The Burj Khalifa is primarily a residential and commercial building. From ground up, beyond the basement and maintenance floors, the first 15 floors are occupied by the Armani Hotel. With 304 luxury rooms and suites plus a fabulous spa, a classy nightclub plus two world-class restaurants, the Armani Hotel brings a great deal of lucrative commerce to the Burj. The building is one of the two namesake properties designed by Giorgio Armani; the other one is in Milan.

The Uber-luxurious Burj Khalifa Residences
Done checking out all 15 of Giorgio Armani’s luxury palace hotel? Then let us visit the Residence in Burj. Here you’ll find 900 flats, with full luxury appointments, all the way from levels 19 to 108. You can buy one of these uber-luxurious, gold-fitted palaces if you want – all you have to do is drop about $1400 per square foot, and that too for the cheapest unit. The ones with more rooms cost more, of course. Still, there are people who can easily afford this sum, and for them it’s about the privilege of having a home in Dubai’s most coveted address.

The rate per square foot has gone up by 90 percent from the time the Burj was opened till date. The more expensive homes in Burj Khalifa Dubai come with their own swimming pools too. Just in case your apartment in the Burj doesn’t have a pool, you can use the Olympic-sized indoor and outdoor pools in the 43rd and 76th floors. That’s luxury for you. Each floor has its own world-class gym too, staffed by professional trainers. The Burj Khalifa is a fitness trainer’s dream come true. Oh we’re not done yet. Did you know that if you have an apartment key at the Burj, you get to access a secret entrance to the Dubai Mall? That’s not all either – if you’re a privileged homeowner at the Burj, you also have free access to the Armani hotel spa.

Uber Luxury Corporate Offices
From the 108th floor, the remaining floors are all corporate offices, except for the observation deck levels. Only the topmost of top-tier companies can afford to rent a corporate suite in the Burj Khalifa and by renting one, gain the most prestigious business address in Dubai. These suites are located on the highest habitable levels, and are the ultimate business destination for corporate high-flyers. The Corporate Suites occupy 37 floors. The top three floors are combined to create a single office, destined for some lucky organization. Corporates can rent office spaces ranging in size from 4,500 to 11,200 Sq. Ft.

Burj Khalifa entrance lobby

VIP Welcome And Treatment For Corporate Visitors
Corporate visitors are received at the entrance lobby at the Concourse, and provided with valet parking and hospitality services. Express lifts to take them directly to the Sky Lobby on the 123rd floor, to wait for the executives they’ve come to meet. The Sky Lobby presents a magnificent entrance to the Corporate Suites, with spectacular panoramic views and a first-class business lounge called the Corporate Club. What’s more, a private bank of elevators caters to the Sky Lobby; this elevator is for the exclusive use of Corporate Suite tenants and their guests only.

Multiple Observatory Decks

Guests to the Burj Khalifa can enjoy incredible views of Dubai from the 124th, 125th and 148th floors. A tour of all three observatory decks is a 90-minute premium experience, which is worth the money it costs. This tour allows exclusive access to all three observation decks, and a variety of other experiences including the utmost personalized attention.

Level 124: The Burj Khalifa observatory deck tour begins at the 124th floor, in the ‘At the Top Burj Khalifa SKY lounge’. After enjoying the views from here, guests are personally escorted to a dedicated elevator, whose walls display specially-designed projections of global landmarks. The idea is to give guests the feeling that they’re flying over these landmarks as they ascend to the observatory deck at Level 125.
Level 125: On this level, guests can enjoy spectacular 360-degree views of the city from the spacious decks. The Dubai – A Falcon’s Eye View attraction is a unique telescope that allows guests to experience the city from a unique perspective. Guest Ambassadors offer fun trivia about the Burj while guests integrate reality and special effects using green screen photography.
Level 148: This level is the crowning glory of the Burj Khalifa, with access to the world’s highest outdoor observation deck at 555 meters from the ground. Guests can bask in the luxury lounges as they take in the breathtaking views. Several interactive stations at the deck lounge provide guests with the opportunity to learn more about the UAE. The highlight of this deck observatory is the Dubai Fountain show, watched from the most panoramic viewpoint in the world.

A Design Inspired by the Islamic Art

The whole of Burj Khalifa is an ode to Islamic tenets, right from the shape of the building to the high mosque’s minarets. Its minaret is shaped like a particular desert bloom, the Hymenocallis flower. When you see the building from a distance, you can observe the delicate way in which the minaret tapers to the very tip. The flower’s timid yet magnificent visual aesthetic embodies the very tenets of Islamic architecture. When viewed from above, the design of the Burj resembles a flower with three petals, which again is a reference to the floral shapes in Islamic art.

Unique Burj Khalifa Experiences

burj khalifa observation deck

The Burj is known for several extravagant experiences such as high-speed elevators, fancy light shows and so on. If you’re planning to visit the Burj Khalifa, better get to know everything you can do there. Have fun!

