At the top of Burj Khalifa in Dubai: How to visit Burj Khalifa like a pro

Are you looking to visit the top of Burj Khalifa Dubai? This is the only guide you need to plan your visit to this iconic tower that defines the Dubai skyline. Find out what makes At the Top of Burj Khalifa one of the best things to do in Dubai and why you should make it part of your travel itinerary for Dubai.

We give you a walk-through of our visit and share plenty of tips to make the most of your experience. That way, you’ll know exactly what to expect from the Burj Khalifa At the Top experience. We also have plenty of photos to share, from the observation deck and the panoramic views to the elevator animations and even the exhibitions. Plus, discover some fun Burj Khalifa facts, more things to do in Burj Park and the best hotels with Burj Khalifa views.


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Burj Khalifa in Dubai against a clear blue sky and with a palm in front
Burj Khalifa in the Dubai skyline at sunset

Quick facts about the Burj Khalifa in Dubai

Before we tell you all about our visit to this Dubai landmark, let’s go over some interesting Burj Khalifa facts in order to realize just how gigantic this tower really is.

How tall is Burj Khalifa?
The Burj Khalifa height is 828 m or 2716.5 ft. In comparison, the Eiffel Tower in Paris is 330 m or 2716.5 ft tall and One World Trade Center in New York City is 541.3 m or 1,776 ft tall. Check out the full list of tallest buildings in the world here. The Burj Khalifa’s telescope spire alone is over 200 m or 656 ft in height.

How many floors does Burj Khalifa have?
The Burj Khalifa has 163 floors but the three top floors are reserved for communications and broadcasting purposes. It takes no less than 2909 stairs to reach level 160.

How many Guinness World Records does the Burj Khalifa hold?
The Burj Khalifa currently holds the world records of tallest building, tallest man-made structure, tallest free-standing structure, highest number of stories, highest occupied floor, tallest elevator in a building, highest restaurant from ground level and highest outdoor observation deck.

Where did architect Adrian Smith get his inspiration?
The Spider Lily, a local desert flower, served as inspiration for the design of Burj Khalifa.

Who owns Burj Khalifa?
Emaar Properties, one of the largest real estate development companies in the world, is the Burj Khalifa owner. Emaar developped and owns many other commercial buildings in Dubai, such as Address Hotels and Resorts, Vida Hotels and Resorts, Dubai Aquarium, Dubai Opera, Dubai Mall, Dubai Marina Mall, Souk Al Bahar and the Dubai Fountain. You really can’t miss it either, since the name Emaar crowns dozens of skyscrapers in Downtown Dubai.

Is the Burj Khalifa a hotel?
The Burj Khalifa is home to a hotel but it’s not all hotel. The Armani Dubai Hotel is located on the lowest floors up to and including level 8. The Armani Dubai Hotel Suites are located on levels 38 and 39.  In addition, there are 144 Armani Residences, one and two bedroom luxury apartments, on levels 9 to 16.
Most other floors inside Burj Khalifa consist of residences, about 900 in total, and some house offices. There are also 3 sky lobby levels with spas, pools and outdoor decks on the Burj Khalifa. You can find them at levels 43, 67 and 123. So basically, the Burj Khalifa is a vertical city.

How many observation decks does Burj Khalifa have?
The Burj Khalifa has two observation decks. At the Top Burj Khalifa is the first observation deck, located at levels 124 and 125 at a height of 456 m or 1496 ft. The second observation deck is At the Top Burj Khalifa SKY, located at level 148 at a height of 555 m or 1820 ft.
In addition, there’s also the The Lounge Burj Khalifa, which also offers an outdoor terrace, on levels 152, 153 and 154 at a height of 585 m or 1919 ft.

Buej Khalifa against a clear blue sky
Burj Khalifa at sunset
Tickets Burj Khalifa included in GoCity Dubai All-inclusive pass
Tickets Burj Khalifa included in GoCity Dubai Explorer pass

What is the best time to go up Burj Khalifa?

This is Dubai’s star attraction, so expect crowds any time of the day and week. If possible, avoid the weekend (Friday and Saturday) especially if you’re looking to book a popular sunset time slot. Apart from that, the best time to visit Burj Khalifa At the Top entirely depends on your preference and budget.

Tickets to Burj Khalifa At the Top are available up to 90 days ahead.

Burj Khalifa At the Top at sunrise + tickets

Sunrise tickets are only available on Saturday and Sunday and between 4:30 am and 7 am. They include a complimentary morning treat after the sunrise experience. These are only available for the At the Top (on levels 124 and 125) not for the At the Top SKY (on level 148).

To time it right, look up the exact sunrise timing on your preferred here. Then, book your time slot about 90 to 60 minutes before that sunrise time.

