I expected nothing less than the world’s tallest building to be located in Dubai because I firmly believe that this city holds the world record for the world’s largest list of the world’s largest records in the world!
The magnificent Burj Khalifa stands at just 828 metres tall (2,716.5 feet), has 160 stories and is also the world’s tallest free standing structure as well as featuring the world’s highest observation desk. To put this in perspective, our little London Shard is just a third of its height and is Western Europe’s tallest building.
To visit Burj Khalifa, you enter the air-conditioned Dubai Mall (which is – wait for it – the world’s largest shopping mall) and head for “At the Top”, travelling up to floor 124. At the Top features another world record of course – it’s the world’s highest outdoor observation deck.
Designed by the Chicago office of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP, the triple-lobed architectural footprint is apparently an abstraction of the Hymenocallis flower. The building took six years to build with excavation starting in January 2004 to the official opening in January 2010. 330,000 m3 (431,600 cu yd) of concrete went into it, the aluminium on the project is the equivalent weight to five A380 aircraft and it took around 22 million man-hours to construct. I’m sure that’s another world record.
It does of course have the world’s best views and overlooks The Dubai Fountain which is the world’s largest dancing fountain. I have to say, I find the Dubai experience exhilarating and can’t wait to return. I am sure there are more world records out there, just waiting to be discovered.
My tip, buy your timed tickets online, and visit first thing in the morning to avoid the crowds. Current ticket prices are around AED125 (around GBP21.50) for an adult with opening hours 10 am to 1am. Best gift – has to be the lego version of Burj Khalifa available from the gift shop!
Contributor: Sue Lowry.
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