Burj Khalifa, previously known as Burj Dubai before it was inaugurated, is a mega-tall skyscraper in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The designer of the building was Adrian Smith then Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, whose company also designed the One World Trade Center and the Willis Tower. Critical reception to the tower has been positive in general, where it even received many awards. To date, it is the world’s tallest artificial structure, standing at 829.8 meters.
The Dubai tower is visited by tourists from around the world for its outdoor observation deck, called At the Top, on its 124th floor. Situated at 452 meters from the ground, it was the highest observation deck in the world when it opened on January 2010, until it was surpassed by Cloud Top 488 on the Canton Tower at 488 meters in December 2011. However, Burj Khalifa opened the 148th floor SKY level at 555 meters, which again gave it the title of the highest observation deck in the world on October 15, 2014.
As for the 124th floor observation deck, it features the Tellscope electronic telescope, which is an augmented reality device that allows visitors to view the surrounding landscape in real-time. It also lets tourists view previously saved images, including those that were taken during different weather conditions and times of the day. In order to manage the daily rush of visitors and sightseers here, they are advised to book their tickets in advance for a specific time and date.
Burj Khalifa Park
Burj Khalifa is surrounded by an 11-hectare park that was designed by SWA Group’s landscape architects, taking inspiration from the core design concepts of the tower itself, which is based on the symmetries of the Hymenocallis desert flower. The park has many gardens, flowering trees, water features and palm lined walkways. At its center—and the tower’s base—is the water room that has water jet fountains and a series of pools. Benches, railings and signs also incorporate images of the Hymenocallis and Burj Khalifa.
The Dubai Fountain
Outside Burj Khalifa, a musical fountain was designed by WET Enterprises and built at a cost of $217 million. The 275-meter long fountain is illuminated by 6,600 lights and 50 colored projectors and shoots water 150 meters into the air, accompanied by a variety of contemporary and classical Arabic and world music. On October 26, it was named the Dubai Fountain by Emaar based on results of a naming contest.
The Most Visited Landmark and Attraction in Dubai
Not only that it is the tallest tower in the world, but Burj Khalifa is also the most popular among tourist attractions in Dubai. This massive structure was visited by a record number of tourists in 2013, reaching 1.87 million, which means that there was an average of 156,000 people who visited it each month. German travelers showed the biggest interest in the tower, making up about 23% of all the tourists, followed by the British, who accounted for another 15% during their Dubai Holiday.