The world is becoming smaller, smaller these days. With low cost airlines, budget hotels and web forums- gone are the days where traveling is a privilege of the rich and sometimes a once in a lifetime opportunity. Above all, the invention of Google Earth makes anyone feel that any place is reachable. How awesome it is that on a click of a button you can see the street view of Mecca in Saudi Arabia, be on top of Eiffel Tower in Paris or up-close to Christ the Redeemer of Rio de Janeiro.
Take for example- Burj Khalifa in Dubai. Such a funny sight every weekend when residents and tourist alike are contorting their bodies and some even lying on the ground just to take the perfect shot with the world tallest structure in the background. But who can blame them, it is better to try (right?) than to trust Photoshop to do the trick. If you have 100 aed to spare and viewing on Google Earth seems not to be enough, then I encourage you enter “At The Top, Burj Khalifa”.
Reaching the 124th Floor viewing deck is not something to be worried at if you are acrophobic since the elevator is well designed with lights and screens to distract anyone. Traveling at the rate of 10meters per second is just like reaching the 5th floor of your apartment building and the only indication that you are ascending is the sensation on your ears. The viewing deck will not only allow you to be inside the world tallest building but will give you the perfect vantage point to see Dubai in 360 degrees manner.
Standing at the highest point, the city seems to be one giant prototype created by one ambitious architect. You’ve got the sand dunes somewhere on the west (an indication of more lands to fill), towering buildings of Trade Center on the north, residential area and deep blue ocean of Jumeirah on the east and skyline of Dubai Marina on the south. Connecting all these places are roads and roundabouts with speeding cars comparable to the size of my cousin’s Hot Wheels. To summarize, what you see on Google Earth is what you will see in real life.
My “At The Top” experience allows me to appreciate Dubai once again. Truly, with a visionary Ruler/Leader a city can be built from sand and you need people with enough motivation to make it happen. Check out the short gallery on your way out, you will see the faces of people who contributed to the construction of Burj Khalifa. It’s a good reminder how diverse the country is and how much hard work is required to be the tallest of them all.