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Visiting Burj Khalifa in Dubai? Our tips + how to book tickets

When you visit Dubai, it would be a mistake not to visit the Burj Khalifa. The tallest tower in the world can be seen from almost any location in Dubai. A visit to the tower itself promises a beautiful view of Dubai and its surroundings, with a bit of luck you can even see Iran.

Visitors with a fear of heights will tremble at the observation decks at 452 and 555 meters. Book your tickets online and enjoy this special experience in style.

Our tip: Buy tours & tickets to Burj Khalifa online to avoid queues

Would you like to visit Burj Khalifa without having to wait in a long queue?
Buy your tickets online, they will cost between € 37 and € 95. The cheap tickets only give access to the 124th and 125th floor and not to the 148th floor. 

At GetYourGuide you can order your tickets online safely and quickly. You will then have access to the express lifts and can skip the queues. Booking tickets online = significant savings on your entrance fee.

Do you want to fully explore and discover Dubai? If you buy an Explorer Pass (incl. Choice of 42 top attractions), you save up to 47% + you can use the hop-on / hop-off buses.

View more tours and options in Dubai here. This way you get the most out of your visit to Dubai!

History of the Burj Dubai

burj khalifa visit guide
Why was the Burj Khalifa built?

The construction of the Burj Khalifa started in January 2004. The project was part of the urban expansion of Downtown Dubai, where many residences, hotels, parks and skyscrapers were built.

The Burj Dubai, as the tower was initially called, would become the center of this. The urban expansion and the construction of the Burj Dubai were a way to broaden the economy of the city, which was then only with oil production, towards tourism. These buildings were intended to give the city an international appearance.

Design Burj Khalifa

The tower was designed by the American architectural firm Skidmore, Owings and Merril of Chicago, with Adrian Smith as lead architect on the project. The agency had previously designed the Willis Tower in Chicago and the Jin Mao Tower in Shanghai. The Burj Khalifa’s design was based on the common desert flower Hymenocallis and the Islamic architecture of the region.

From Burj Dubai to Burj Khalifa

During the construction of the Burj Dubai, the city fell into an economic crisis, causing financial difficulties for the project. Many large-scale projects in the city were abandoned, but money was lent to Sheikh Khalifa, the head of the United Arab Emirates, for the construction of the Burj Dubai. In total, the construction of the tower cost no less than 1.3 billion euros.

Construction was completed in October 2009, followed by the official opening on January 4, 2010. At the opening, the name Burj Dubai was changed to Burj Khalifa, in honor of the Sheikh who financed much of the construction.

The records of the Burj Khalifa

burj khalifa being built

The Burj Khalifa has broken many records, some of which were already during the construction of the building itself. The Burj Khalifa is:

  • The tallest structure in the world, including antenna, is the Burj Khalifa 829.8 meters high.
  • The building with the most floors.
  • The building with the fastest elevators in the world. The lifts go up to a maximum of 504 at a speed of 42 kilometers per hour.
  • The building with the tallest restaurant in the world. The restaurant At.mosphere is located on the 122nd floor at an altitude of 442 meters.
  • The building with the highest nightclub (on floor 143) and the highest mosque (on floor 158).

Composition Burj Khalifa

burj khalife foundations

The Burj Khalifa is made of concrete, steel and aluminum and is clad with 142,000 square meters of glass. The building has 163 floors, the highest floor of which is 584.5 meters high. On these floors are offices, apartments, restaurants, bars, swimming pools, hotels, a nightclub, a mosque and two observation platforms. To reach the different floors, the building has a total of 57 elevators and 8 escalators.

  • The Armani Hotel was designed by Giorgio Armani and has 11 floors. The five-star hotel can welcome its guests in 304 luxurious rooms. Book your room online
  • In addition, 900 apartments are divided up to the 108th floor.
  • There is a swimming pool on the 43rd and 76th floors.
  • On the 122nd floor is the restaurant At.mosphere, on the 144th floor is a nightclub and on the 158th floor is a mosque.
  • You will also find the observation platforms on the 124th, 125th and 148th floors.
  • The rest of the floors mainly contain offices.

The Burj Khalifa lake and the Dubai Fountain

burj khalifa fountains

In front of the Burj Khalifa you can see the Burj Khalifa lake and the Dubai Fountain. The lake has an area of 12 hectares of which the fountain takes up 275 meters. The Dubai Fountain is the largest choreographed fountain in the world and was designed by WET Design who also designed Las Vegas fountains.

