Travel Box Adventures in Dubai!! (Part 4)

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum

I’m not Rick Ross, but at the top of the Burj Khalifa I felt like a sheikh.

So far I’ve spent several posts talking about the great things we experienced during our journey to the Middle East.  Truthfully I know I have several more posts from this trip; more than I had planned when I started.  But a trip this epic and amazing can’t be broken down in only a few paragraphs, so I will continue until I’m finished.

I’ve always wanted to visit the most amazing places this world has to offer.  As a kid, I read about the Seven Wonders of the World in National Geographic and saw the world’s tallest buildings on television with awe.  That’s what first inspired my dream to travel.  When I met Meka, I knew we would be inseparable when she expressed to me the same desire to see all of the world we lived in.

Love of my life

Love of my life

In my lifetime, I have visited New York twice, but I never got to see the top of the Empire State Building.  I’ve been to Chicago once, but I only saw the bottom of the Sears Tower Willis Tower.  I wanted to go to the top of each of these, but I didn’t get a chance, especially after another tower had eclipsed their title.  When the Burj Khalifa was finished in 2010, I knew I wanted to go there while it was still the tallest building in the world.  However at almost twice the size of the Willis Tower and over 600 feet taller than the next tallest Shanghai Tower, I think it will be a long while before the Dubai spire loses the title.

It’s much bigger than anything else!

The Burj Khalifa was intended to be the centerpiece of downtown Dubai, amidst the Dubai Mall, several residential and business developments, and the man-made Burj Khalifa Lake.  In order to get there, we took the Metro red line to the Dubai Mall/Burj Khalifa stop and made our way through the mall to the tour lobby on the ground floor.  In order to take the tour to the Observation Deck you need to register beforehand, or risk paying extra for immediate entry as the tours fill up fast.  We ended up getting a 7:30 a.m. time for our tour, which gave us a chance to explore the mall a bit without the hustle and bustle.  When we were ready, we gathered in the tour area and headed toward the foundation of the building.

Oops, they spotted me!!

Oops, they spotted me!!

The model in the lobby of the tower.

The model in the lobby of the tower.

Started from the bottom...

Started from the bottom…

As we made our way to the elevators, we were treated to pictures, videos, and models depicting the history of the tower and the inspiration for its design.  Viewed from the top, the base of the Burj Khalifa is a “Y” shape, with three wings extended from the central core.  The idea was to build a seemingly organic architectural structure, reminiscent of the Hymenocallis, a flower cultivated in the UAE and throughout the region.  These inspirational cues make the tower unlike any other tower on Earth.

From the Earth to the sky.

From the Earth to the sky.

I am Burj Khalifa.

I am Burj Khalifa.

Here is a picture of the Hymenocallis flower, the primary inspiration for the Burj Khalifa's structure.

Here is a picture of the Hymenocallis flower, the primary inspiration for the Burj Khalifa’s structure.

A design inspired by both nature and culture.

A design inspired by both nature and culture.

After queuing at the elevators, we were ready to ascend the tower.  A rather speedy elevator took us up 124 floors to the observation deck, descriptively known as At the Top. We then stepped out of the elevator to an absolutely breathtaking view of Dubai, as seen from the top of the world!  Since Dubai has a pretty flat terrain, you can see the entire city, plus the coast.

Me & you, yo momma and yo cousin too...

Me & you, yo momma and yo cousin too…

Now we're here!

Now we’re here!

Looking down at the Burj Khalifa Lake.

Looking down at the Burj Khalifa Lake.

You can literally see for miles.

You can literally see for miles.

The Burj Khalifa casts a mighty long shadow. It almost reaches Palm Jumeirah (the palm shaped islands at the top of the photo).

The Burj Khalifa casts a mighty long shadow. It almost reaches Palm Jumeirah (the palm shaped islands at the top of the photo).

The view was so much that I needed a quick nap!

The view was so much that I needed a quick nap!

After the amazing view, we visited the gift shop and checked out a few items you can only find at the top of the Burj Khalifa.

Then of course since it was morning, we had Granny’s Waffles.  Best morning ever!!

Granny's Waffles: Only in Dubai, it's waffle-rageous!

Granny’s Waffles: Only in Dubai, it’s waffle-rageous!

We both waffled on what to order, but in the end I got the Strawberries and White Chocolate, while Meka got the Granny's Favorite: Bananas and Caramel.

We both waffled on what to order, but in the end I got the Strawberries and White Chocolate, while Meka got the Granny’s Favorite: Bananas and Caramel.

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