Note that early mornings, especially during winter, can get a bit hazy. We weren’t prepared for that and so our sunrise At the Top turned out to be different than we had expected. We didn’t get the clear view (and photos) we were hoping for but then again, the hazy sunset views add a little mystique.

Sunrise tickets to At the Top Burj Khalifa cost 139 AED per adult and 99 AED per child (4 – 12 years). Note that also the GoCity Dubai All-inclusive and GoCity Dubai Explorer passes include access to At the Top levels 124 and 125.

Burj Khalifa At the Top daytime experience + tickets

At the Top daytime tickets (for levels 124 and 125) are available every day between 9 am and 3:30 pm. Drinks or snacks are not included. At the Top SKY tickets (for level 148) are available for both daytime and sunset every day between 12 pm and 6 pm and do include some refreshments.

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During the day, you have a higher chance of clear and sunny skies. If you’re looking for the best views, then this is the best time to visit. Late mornings, shortly after sunrise, and late evenings, shortly after sunset, tend to be less crowded than the afternoons. On weekdays, that is, on weekends you can expect crowds any time of day.

Daytime tickets to At the Top Burj Khalifa cost 159 AED per adult and 119 AED per child (4 – 12 years). Daytime tickets to At the Top SKY Burj Khalifa cost 543 AED (the same price applies to both adults and children). Note that also the GoCity Dubai All-inclusive and GoCity Dubai Explorer passes include access to At the Top levels 124 and 125.

Burj Khalifa At the Top at sunset + tickets

At the Top sunset tickets (for levels 124 and 125) are available every day between 4 pm and 6:30 pm. Drinks or snacks are not included. At the Top SKY tickets (for level 148) are available for both daytime and sunset between 12 pm and 6 pm and do include some refreshments.

To time it right, look up the exact sunset timing on your preferred here. Then, book your time slot about 90 minutes before that sunset time.

Sunset is the most popular time to visit Burj Khalifa… and for good reason. You get to see Dubai at golden hour, at sunset and, if you linger long enough, after dark. Plus, you might even get to see the Dubai Fountain show from above. The performance soundtrack is even played at the observation decks so that you don’t have to miss a thing.

The downsides are that you’ll have to put up with the crowds and that Burj Khalifa At the Top ticket prices are at their highest at sunset. Do try and avoid booking your sunset experience on Friday or Saturday evening for the most comfortable sunset experience. Also, it might be worth booking the upgraded At the Top SKY experience because the observation deck on level 148 is less crowded than the ones on levels 124 and 125.

Sunset tickets to At the Top Burj Khalifa cost 234 AED per adult and 137 AED per child (4 – 12 years). Sunset tickets to At the Top SKY Burj Khalifa cost 543 AED (the same price applies to both adults and children). Note that also the GoCity Dubai All-inclusive and GoCity Dubai Explorer passes include access to At the Top levels 124 and 125.

Burj Khalifa At the Top nighttime experience + tickets

At the Top nighttime tickets (for levels 124 and 125) are available every day between 7 pm and 11 pm. Drinks or snacks are not included. At the Top SKY nighttime tickets (for level 148) are also available between 12 pm and 6 pm and do include some refreshments.

When the sun is down and the crowds flock to the Burj Park promenade to see the fountain shows and to admire the Burj Khalifa in its twinkling night patterns, you could watch the lively scene from At the Top. This time of day allows you to see this glamorous come to life for another night of entertainment.

Nighttime tickets to At the Top Burj Khalifa cost 159 AED per adult and 119 AED per child (4 – 12 years). Sunset tickets to At the Top SKY Burj Khalifa cost 389 AED per adult and 384 per child (4-12 years). Note that also the GoCity Dubai All-inclusive and GoCity Dubai Explorer passes include access to At the Top levels 124 and 125.

Text about the tower near the entrance to Burj Khalifa At the Top

What it’s like to be At the Top of Burj Khalifa at sunrise

Oh, the will power it took this family of four to get out of bed at 4:20 am and into a taxi by 4:45 am! It’s not what you expect to do when on vacation in Dubai. And there aren’t many experiences that are worth that sacrifice. Then again, the Burj Khalifa At the Top is not just another experience, now is it?

Burj Khalifa tickets and arrival

We purchased our tickets about 2 weeks before our visit. Upon booking, we checked the sunrise time for that day. It was planned at 6:30 am. So, we booked tickets with the 5:30 time slot.

There’s no entrance to Burj Khalifa from the outside, only from the Dubai Mall. Our plan was to arrive at Dubai Mall at around 5:15 so that we’d have enough time to locate the At the Top entrance. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen and our 30-minute taxi ride turned into a highly stressful 1 hour and 15 minute ride. The reason? Dubai Ride, a cycling event that takes places just once a year. As early as 4 a.m., all roads around Downtown Dubai were closed. The taxi driver frantically tried to reach Dubai Mall from all sides but it was pointless. He finally dropped us of as close to Dubai Mall as he could get and we walked – or rather ran – our way to Dubai Mall. From there, we still had to locate the entrance to At the Top. We finally arrived at 5:55 am.