1. At The Top
On the 124th floor is the At The Top Souvenir Store that sells key chains, caps, T-shirts and exclusive Burj Khalifa collections, starting at AED 10. At The Top also has a fabulous electronic telescope that visitors can use to enjoy distant views during the day, and focus on the moon and constellation stars at night. The At the Top Café offers the Burj Khalifa signature cappuccino and pastry of the day. The Armani DELI offers a 3-course set lunch or dinner from AED 280.

At The Top gets very crowded during the twilight and sunset hours. There are usually long queues for the elevators. Guests must book their tickets in advance in order to bypass the elevator rush and get to At The Top an hour before twilight. The Burj Khalifa is now allowing sunrise view sessions from At The Top, beginning at 5.30 am, with viewings every 30 minutes till 8 am.

At The Top also offers interactive presentations and ongoing videos of all the record-breaking events that the Burj Khalifa has witnessed. Guests can watch how Tom Cruise scaled the building for the movie Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol. The café opens at 5.30 am to cater to the sunrise viewing guests. Guests can stay as long as they want on the 124th floor’s At The Top deck – there is no time limit for this experience. Guests can also rent audio-guided tours of At The Top in several languages.

2. The Highest Restaurant In The World

At mosphere dubai

If you’re ready to fork out Dhs490 for a few scones and cucumber sandwiches along with tea, you can enjoy high tea in the world’s highest-altitude restaurant – At.mosphere. Located on the 124th floor, this award-winning restaurant is managed by Michelin-starred Chef Jérôme Lagarde. The food is cooked on electric stoves at the At.mosphere, with organic vegetables and meat imported from Australia. A meal here is worth it if you are celebrating a very special occasion – such as a marriage proposal, or an anniversary. A basic a la carte dinner will cost you Dhs320 per person, and the breakfast package per person will set you back by Dhs325. Advance booking is mandatory.

3. High-speed Elevator
Forget about buying a plush toy from the 124th floor’s At The Top souvenir shop. If you want a real adventure, then you must experience the high speed lift at the top of the building. Be warned that you’ll be riding the world’s third fastest elevator, with a speed of 36km/hour. All of the Burj’s elevators are double-decker and can comfortably take 12 to 14 persons per cabin.

In fact, the world’s fastest elevator is in Taiwan’s Taipei 101, made by Toshiba. The second-fastest elevator is a Mitsubishi lift in Japan’s Yokahama Landmark Tower. The Burj Khalifa owns the world’s third-fastest, double-decker elevator. It’s also the only elevator in the world that travels the longest distance for an elevator, which is 578.5meters.

4. Incredible Light Show

There is much to appreciate about the Burj Khalifa from the outside as well. For one thing, there’s a fantastic nightly LED display on the building that begins at sunset and goes on till late. It is so spectacular that your jaw will literally drop. What’s more, they change this spectacular night show on a fortnightly basis, or during festivals and annual design updates. In fact, the Burj Khalifa management collaborated with Tiffany jewels and Cartier at one time, and put up a one-night-only special LED collaborative show.

So stand outside and wait for the 5-minute LED extravaganza that comes on the hour every hour. The best place to watch this show is from the outside of The Dubai Mall. Let the magic unfold after the sun goes down. Watch how the LED lights highlight the sharp angles of the building, suggesting an upward motion, similar to a great crystal sword that thrusts up to the sky from the earth. When all lit up like this, the Burj Khalifa seems like something that’s stepped out from a fantasy world.

5. Double Sunset View!
Burj Khalifa Sunset View
The tallest building in the world is truly so tall that you can actually watch the sunset twice in a day? What? Yes, you can. Here’s what you do. Watch the sunset from the base of the building, and when it’s done, rush into one of the high-speed elevators in the Burj and get right to the top. Now you can watch the sunset all over again. Believe us? The thing here is, you can experience the phenomenon of double sunset from any really tall building. However, you’ll have to get to the top of the building in the few seconds that it takes for the sunset to be visible at that height. And that, is something that you can do only at the Burj Khalifa, with its super-fast elevators.

World Records And Everything Tallest, Highest and Greatest About The Burj Khalifa

