For anything extravagant, over the top, supersize, and marked by superlative-laden visuals and experiences, Dubai never disappoints. For every visit to this cutting-edge Middle Eastern state, you'll find that she always seems to aim to outdo herself.
For four consecutive years I've been visiting Dubai not to indulge in bacchic drinking, frolicking on its sandy beaches, and shopping, but to visit my family. It's triple special this year as for the first time in five years, we were all together in one place, we have a new baby boy, and I celebrated my birthday with them.
I went to see one particular tourist attraction which I've not been to in my previous trips. In a city where you always negotiate the biggest, scope the widest, and cruise the longest, it's a must to scale the tallest.
Please click the video to experience the lift ride to the viewing deck, called At The Top, on the 124th floor of Burj Khalifa. It was a trip on its own, and designed both to dazzle and distract as you can imagine the ear discomfort a 60-second flight up to the 124th floor can cause.
|Overlooking The Address, the 5-star luxury hotel attached to Dubai Mall, and the famous landmark Dubai Fountain|
|Visible from as far as 95km, the world's tallest building casts a shadow.|
|My sister and I mucking around while waiting for the sunset|
One educational and entertainment feature of the observation deck is the Behold Telescope, an augmented reality (AR) device which allows visitors to take a closer look at the surrounding landscape in real-time or in various previously saved time and weather conditions.
|Downtown Dubai, with The Address visible, during the day.|
|Downtown Dubai in real-time|
|The view at night|
|Pre-modernisation all-desert landscape, just as how I remember the Middle East in the 80s when I lived as a child in Saudi Arabia|
|The sun aglow and preparing to call it a day|
|Nearly two hours into entering the record books as the ticket says, the sun was still basking up in the sky.|
|Leaving on a jet plane smoke trail....|
|And so the sun goes...|
Everyone was still scrambling for the best sunset shots--including myself--when my sister decided to move behind. She captured this one and posted on her instagram, which she kindly lent me for this blog post.
It was a well-spent time with my sister and mother, and a beautiful ending to the day.
It was worth the wait.
Please click here for information on how to visit the Burj Khalifa when you make a stop in Dubai.