Many of you saw the fanfare that accompanied the opening of the world’s tallest tower, the Burj
Dubai, er, Khalifa a few weeks ago. I was sick my first two weeks back and missed all of it.
The rechristening of the Burj was a surprise announcement at the January 4 opening. Some have speculated that the renaming — from Dubai to an homage of Abu Dhabi’s leader — was the price Dubai had to pay for AD’s financial assistance in shoring up Dubai Inc. Perhaps. It sure made a lot of street signs and merchandise immediately out of date.
On a clear day, I can see the Burj from my apartment. And I have to admit, from a distance, it doesn’t impress me as much as you would think the world’s tallest building would. Part of that must be because, especially towards the top, it’s a thin spire. It doesn’t seem to take up as much space in the skyline as you would expect.
Still, I was curious to see it. It boasts the world’s highest swimming pool and mosque. Armani is designing the apartments. It has a thing for the number 8.
So last week, RB and I set off to see for ourselves from the vantage of the 124th floor observatory deck called “At the Top.” Instead, this is what we found:
Regular admission is 100 dirhams (about $27). Immediate access is 400 dirhams. We decided against paying the premium and amused ourselves in the gift shop, where many of the items on display were still branded “Burj Dubai.”
My favorite item was a bottle of water made by a British company that sold for 300 dirhams. The bottle was decorated in fake Swarovski crystals! (Oh how that made so much sense in bling-happy Dubai.) I really really wanted to buy one as a souvenir. It had the old name on it and imagine how chic I would look carrying that to the treadmill. Sadly, reason took over and we decided that spending nearly $90 on a water bottle was probably not worth it.