Welcome inside the tallest building in the world… Walk down this hallway, step inside this elevator, and in barely a minute you can step onto the observation deck halfway up.
Or at least, that was how I began this report before I found out that the Burj Khalifah is now temporarily closed.
The building’s had an eventful history since December 2004 when Samsung signed on for its construction. Online, Gulf News showed us how they chronicled its development, and as the opening date neared, real estate values rose and the city filled in anticipation.
During the January 4th opening, the record breaking building was renamed the Burj Khalifah. The fireworks and ceremonies didn’t disappoint a local population whose pride in the building has been compared to that of other cities hosting national buildings like the Sydney Opera House and was evident in the work of photo contest participants like Ala’a Kahel.
The adventure didn’t stop with the opening – within weeks, the building had seen visitors ranging from national leaders to base jumpers. In fact, the building’s closure has been partially attributed to its popularity.
In the meantime, you can watch the tour or look off of the observation deck here, and there’s behind the scenes looks at everything from sustainability discussions to cleaning the building (I’m sure the merchandise is still available too). Also, the amazing Burj al Arab which recently celebrated its birthday remains open too.
Above is a link to the gallery with more of Steven’s pictures. I’ve also posted a few more pictures of the view from the observation deck and one of the maps I found when I first found out I’d be visiting Dubai (along with Abu Dhabi and Sharjah) over winter break. At the time, I didn’t realize I’d be there for the event myself.