The fountain’s water spouts up to 152.4 meters high and is accompanied by 6,600 lights and 50 colorful projectors. There is also an 11-hectare park around the Burj Khalifa. This park was designed by the landscape architects SWA Group and also includes the Hymenocallis flower in the design.

TIP: Would you like to attend the fountain show at the Burj Khalifa? Special tickets for the Burj Khalifa fountain show with a traditional boat ride for $20 are available.

At The Top Burj Khalifa

The west side

On the 124th floor, at a height of 452 meters, you can find the first observation platform At the Top.

The observation deck covers the entire floor, giving you a panoramic view of beautiful Dubai.

Half of the floor is inside the building. From here you have a view over the west of Dubai, and you can look out over the Burj al Arab hotel, the Palm Jumeirah island, the World Islands and the Dubai Marina (visit this with a tour, book online).

The east side

The other half of the floor is in the open air with glass walls surrounding the platform.

This part faces the east of the city, and from here you can see the Financial District, Sheikh Zayed Road with its many skyscrapers, the Dubai Mall, the Dubai Fountain, the Souk al Bahar, The Palace Downtown hotel and the Dubai Frame.

In good weather it is even possible to see Iran in the north.

On this floor you will also find a souvenir shop and an electronic telescope.

At the Top, Burj Khalifa SKY

On October 15, 2014, a second observation platform was opened, located on the 148th floor, at a height of 555 meters. This floor is more luxuriously furnished and you visit together with a private guide. At the top you can have a drink in the SKY Lounge.

Opening hours & tickets Burj Khalifa?

burj khalifa view
Opening hours Burj Khalifa

The Burj Khalifa is open daily from 9 am.

From Sunday to Wednesday the tower closes at 10 p.m. and from Thursday to Saturday the tower closes at midnight.

The last entrance is 45 minutes before closing time.

On Fridays and Saturdays you can also visit the tower between 05:30 and 08:00 to watch the sunrise.

Tickets Burj Khalifa

There are various tickets available for a visit to the Burj Khalifa.

  • You can book tickets online or order them on site. It is best to book them online via this link.
  • Make sure you arrive on time because if you arrive late, you may be refused entry.
  • For the tickets, there is a distinction between Prime Hour Tickets and Non-Prime Hour Tickets.
  • Tickets for children are slightly cheaper, children younger than 4 years can even go for free.
  • There are also combination tickets including breakfast or including a snack and drink or including a three-course menu (Click here for options).
  • Those who wish can also buy an audio tour in English, Arabic, French, Spanish, Mandarin, Japanese, Russian or German for an extra fee.

How to avoid queues?

burj khalifa queues

The Burj Khalifa is Dubai’s biggest landmark and is a busy attraction. The most popular times to visit the tower are the daily sunrises and sunsets, holidays and weekends. Other times it is less busy, but you still end up in a queue because you still have to pass the security checks and lifts. All things considered, you will have to wait about 20 to 30 minutes.

Don’t like standing in a long queue? Then you can buy a Fast Track Entry ticket and you will end up in a separate short line at the security check.

Practical information for your visit

  • A strict dress code applies when visiting the At.mosphere bar. For example, you must be properly dressed and you are not allowed to wear short clothes or open shoes.
  • To get a good picture of the Burj Khalifa, it is best to walk up past Souk Al Bahar and towards the restaurant Shakespeare and Co From these locations you have a beautiful view of the tower in the morning against a sky blue background. In the evening you can take the best pictures with the sunset here.
  • During sand storms, the view from the Burj Khalifa can be limited, even when there is a lot of moisture in the air. The latter is mainly at the beginning and the end of the day. For the best view, it is best to visit the Burj Khalifa in the afternoon.
  • At the entrance to At the Top you have to go through a security check, similar to that of an airport. Large bags and suitcases are not allowed, but you can leave them in a locker at the entrance.
  • Glass bottles, alcohol knives and felt-tip pens cannot be taken upstairs.
  • There is free Wi-Fi on the observation floors of the Burj Khalifa.
  • At the Top is fully accessible for disabled people and wheelchairs, guide dogs are also allowed upstairs.
  • Book your tickets online in advance, so you can be sure that you can enter and you do not have to wait in the long queues.

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