We Can’t Much Get Higher Than This: Burj Khalifa, Dubai

Dubai is (and probably always will be) one of my favourite vacation destinations. There are few reasons for this; It’s like the perfect distance from UK (only 7 hours on a plane), it feels miles away from anything British, the weather is amazing and finally, it’s where my wonderful Mum lives.

One of my favourite things to do when I’m in Dubai is visit the Burj Khalifa. We don’t go up to the top every time (that would get expensive) but it’s such a beautiful building, and the area around it is so much fun – with the fountains, restaurants and shopping malls – that it’s always the place I want to go first. As with some ‘sky-high’ viewing platforms (where it’s not really worth the money) I still totally think, even after being up there 3 times, the Burj Khalifa is.

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Why?

First of all – Tom Cruise went there once (is that not reason enough?!) and secondly, it’s the tallest building in THE WORLD. It is the highest you will ever stand on solid ground, without being in an airplane. That always makes me feel a bit awesome, like…

“Holy Cow. I am so high up right now”

The views up there are pretty phenomenal and it’s hard not to stop your jaw dropping when you look over the side of the observation deck. It really puts things into perspective too – suddenly all those sky scrapers that looked so big on the ground, now seem tiny – and miles away from where you currently stand.

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The observation deck itself is very modern too – which means you actually get to enjoy the view and take it all in, the windows are floor to ceiling – which as a photographer I’m always grateful for.  There is an outdoor section (which is open air) and an indoor section, which is kind of nice, because being out in the heat can get a bit full on (especially when you’re that high up) so it’s nice to pop back indoors and cool down under the air-conditioning occasionally.

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When is the best time to visit?

Definitely in early evening / late afternoon – if you time it right (and trust me – it’s worth the extra effort to make sure you do) you’ll be able to see the view in the daytime and then through sunset and into the evening. Each different time of day and each kind of light gives something completely different and magical so, please, if you’re going up there try and time your visit so you can witness all three.

During the night-time you also have the adding bonus of being able to watch the fountains below – something you can’t really see during the daytime light.

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From experience – if you’re wanting to book during this time it’s much better (and WAY cheaper) to book in advance on their website. I think you save around 30% (don’t quote me on that though!) by booking online.

I just wanted this to be a quick informative post – as I think if you’re considering going up yourself – it’s best to just go and experience it all first hand. There is only so much the photographs can do – because when you see the views in person they are that bit more overwhelming. It really is a beautiful view and the sunsets in Dubai (being as stunning as they are) make it even more memorable. For any men reading – this would be a great place to pop the question… in case you were wondering.

As far as attractions in Dubai go, this is one of the best there is and definitely one of my favourites. It’s the world’s tallest building! How is that not impressive?

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6 Reasons You Should Love Dubai

Dubai, like many of the World’s major cities – is made of Marmite.

You either love it or hate it…. I love it.

We’re not in Dubai at the moment – but I thought this gorgeous city deserved to be written about. I’ve now been to Dubai many, many times; my Mum and my Godfather live out there (which is reason enough to visit) but the city always pulls me back for more for reasons than family, despite having been there countless times.

It’s a city that some people I know adore just as much as myself – but who others despise with a passion. Maybe they don’t like sand – who knows. Personally, I’ve been blinded by the lights of Dubai and have a rosy-attitude towards the place despite the construction work and sweltering heat. If you think you could manage to look beyond those two (teeny tiny) things – keep reading. Because you might fall head over heels for Dubai too.

This is why I love it there and why you should too:

1. The atmosphere

The difference in culture and atmosphere is something that unites a lot of Middle Eastern countries I’ve visited, and something that will always draw me back to that part of the world. I was actually born in the Middle East (Kuwait) so there’s a part of me deep down, which almost feels like I’m being welcomed home as soon as I see dessert and hear the call to prayer. I love this part of the world; I love the heat, the dryness, the sand, the lifestyle and the people.

2. The glitter

All that glitters in gold in Dubai (sometime literally). The city is on an ever-lasting mission to improve itself and this is something I love. I love going back within months of my last trip – and seeing more changes to the skyline – the city is literally never the same one day to the next. They don’t do things by half here, they do everything to the full and the finished product is incredible.

3. The Fountains

The Dubai Fountains are probably my favourite spot in Dubai, and deserve a little spot in this post. There is nothing I love more than sitting outside in the evening at one of the restaurants by the Dubai Fountains and just watching the world go by. The Dubai Fountains are designed by the same guys who did the Bellagio ones, and are by all accounts just as epic. It’s truly incredible just to watch them, and watch people’s reactions to them.

4. The food

If my heart belongs in NYC, then my stomach belongs in Dubai. Oh good god the food in Dubai is so good. I love Middle Eastern food. Hummus. Tabouli. Salad. Bread. Wraps. Cheese. Yoghurt. Mint. Just give me all the food and I will be happy. If you can bear the heat in Dubai during the summer then heading to one of the evening Ramadan buffets is truly an experience. The more expensive you go – the more overwhelmed you’re going to be. We went to the one on Jumeriah Beach and they had about 7 different rooms of food to choose from. Just WOW.

5. The sunsets

The sun is so big in Dubai and so orange, you can’t really understand it until you’ve seen it. Some of the most beautiful sunsets I’ve seen in my life have been witnessed from the sandy shores of Dubai. They’re amazing.

 6. The variety

Dubai has something for pretty much everyone. If you like culture – there is the old part of the city full of temples, traditional fishing workers, markets and locals. If you want glitz and glamour there is the marina, the malls and the world-class hotels. If you want to relax by a pool and do nothing – you can do it (every hotel has a pool here). If you want adrenaline or adventure you can have that as well, there are sand dunes, skiing, sky-diving and snorkelling for that. If you want wild-life there are camels, aquariums and countless other animals. OH and if you want to spend your entire time eating the amazing food – they have lots of restaurants so you aren’t going to run out of options.