at 163 stories and 2716.5 feet high, dubai’s burj khalifa is the tallest building on planet earth, by quite a long shot! i kind of love that the builders decided to not just beat the next tallest by a floor or two but just go (really) big to hold the title for the foreseeable future. it’s mindboggling how tall this structure is, especially because it is surrounded by a bunch of other skyscrapers that are pretty darn tall themselves. the burj is just such a spectacle – i love it. we admired it from the ground and the one hundred and twenty fourth floor, and it was awesome.
in preparation for our trip up to the highest outdoor observation deck in the world on the elevator with the longest travel distance in the world, we ate some shake shack burgers in the dubai mall, which is almost as much of a spectacle as the burj. fountains, atriums, one with a huge aquarium in it, lots of fancy shops, and so so many american chain restaurants. it is pretty hysterical – they have macaroni grill, chili’s, baja fresh, cheesecake factory, california pizza kitchen…texas roadhouse…! a little familiar food tasted pretty great.
we explored the outdoor courtyards around the dubai fountains…
and then we headed up the burj! it is cheaper to go during the day than at night, but you can stay up there as long as you want. so we went up in the last cheaper time slot and just stayed up there for two solid hours so we could see the views lit up by the sun and by electricity. we sure got our money’s worth!
^^ we felt a little bit wobbly when we got out of the elevator! but stunned at the views. ^^
^^ i was obsessed with the shadow of the burj on the views! just crazy how tall that thing is. that entire structure on the left of this picture ^^ is the dubai mall. it is gigantic. ^^
^^ the sail looking building on the right is the “other burj” – the seven-star burj al arab hotel. we hear the hair dryers are plaited in gold! ^^
^^ on the outdoor portion of the observation deck, they have this slit you can look through that isn’t glassed over. i had the brilliant idea to stick the gopro pole through it. we got in trouble before we figured out how to get the top of the building in the shot – boo. ^^
and from this (can you see the “world islands” out there? man-made islands meant to be arranged to look just like a map of the world from above, with different countries for sale so you can own “nicaragua” or “mongolia” – this crazy idea pretty much sums up the over-the-topness of dubai.):
we saw the dubai fountains dance from above, both in the daylight and lit up a little later. it was so captivating. they pipe the music up to the 124th floor so observers can see the choreography. the bellagio fountains in vegas are pretty fabulous, and these ones blow those away.
back on solid ground, we watched the fountains do one more show before we headed back to our hotel. we waited in anticipation on the side of the pool, wondering what song they would dance to, and when michael jackson’s thriller came on, we were sure we lucked out with the best of any fountain performance. i mean, huuuge sprays of water dancing to thriller?? it was fantastic.