Burj Khalifa Height

Burj Khalifa’s height is more than 828 meters (2,716.5 feet), and has more than 160 levels. The building has broken several world records, during and after its construction. Here are some of the best ones, along with several other Burj Khalifa facts that make excellent reading.
1. The Burj Khalifa stands is at least 1,000 feet taller than the next tallest building (KVLY-TV mast in Blanchard, North Dakota). In fact, the Burj Khalifa is almost twice as tall as the Empire State Building.
2. That apart, the Burj Khalifa is also the tallest free-standing structure, has more levels than any other building in the world, and boasts of the highest occupied floor, the 158th.
3. The highest observatory deck in the world is on the Burj’s 148th floor.
4. The Burj Khalifa can proudly boast of 2957 parking spaces within the building, along with 304 hotels and 900 apartments. Whew!
5. The building also has 58 functional elevators operating at a top speed of 10 meters per second.
6. The Gross Floor Area of the Burj is an incredible 3,331,140 Sq. Feet (309,473 Sq. Meters).
7. The total aluminum used in the construction of the Burj weighs as much as 5 numbers of A380 aircraft. That’s how many aircrafts could have been built out of this amount of aluminum!
8. The total concrete used to build the magnificent tower weighs as much as 100,000 elephants. That’s the weight of 10,0000 elephants standing on that piece of land. It boggles the mind!
9. The Burj’s construction engaged 12,000 each day; the entire building took 22 million man-hours to complete, from beginning to end.
10. From the ground level to level 160, the Burj Khalifa has a total of 2909 stairs! Can you imagine climbing that many stairs?
11. The building occupies a park area of 11 whole hectares! One international Rugby field occupies one hectare – so that’s like 11 Rugby fields for one building!

Mind-boggling Logistics!

Just imagine managing a huge structure like the Burj Khalifa on a day-to-day basis. How does one do it? Oh, sorry, we mean, how does the 1000+ member strong management team manage it? The sheer logistics of keeping the place clean and watered and lit just boggles the mind. Here are some fun, mind-boggling Burj logistics.
• In order to clean the 24,000 reflective windows, the Burj transports a team of 36 cleaners on 12 machines weighing 13 tons each. These machines move slowly along tracks set to the sides of the building, and the cleaners do their job at heights of 20,000 feet. Can you believe that a glass cleaning competition was conducted recently at the Burj, which was won by the Australian company Cox Gomyl?
• Did you know that in case of a fire, guests don’t have to traipse down 120 flights of stairs? This is because the Burj Khalifa’s designers anticipated fire exigencies and designed elevator systems that can carry out controlled evacuations. This is the first ever system of this kind designed for a mega high-rise building.

Some Fun Facts About The Burj Khalifa!

Here are some factoids about the Burj Khalifa that will tickle your mind. When you read them, you’ll wonder if we’re pulling both your legs. We aren’t. These are true facts, and if you don’t believe us, get on a plane right now, and check them out for yourself.
• A stupendous 31,400 metric tons of rebar (reinforced steel bar) was used in the Burj’s construction. If laid end to end, this quantity can cover a quarter of the planet.
• 26,000 individually cut reflective glass panels have been used on the Burj’s exterior. It took over 300 cladding experts from China to design and clad the glass panels to be able to withstand the heat of a Dubai summer.
• The whole world is bemoaning water shortage. So how much water does the Burj Khalifa use? Well, that’s an average of 250,000 gallons of water every day!
• The Burj’s daily electrical demand can equal the power used by 360,000 100-watt bulbs burning all at the same time.
• You might wonder just how much such a stupendous, unbelievably huge structure must have cost to build. Well, wonder no more – it cost $15 billion to build the Burj Khalifa.
• The Burj Khalifa has a 4-storey recreation and fitness annex that’s a fitness guru’s dream come true.
• On Level 122, world’s second largest swimming pool holds court; not sure who’s allowed to swim up there, but we’d sure like a dip sometime!
• The elevators at the Burj run at 10 meters per second, which means it won’t take you more than a minute to reach the 124nd floor. Go figure!
• Just for fun, travel about 100 kilometers away from the Burj Khalifa and take a look. You can still the spire of the building literally poking a hole in the blue Dubai sky
• Just for fun again, think of how many people a single football field can hold. Not 35,000, right? Because that’s how many people can occupy the building at any given point in time. Now, consider this. The building weights as much as 100,000 elephants. Add to that the superstructure and the 35000 people. How much weight do you think is pressing on the earth then?

Best Ways To Enjoy The Sight Of The Burj Khalifa

A Helicopter Ride: Take a helicopter ride over the city, and get the pilot to linger over the Burj Khalifa. You’ll never get such a fantastic, overall view of the building and its surroundings. Just in front of the Burj are the ginormous Burj Lake and the Dubai Dancing Fountains. Directly next to the Burj Khalifa is the Dubai Mall. Get a unique bird’s eye perspective from a chopper.

Dubai Fountain Show and Lake Ride

A Dhow Cruise: Cruise along the Burj Lake on a wooden dhow and enjoy the sight of the Burj Khalifa, the Dubai Dancing Fountains and the Dubai Mall. In the evenings, the Burj Khalifa will be lit up for 5 minutes every hour, with a million multi-colored LED lights. Along with the lights from the fountains and the mall, it’s a sight that’ll take your breath away for a long while.

Now that you know everything about the spectacular Burj Khalifa, when are you planning to visit it? No matter how many videos you watch or how many blogs you read, it just doesn’t compare to the actual deal. So make the decision right now and get in line to check out the amazing Burj Khalifa for yourself, up close and personal.