Guide to Visiting Burj Khalifa Observation Deck in Dubai

Burj Khalifa is the tallest building in the world, the building stands 2717 feet, that's more than two times of Empire State Building, it has observation decks on its upper floors opened to public for viewing the cityscape from the perspective in the air. There are 3 floors used as observation deck, respectively at level 124, 125, 148, as of September 2017 the observation deck on level 148 at 555m high is still the tallest observatory in the world, while the main observation deck on level 124, 125 are ranked as 6th tallest, to know more about Burj Khalifa, check out the facts of Burj Khalifa.

Burj Khalifa
Burj Khalifa seen from the air

To access the observation deck, don't head directly to the entrance at the base of the building, that entrance is set only for the people work or reside in there and the hotel guests.
For tourists the entrance to the observation deck is not set at the base of Burj Khalifa, visitors need first enter into the bottom floor of Dubai Mall, which is known as world's largest mall that sits right beside the Burj Khalifa, there you will find signs that read At The Top, follow these signs will guide you to reach the entrance.

The admission ticket can be purchased at the ticket counters in Dubai Mall and can also be booked online in advance, if you prefer book in advance you can buy the ticket on the official website of Burj Khalifa or some third party websites. You'd better to check the weather of the day of your visit, avoid foggy or rainy days, you won't see anything but the fog on foggy or rainy days, it may hard to imagine because you can see things clearly on the ground, but views seen from the high above is totally different, additionally, on sunny days with no fog, the views of buildings or artificial islands in the long distance are much more clear.
The ticket price is varied based on which floors the visitor want to access.
if you purchase the ticket of standard experience, which known as At The Top, It will cost you 34 us dollars (54 us dollars during prime hours) and you can access the level 124 and 125.
But the price will be much higher if you want to also access the observation deck on level 148, you will need to purchase the ticket of premium experience that known as At The Top SKY, then you can access all three floors at level 124, 125 and level 148, which is the highest floor can be accessed by tourists, and additionally you can skip the line to take elevator directly, an admission ticket for that cost at least 95 us dollars and even 136 us dollars if visit during the sunset which known as prime hours.
After receive the paper ticket, you will be escorted to a lobby for checking the ticket, there is a model of Burj Khalifa in the middle of the lobby.

The model of Burj Khalifa in the lobby
The model of Burj Khalifa in the lobby

Then you and other visitors will go through a hallway with video exhibition introducing the history of Burj Khalifa.
After going through the hallway you will then wait for the elevator in the line. Usually the lines are quite long. Be patient and you will get into the elevator. If you do not want to wait then consider purchase the ticket of premium experience instead of the standard experience in advance, then you will be allowed to skip the line and also can access to all three floors including the highest one.
The elevator will first take tourists to level 124 no matter which floor the visitor intend to access, the elevator travels at 10m per second, within 57 seconds it will whisk tourists to the level 124, there you can decide whether to have a look at this floor first or directly go to the level 148(in case you bought the ticket of At The Top SKY), if you prefer the latter, then you will be escorted to another elevator that will take you to level 148.

Level 148 is a bit narrow, the area is only about 350 square meters or 3770 square-foot, (for reference and comparison, the floor plate of the super-slender skyscraper 432 Park Ave in New York City is 767 square-meter or 8255 square-foot ) quite small for an observation deck. When Burj Khalifa was first open in 2010, there's no observation deck on level 148, as the floor plate is too small, but with more and more skyscrapers opened higher observation decks, it's a shame for the world's tallest building having a observation deck at only 452 meters, in 2014 they opened the level 148 to bring back the title of tallest observation deck. But in order to keep the small area not to be overwhelmed with visitors they priced the admission fee much higher than other observation decks, the observation deck on Shanghai Tower is only 3 meters lower than Burj Khalifa's level 148, a ticket to access it only priced merely 28 Dollars.
And for the same reason it is stated that one can only stay on level 148 for half an hour, However actually visitors will be not be monitored, you can stay as long as you want.
Standing by the north side of the observation deck you will be presented with skyscrapers along the Sheikh Zayed Road, the area is also known as Downtown Dubai.

Skyscrapers in Downtown Dubai
Skyscrapers in Downtown Dubai seen from the observation deck on Burj Khalifa

In respect of the amount of skyscrapers that beyond 200 meters tall, Dubai ranks one among all the cities in the world, even New York City is behind it, and a large amount of them is clustered along the Sheikh Zayed Road.

A pair of towers with a sky bridge connected is taking the shape, the sky bridge makes these two new buildings very futuristic.

The chunky shape building in the forefront on the right is designed by renowned architect Norman Foster.

A close view of Downtown Dubai from the perspective of Burj Khalifa observation deck

At west side, you can see the impressive view of Persian Gulf and The World Islands in the distance, which is a series of artificial islands constructed on Persian Gulf that resemble the shape of world map.

Looking towards the south, you may see the famous Burj Al Arab in the long distance, not very clear in the picture.

The district called Business Bay is also clustered with many skyscrapers.

The twin towers with two spires in the picture below is world's tallest buildings served as hotels.

Below is the view from the east side.

At northeast side, you can see the Dubai Creek, a large development project known as Dubai Creek Harbor will begin there, with the centerpiece being a tower over 1300 meters in height, when completed, it will surpass Burj Khalifa to become the new tallest building in the city and the entire world.

Dubai Creek seen from Burj Khalifa observation deck
Dubai Creek seen from Burj Khalifa observation deck

There's an outdoor terrace, do not forget to get there and see the views more freely and feel the air in the sky, this outdoor terrace also makes the level 148 of Burj Khalifa the tallest outdoor observation deck in the world, even in a few months or years some buildings in China will have observation decks higher than it, but those are all set indoor.(The first potential one is on Shanghai Tower, the second is Golden 117 in Tianjin, Jeddah Tower will also have an outdoor observation deck but that would be five years later.)

 

 

Once you want to leave you can take a elevator to level 125, unlike the quiet atmosphere on level 148, this level is much more crowd. But as Burj Khalifa is a tapered building, this floor is wider than level 148.
A spiral stairway is built for tourists to access level 124 from 125 and vice versa, walk along the stairs you will reach level 124.

The spiral stairway
The spiral stairway in Burj Khalifa observation deck

Level 124 also has outdoor platform and much capacious than the one on Level 148.

The outdoor terrace on Burj Khalifa observation deck on level 124
The outdoor terrace on Burj Khalifa observation deck on level 124

After visit all the floors you can choose stay there longer and wait for night come as it is recommend not to leave the observation deck before the night come, the city views is generally more impressive with decoration of lights.

Night view of Downtown Dubai seen from Burj Khalifa observation deck

After you reach the ground again, don't forget to look up at Burj Khalifa, the tower will lit with lights of different colors and animated images every day in specific time.

Burj Khalifa lit in colorful lights
Burj Khalifa lit in colorful lights
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