Dubai houses many record-breaking attractions and projects. But when it comes to skyscrapers, nothing can beat Burj Khalifa—the tallest building in the world. A sight to behold, Burj Khalifa should be first on your list of things to visit in the city. It’s in the heart of Dubai, waiting for you.
Start your Dubai journey and plan your visit to Burj Khalifa with this guide.
Things to Know Before You Visit Burj Khalifa
Burj Khalifa is one of the most popular places to visit in Dubai. The building is massive, so first-time visitors should allocate a lot of time to explore all areas of Burj Khalifa. But before you do that, here’s everything you need to know about the tallest building in the world.
What is Burj Khalifa
Burj Khalifa is presently the tallest building and free-standing structure in the world. It’s 828 meters long (2,716.5 feet) and houses over 160 stories, surpassing the height of the Shanghai Tower in China and the Makkah Royal Clock Tower in Mecca. It’s three times taller than the popular Eiffel Tower in Paris.
Aside from being the tallest man-made structure worldwide, Burj Khalifa’s height also broke more world records, including the highest number of building stories, the highest outdoor observation deck, the highest occupied floor, and the tallest elevator service.
Burj Khalifa was completed in October 2009. It sits in Downtown Dubai, offering sightseeing attractions, dining options, leisure activities, entertainment shows, and live public and private event venues.
Who Can Visit Burj Khalifa
Burj Khalifa, including its activities and establishments, all cater to children and adults of all ages, as well as visitors that require special assistance. There may be restrictions for some of the highest floors in the area, but everyone is generally free to roam around.
Burj Khalifa Age of Entry
There is no age or height limit for guests visiting Burj Khalifa, so parents can bring infants and toddlers to most parts of the tower. Burj Khalifa At The Top, the tower’s observation deck, also requires no age restrictions.
Burj Khalifa Health Restrictions
The tower, including Burj Khalifa At The Top, allows pregnant women and persons with disabilities to go up to the observation deck—as long as other adults accompany them. Most parts of Burj Khalifa are wheelchair-accessible.
Visitors with occurring or severe health issues like stroke, epilepsy, and heart disease are encouraged to consult with their doctors before visiting the highest floors of the tower, especially Burj Khalifa At The Top. Burj Khalifa’s height may trigger people with acrophobia (fear of heights), causing panic and anxiety. It’s best to visit the highest floors of the building with caution.
Is Burj Khalifa Safe and Regulated?
Burj Khalifa is a state-of-the-art building crafted and designed by world-renowned architects and engineers. Adrian Smith, the senior architect responsible for the Jin Mao Tower in Shanghai and the Zifeng Tower in Nanjing, led the design-build stage of the building. Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, the firm that backed Smith for the creation of Burj Khalifa, also led the construction and design of the Willis Tower and One World Trade Center.
Considering the qualifications, standards, and achievements of the team behind the construction of Burj Khalifa, it’s easy to say that the tallest building in the world is safe. Burj Khalifa houses features that can withstand accidents and natural calamities like typhoons, earthquakes, and fire.
Burj Khalifa’s structural support can withstand earthquakes up to magnitude 7.0, a resistance that goes beyond the 5.9-magnitude standard for skyscrapers in Dubai. In case of major emergencies like fire and typhoons, Burj Khalifa also houses emergency exits and refuge areas with fireproof concrete and pressurized spaces. These are available on every 25 floors of the building.
All establishments in Dubai follow special health and safety measures to combat COVID-19. Burj Khalifa and its independent establishments are required by the World Health Organization (WHO) and local authorities to ensure social distancing among visitors, sanitize publicly-used areas, conduct temperature checks for staff and guests, and promote contactless payments. Some areas and activities at Burj Khalifa may limit the number of visitors a day based on local regulations, especially the Burj Khalifa At The Top observation deck.
Guests, too, are required to follow individual safety protocols. Guests should wear face masks inside the tower at all times, avoid physical contact among staff and other visitors, and submit basic personal information for contact tracing purposes.
When is the Best Time To Visit Burj Khalifa
Burj Khalifa is open 24 hours daily; that’s why it’s the premier destination for tourists from different countries or other cities of the UAE. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there might be revised opening hours from Monday to Saturday, depending on local regulations.
Burj Khalifa At The Top operates from 8 AM to 10 PM from Sunday to Thursday and 5:30 AM to 10 PM from Friday to Saturday. The best time to explore all areas of the building and the observation deck is from 3:00 to 6:30 PM—this time range covers the golden hour, but it also falls in the prime hours. Expect to encounter crowds during these hours. If your preference is to visit Burj Khalifa and avoid crowds, buy Burj Khalifa tickets for non-prime hours—from 8:30 AM to 2:30 PM and from 7:00 PM to 10:00 PM.
How Long Can You Explore Burj Khalifa
Burj Khalifa tickets come with time slots of your visit to At The Top, the observation deck. But the ticket offers admission and unlimited access to the common areas and facilities of the building.
The average time to enjoy sightseeing at Burj Khalifa At the Top is 1 hour and 30 minutes. You can, of course, take advantage of your booked time slot fully. The Burj Khalifa management sometimes extends visits to At The Top during peak seasons or holidays. Meanwhile, the average time to enjoy a specific level or establishment is 30 minutes.
Remember that these numbers are just estimated times, don’t be compelled to follow them as you can enjoy Burj Khalifa however and how long you want. You can even do multiple visits if a one-day access isn’t enough.
Where is Burj Khalifa Exactly Located?
