The jet lag played the truant as I got up and quietly looked up at the watch. ‘Oh No” it was just 2.30 AM and I was wide awake. I did some writing and waited for the day to break. My wife too woke up by 5 AM and we enjoyed a good cup of tea. I then headed for a walk on the streets and was surprised to find a lot of people on the streets ready to go for work. There was a flurry of activity every where and I realized that Sunday was a working day in
After a sumptuous breakfast, we headed for ‘Burj Khalifa’ the tallest structure in the world. At a nearby bus stop I purchased a ‘recharge card’ and hopped in a bus to the nearby Khaleed Bin Waleed metro station. The metro is sparkling clean and very efficient. It is very fast and provides a glimpse of the busy city enmeshed with criss cross roads, lush green parks and beautiful flowers. Despite the hot weather and high temperatures the grass was green and fresh flowers greeting the onlooker.This has been achieved by using ‘drip technology’ optimally.
At the Burj Khalifa station there is a bus connection to the Dubai Mall. The Palace hotel en route to the Dubai Mall resembles a fortress in all its grandeur with neatly manicured bushes resembling boxes, the swaying palm trees and rock solid walls. A short drive brought us to the ‘Fashion Parking’ space at the Dubai Mall.. It is aptly named as right above are all the brands on display ranging from Louis Vuitton, D& G, Versace and Jimmy Choo to name a few. The glitter of neon lights, huge restaurants, and display of wide array of luxury items gives a feeling of a never ending party. We reached the base of Burj Khalifa and learnt that a ticket for immediate entry would put us back by 400 AED per person or alternatively, a wait for one hour would cost AED 100. As we were in no hurry, waiting was the best option. After purchasing a ticket for 12 O’ clock entry, we went around the mall to explore. A short walk brought us to the
fountains which operate only in the evening, but provided a stunning view of the ‘Burj Khalifa’ kissing the sky. We indulged in a photo session and then headed to the ‘Gold Souk’ in the mall. It has a grand horse, and a throne reminding of the medieval era and sparkling gold and precious stone jewelry shops every where. The daintily draped excited girls were taking photographs after posing on the magnificent throne. Dubai
It was time to return to the Burj ! At the reception is a scale down model of the tower with a brief history of its making and comparison with other tall buildings in the world. One goes through a maze of the dark tunnels towards escalators with a lovely audio visual show of the making of this historic landmark. The entry into the lift meant for final ascent, gives a feeling of entry to a discotheque with psycheldic lights and loud music. At 828 m and 164 stories it holds a number of unique records. The climb to observation deck at 124 storey takes just more than a minute. As we stepped out of the lift we were swept off our feet to see the spectacular view of the ‘dwarf city’ below. As the day was clear we could see the high rise buildings, the flow of traffic , all appearing like toys in a fantasy land. There are telescopes with markings of all major landmarks of the city and by bringing cross hair one can zoom in/out and admire the grand view. With a flip of a switch one can see the night view with glittering lights and dark background of emptiness of the night. All visitors are awestruck by this ‘once in a lifetime moment’ on the modern marvel at a dizzy height.
The descent from the lift is equally fast, but not before visiting the souvenir and coffee shop atop the building. The walk back to the starting point gave a sense of fulfillment for the memorable visit to this grandeur of glass and concrete
A bird's eye view of Dubai from atop Burj Khalifa