After our most recent trip to Dubai, I now have more photos of the Burj Khalifa than I do of myself. Literally. A similar thing happens when I’m face to face with the Eiffel Tower; even if I don’t want more pictures, I continue to take them anyway. So, after my 6,000th photo from the ground it was time to explore another angle. The Burj Khalifa At the Top experience takes you to the 125th floor of the tallest building in the world. During the weekend, visitors have the option to view the city at sunrise and that’s exactly what we did. Keep reading to discover tips for visiting, plus why you should consider hitting the top of the Burj for the prettiest sunrise in Dubai.
BURJ KHALIFA AT THE TOP // WATCHING THE SUNRISE IN DUBAI
Waking up before sunrise while on vacation sucks. But 99% of the time, the pros outweigh the cons, so I continue to torture myself. We were lucky to be in Dubai during a weekend, so the Burj Khalifa At the Top Sunrise experience was an available option for us.
We left our hotel extra early and called a taxi to take us to the Burj Khalifa.
The At the Top entrance is within the Dubai Mall, so we should have asked him to drop us off the mall’s main entrance. Instead, he took us to the opposite end, and we were stuck trying to find an open door at 5 o’clock in the morning. After asking a few different security guards, we finally navigated our way to the entrance. It was an unexpected 25 minute walk, but being completely alone in the dimly lit Dubai Mall was an experience all in itself.
When we reached the entrance to the tower (we were the only ones there), we were immediately escorted into one of fastest elevators in the world. Roughly 3 ear pops and 1 minute later, we had arrived at our destination on the 125th floor.
A bit of darkness was still lingering so we ran around getting pictures before the sun began to rise. There were a handful of people on the observation deck with us, including a few serious photographers who had already locked their tripods down in the best places. Nevertheless, it was still easy to find openings in the glass.
It was an incredible sight to watch the sun peek out over the horizon, bathing this futuristic desert city in soft, golden light. Dubai is like no place I’ve been before.
We spent around 2.5 hours at the top, until the colors stopped changing and the sun was fully awake.
5 REASONS TO VISIT BURJ KHALIFA AT THE TOP DURING SUNRISE
YOU GET A NIGHT VIEW + A DAY TIME VIEW
If you aim to make the earliest time slot (5:30am) you’ll be able to take advantage of the night views before the sun starts to come up. For a short amount of time,the city lights still illuminate the dark and the blue early morning light creeps in, which looks great on the sharp buildings.
An hour later, as the sun rises, warm tones reach the buildings and you’ll get to experience a completely different feel (and set of photos).
THERE ARE LESS CROWDS
Before our visit, I had read so many horror stories about long lines and crowded viewpoints. If you choose to visit at sunrise, it’s safe to bet on a much calmer atmosphere as there are not a ton of people clamoring to wake up with the sun while on vacation.
At 5:30am we walked right in, took the first elevator up and a secured a prime viewing spot next to the glass for the entire morning. It started getting a little more crowded closer to 8am, but it was still totally manageable.
YOUR BREAKFAST IS COVERED
The sunrise ticket includes a croissant plus coffee, tea or juice after your visit.
YOU’LL SAVE MONEY
Sunrise admission is the cheapest ticket you can buy if you want the Burj Khalifa At the Top experience. You can save up to $22 USD (AED 80) on general admission by simply waking up a little earlier. That’s enough to buy yourself half of a cocktail later .. 😉 .
CONDITIONS ARE OPTIMAL FOR PHOTOS
Not only is the morning light going to be one of your best bets for pretty photos, but the visibility is a lot clearer in the morning too. The later it gets in the day, the hazier the view becomes so capitalize the on morning conditions, especially if you’re a photographer.. or just heavily committed to the ‘Gram.
RELATED POST: PRAGUE WITH NO PEOPLE // WAKING UP BEFORE THE CROWDS
11 TIPS FOR YOUR VISIT TO BURJ KHALIFA AT THE TOP
BOOK ONLINE Save yourself the most money by booking online. If not, expect to pay almost double at the ticket counter.
VISIT TIME Allot at least 3-4 hours for a visit (2-3 if you’re visiting during sunrise). While you’re under no time limits once you reach the viewing platform, the lines can be exceedingly long during peak hours and weekends.
SAVE MONEY BY VISITING DURING NON-PEAK HOURS There are several different ticket prices depending on the time of day you plan on visiting. If you visit during non-prime hours, you can save yourself $20+ USD on the price of a single admission. The cheapest time to visit is during sunrise on Friday or Saturday. For ticket prices, see the section below.