Burj Khalifa sits at 1 Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Blvd – Downtown Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The building is located in one of the central districts of Dubai, popularly known as the Dubai Business Bay. Burj Khalifa, in itself, is already a landmark in Dubai—the tallest landmark, to be exact. As such, first-time visitors and tourists wouldn’t have a hard time finding it.
Burj Khalifa overlooks the Sheikh Zayed Highway and the Persian Gulf. When you’re At The Top, though, you can see the whole of Dubai. Other famous attractions near Burj Khalifa include the Dubai Mall, Dubai Opera, Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo, and KidZania.
Preparation Tips And Booking Procedures
Now you know everything there is to know about Burj Khalifa—the amazing facts and wonders of the tallest building in the world, let’s head to the actual preparations and procedures involved in booking Burj Khalifa tickets and visiting the venue.
How to Get to Burj Khalifa
Burj Khalifa is in the heart of Dubai, a landmark that every local and repeating visitors know. That’s why it’s relatively easy to get to Burj Khalifa anywhere you are in the city through various modes of transportation.
Travelers with private or rented vehicles can easily reach Burj Khalifa from the city center or other neighboring areas through Sheikh Rashid Rd/E11 in approximately 12 minutes.
If you want to commute, city buses can take you to the Mall of the Emirates and its surrounding areas. Take buses C14 and F13, then alight at the Dubai Mall Landside Metro Bus Stop, Mazaya Center – 01 or 02, or The Dubai Mall station. It will take you a 2 to 8-minute walk from these stations to reach Burj Khalifa.
If you want to take the metro, ride the Red Line to the Business Bay Metro Station. From there, you can take a 25-minute walk or hire a cab to reach Burj Khalifa.
What Are the Things Visitors Need to Prepare?
Burj Khalifa is a tourist attraction for all ages, so you can prepare like you’re going to a luxury mall in Dubai. There are no guest restrictions or extreme activities that will require you to bring special clothing or equipment.
There is no dress code inside Burj Khalifa, but make sure to follow the UAE’s general rule for public dressing and the dress code of specific establishments inside the building. Considering the consistent warm weather in Dubai, however, it’s best to wear comfortable casual clothes when you visit.
Food and Drinks
You can bring light beverages and snacks inside the building, although there are many dining options that first-time visitors shouldn’t miss. For sanitary purposes, no food or drinks are allowed in Burj Khalifa At the Top.
Cameras and other recording devices are allowed in Burj Khalifa, even At The Top. If you forgot to bring one, there are paid photographers at the observation deck where you can get physical and digital copies of your photographs at a fair price.
Luggage and Baggage
You don’t have to bring a lot of things to Burj Khalifa since it’s a multi-use building with shopping options and entertainment activities. For your comfort, however, you can store your baggage and luggage at their Check Rooms. This is a requirement before you enter the At The Top.
Do Visitors Need to Prebook?
Prebooking Burj Khalifa tickets is a highly recommended option, especially if you’re bringing large groups. However, you are not required to do so. The best thing to do to avoid a hassle-free booking experience is to buy tickets at least 90 minutes before entering Burj Khalifa At The Top.
Where to Buy Burj Khalifa Tickets
You can buy tickets inside the building or through online booking at Burj Khalifa’s official website. Here’s a list of ticket prices and their inclusions:
At the Top, Burj Khalifa (Level 125 + 124) – starts at 149 AED (40.56 USD)
At the Top, Burj Khalifa SKY (Level 148 +125 + 124) – starts at 379 AED (103.18 USD)
At the Top + Dubai Aquarium (Level 125 + 124) – starts at 225 AED (61.25 USD)
World’s highest lounge for VIPs (Level 154 +153 + 152) – starts at 749 AED (203.91 USD)
Alternatively, you can look for reputable travel and tour agencies offering discounted tickets for group visits. Make sure to buy tickets from licensed operators to avoid scams. For reference, here are some of the most reputable third-party operators selling Burj Khalifa tickets.
Considering Burj Khalifa’s height, it’s no surprise that the tallest building in the world houses many establishments offering various activities. So, aside from visiting the At The Top, here are the best activities for first-time visitors:
Unwind at the Burj Club
The Burj Club is a luxury fitness and wellness center inside the building. It offers high-end gym activities, spa treatments, and rooftop sightseeing opportunities. Burj Club can be accessed through membership or day-passes only.
Dine at Luxury Restaurants
You’ll never run out of dining options inside the tallest building in the world. Eat to your heart’s desire and satisfy your cravings. Some of the highly recommended restaurants inside Burj Khalifa are Amal (Indian cuisine), Ristorante (contemporary Italian), Hashi (Japanese cuisine), Armani Lounge (international cuisine), and At.Mosphere (fine dining).
Visit Kids-Friendly Establishments
For children and kids-at-heart, Burj Khalifa houses various establishments that aim to offer unique and fun experiences. It’s recommended to bring your friends or kids at Candylicious At The Top, a candy store selling millions of candies under one roof, or at Schools At The Top, a learning center at the top of the building offering interactive games and lessons to children.
Final Tips for First-Time Visitors of Burj Khalifa
Preparing your first visit to Burj Khalifa is just a walk in the park. However, it’s best to plan a perfectly-hassle free experience based on your budget, schedule, origin, budget, and other preferences. We also highly recommend pre-booking Burj Khalifa tickets to avoid queues and cancellations.
What to Do After Visiting Burj Khalifa
Burj Khalifa may be the tallest building globally, but it’s not the only tourist attraction in Dubai offering the best of the best. If you want to explore more of the city, we recommend visiting shopping malls, theme parks, waterparks, and museums in Dubai.