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Burj Dubai Observation Deck Opens to The Public On Jan 5

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Burj Dubai Observation Deck Opens to The Public On Jan 5

Monday, January 04, 2010

At the Top, Burj Dubai, the world’s highest observation deck on Level 124 of Burj Dubai, the world’s tallest building, will open doors to the public from January 5, 2010. Tickets are time stamped at 30-minute intervals, on specific days, in order to carefully manage the daily rush of sightseers. Introductory ticket price is AED 100 for adults and Dh75 for children up to 12 years. For those who simply cannot wait, immediate entry is Dh210 per person, subject to availability. The entrance to the experience At the Top, Burj Dubai is at the adjoining The Dubai Mall’s Lower Ground level, conveniently situated among a parade of tempting restaurants. Banks of LED screens displaying Burj Dubai’s distinctive three-core design in red and black greet visitors. The reception area features a fiberglass model of the tower illuminated in blue light. Soft music plays in the background, from a score composed especially for Burj Dubai by Katia Makdissi-Warren, a Canadian artist noted for her fusion of Western and Arabian styles.

The interactive feature ‘Burj Around the World’ allows visitors to view Burj Dubai on the skyline of other famous cities. Two multimedia presentations, ‘Burj Dubai Among the Greats’ and ‘Tallest Among the Tall’, introduce other iconic tall buildings from around the world, forming as they do the inspiration for Burj Dubai. Precision is a theme of the tower and it governs the experience awaiting visitors to At the Top, Burj Dubai. Past an airport-style security gate, visitors are immersed in the history of Dubai as they are escorted along a 65-metre travelator. A multimedia display, ‘Dubai Then and Now’, explores the emirate’s humble beginnings as a pearl diving and trading hub and traces its emergence into a world centre for tourism, commerce and finance. A new musical passage, again by composer Katia Makdissi-Warren, accompanies the historical narrative, and her composition proceeds to change in mood and tempo as new sections of the tour are revealed. The travelator gently deposits visitors at the ‘From the earth to the sky’, through which they view the tower’s spire at a near vertical angle and its observation deck on the 124th floor.

Pausing at the ‘From the earth to the sky’, one can also absorb the ‘legend’ of Burj Dubai, which interprets the personality and aspirations of the world’s tallest building as though it were an individual. “I am the heart of the city and its people,” the legend reads, “the marker that defines Emaar’s ambition and Dubai’s shining dream. More than just a moment in time, I define moments for future generations…” An almost spiritual ambiance permeates this stage of the tour. As soothing music plays in the background, futuristic back-lit glass panels display the styling cues for the tower’s unique design, including its inspiration from the natural world, a freshly cut flower from the beautiful desert lily, Hymenocallis. The next leg of the journey, ‘From Vision to Reality’, delves deeper into the architectural and engineering complexity inherent in the world’s tallest building. A multimedia presentation tracks the evolution of the project, from the design phase through to final construction, revealing as it does so the numerous challenges the Burj Dubai’s engineers overcame to deliver what will soon become a living community for as many as 12,000 people.

The final ascent to the 124th floor is by a double-deck elevator, each deck carrying up to 14 people and travelling at an amazing 10 metres per second directly to Level 124. The smoothness of the ride and the captivating effects of the elevator’s interior LED screens, means one barely perceives any movement at all. In less than 60 seconds, the elevator reaches the observation deck, the world’s only public observation deck with an outdoor terrace at this height. The view from At the Top, Burj Dubai is like that from a plane. But while an airborne passenger must observe the world below through a tiny cabin window, visitors to the Burj Dubai experience a vista through 360 degrees. Sheikh Zayed Road is miniaturized to the scale of a matchstick model; cars and people appear ant-size. The entire city is revealed, Dubai Creek to the north, Abu Dhabi to the south, Palm Jumeirah and The World islands to the west, and the desert to the east. Computerised telescopes, meanwhile, allow visitors to zoom in on goings on at street level, and picture the scene through the viewfinder at night or during the day, thanks to the technology’s built-in memory, regardless of the time of their visit.

An invigorating taste of Dubai air 124 floors above ground can be had from the outdoor terrace. Visitors are allowed to admire the view from At the Top, Burj Dubai for as long as they like. And when they decide to return to terra ferma, they are likely to be tempted to buy an item of official merchandise from the At the Top Retail Boutique as a keepsake. The return to ground level, back to the point where one enters the At the Top, Burj Dubai experience, presents a cavalcade of additional fascinating facts, engineering feats, architectural firsts, and memorable images and photographs. On leaving, visitors will be occupied by one thought - regaling friends and family with impressions of the experience at one of the highest manmade points on earth. After a visit to the 124th floor of the Burj Dubai, it is an understatement to say that the expression ‘feeling on top of the world’ gains a whole new meaning.

Source: Khaleej Times

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