GIVE YOURSELF ENOUGH TIME TO MAKE YOUR TIME SLOT Depending on where you’ll be coming from, it’s important to leave your hotel far enough in advance. If you’re arriving via metro, expect a 2.2 km (1.3mile) walk from the metro to the entrance. If arriving by taxi, give yourself not only enough time to account for traffic, but also to walk from the taxi drop off.
TAXI DROP OFF The entrance to Burj Khalifa At the Top is in the Dubai Mall. But, don’t ask the taxi driver to take you to the Burj Khalifa because you’ll be dropped off at a different spot which is a 20-25 minute walk (this is what we did). Ask the taxi to take you to the main entrance of the Dubai Mall, near the fountains.
BOOK IN ADVANCE During peak season, time slots can sell out. Book ahead of time in order to secure your visit.
TRIPODS I read that you’re not allowed to use a tripod on the viewing deck. I had no issues (2018) and saw several other people using them as well.
PROFESSIONAL PHOTOS There are staff photographers walking around eager to capture the moment for you. Be warned: their prices are laughable ~ starting at around 265 AED ($72 USD ) for a single photo and AED 500 ($136 USD) for 3.
EVENING If you plan on visiting during the evening, head up after 6pm so you can watch the fountain show and Burj Khalifa light show from above.
CHECK THE WEATHER The visibility gets hazier in the middle of the day, so aim for a morning or evening visit if clarity is important to you. I had my fingers crossed for heavy morning fog, but others might’ve been disappointed by that. If you’re going to spend $30+ for a view, it’s a good idea to check that conditions are in your favor.
WIFI There is WiFi at the top and the connection is great.
BURJ KHALIFA AT THE TOP TICKETS
GENERAL TICKET PRICES
General admission grants your entry to the main outdoor observation terrace on the 124th floor, as well access to to the 125th floor where you can experience a 360 degree (indoor) view.
|Ticket Type||Non-prime hours|
8:30am – 3pm and 7pm – Close
3:30pm – 6:30pm
|Adult (12 years+)||AED 135 ($36.75 USD)||AED 210 ($57 USD)|
|Child (4-12 years)||AED 100 ($27 USD)||AED 170 ($46 USD)|
|Under 4 years||FREE||FREE|
VIP TICKET PRICES // AT THE TOP SKY
The VIP ticket includes a personalized tour, complimentary refreshments and access to the world’s highest observation deck on the 148th floor (for a max 30 minute visit). Then, you are free to travel down to the 124/125th floors where you can stay for as long as you’d like.
|Ticket Type||Non-prime hours|
7pm – Close
9:30am – 6pm
|Adult (12 years+)||AED 370 ($100 USD)||AED 525 ($143 USD)|
|Child (4-12 years)||AED 370 ($100 USD)||AED 525 ($143 USD|
|Under 4 years)||FREE||FREE|
AT THE TOP SUNRISE (FRIDAY & SATURDAY ONLY)
Between 5:30am and 8am on the weekend, watch the sunrise from the top of the Burj Khalifa. Admission includes a croissant plus coffee, tea or water.
|Ticket Type||Sunrise 5:30-8:00am|
|Adult (12+ years)||AED 128.33 ($35 USD)|
|Child (4-12 years)||AED 95 ($26 USD)|
1 Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard
7 days a week : 8am – 1opm
Last entry is scheduled 45 minutes prior to closing
10 INSANE FACTS ABOUT THE BURJ KHALIFA
- The Burj Khalifa is currently the tallest building in the world standing tall at 828 meters (2,716.5 ft).
- It took 22 million man hours to complete the building.
- If each piece of the Burj Khalifa was laid end to end, they would stretch over a quarter of the way around the world.
- The building has more than 17,000 doors.
- The temperature at the tip of the Burj Khalifa is 6 degrees celsius (13 fahrenheit) cooler than it’s ground level.
- The elevator is one of the fastest in the world, traveling a a rate of 10 meters (33 ft) per second.
- It takes 1 minute to travel from the ground floor to the 124th floor.
- During it’s peak construction days, 12,000 workers were on site each day.
- The amount of concrete used in construction would equal the weight of 100,000 elephants.
- The Burj Khalifa is so tall that Muslims living on it’s top floors must fast longer during Ramadan as they’ll witness the sunset 3 minutes after everyone else.