It sucked. And in a country that prides itself on its high level of service, one would at least expect a courtesy call or email about this road block. But nothing. What a highly stressful start of what was supposed to be one of the highlights of our trip.

Arrival counter where to get tickets for Burj Khalifa
Inside the elevator to the Burj Khalifa top
At the Top elevator

Elevators in Burj Khalifa

Fortunately, the arrival lounge was empty. As in, really empty. As a result, we found ourselves in the elevators in no time.

The observatory double-deck elevators are quite spectacular. They reach a speed of 10 m or 33 ft per second. As a result, it takes less than 60 seconds to reach the At the Top observation deck at levels 124 and 125. There’s a specially-designed projection that creates an immersive experience.

Outdoor observation deck at top Burj Khalifa

Burj Khalifa observation deck at levels 124 and 125

Upon arrival, we noticed the crowds on the observation deck at level 124. At first, when the first rays of sun started to peek through the haze, it was a bit of struggle to get close to a window. But things soon got better and, as the sun rose higher, visitors felt more comfortable to leave their spot and move on the next window.

Even though the layer of fog did somewhat obstruct the views, it gave us the impression as if we were peeking through the clouds.

The innovative telescopes that dot the observation deck are viewfinders that help identify some of the landmarks that dot the Dubai cityscape. As the haze started to clear, the views At the Top of Burj Khalifa stretched out further and the crowds became less.

We didn’t really explore the gift shop on level 124 but did wait in line to take a picture in front of the wings by American artist Colette Miller.

Level 125 is home to a 360-degree panorama known as the “The Falcon’s Eye” and a virtual reality game where the glass cracks underneath you.

Foggy sunrise over Dubai in the United Arab Emirates
At the Top Burj Khalifa offers views over Downtown Dubai
Blue bassin and highrise in Downtown Dubai
Hazy sunrise over Dubai as seen from the Burj Khalifa At the Top
Early morning sun inside the gift shop  in Burj Khalifa on the top

Gift shop and exhibits at floor level

After another exciting elevator ride down, visitors are led through a walkway where the design, construction and highlights of the Burj Khalifa are being displayed. When you reach the escalator, you can either go up to access the lounge for a morning refreshment (which is part of the sunrise tour of Burj Khalifa) or down towards the exit. The visit ends at the gift shop where you get the chance to purchase Burj Khalifa Lego, Burj Khalifa Monopoly and plenty of other games, gadgets and souvenirs.

Man tours the exhibition of Burj Khalifa while looking at the models of the tower that are on display
Elevator towards the exit of the Burj Khalifa At the Top
Monopoly and games in the gift shop

How long does a visit to top of Burj Khalifa last?

A Burj Khalifa At the Top visit typically takes about 1.5 to 2 hours, crowds not taken into account. Obviously, the Burj Khalifa At the Top SKY experience will take longer since you’ll first spend about 30 minutes (that’s as long as you’re allowed to stay) at the level 148 observation deck to then move on to levels 124 and 125.

We arrived at Dubai Mall at 5:45 am for our At the Top sunrise experience. It took us about 10 minutes to find the At the Top entrance and we checked in at 5:55 am. We arrived at the observation deck at 6:10 and watched the sunrise for about 45 minutes. Then we waited in line for about 10 minutes to take a photo in front of the hand-painted wings

By 7:10 am we were back at the ground level and ready for our morning treat.

Note that we were fortunate enough to arrive at an empty counter so we never had to deal with crowds and could catch the first elevator up and down. This is quite exceptional. We’ve heard of waiting times of up to 1.5 hours to just get to the elevator.

Downtown Dubai view from Burj Khalifa at top
Little girl in front of painted pink and orange angel wings at Burj Khalifa the top

Is the Burj Khalifa At the Top experience worth it?

In all honesty, the Burj Khalifa At the Top wasn’t our favorite Dubai activity by far. Our highlights were the Platinum Heritage Desert Safari and the Dubai fountain shows at Burj Park and at The Pointe. But we did want to see what the hype was about. And we know that, if we had passed on the opportunity to visit the world’s tallest building, we would have probably regretted it. So, yes, we’re glad we visited but we would advise to keep your expectations in check.

Other Burj Khalifa experiences

Looking for that extra touch when visit Burj Khalifa? Here are some options to make your Burj Khalifa visit extra memorable.

At the Top Burj Khalifa at levels 124 and 125 plus lunch or dinner at level 3

This package includes the standard At the Top experience at levels 124 and 125 plus an add-on meal with panoramic views.

After your visit to the observation deck on levels 124 and 125, you take the elevator to the ground floor where you’ll be met by a staff member. He or she will escort you to the residence level 3, where the restaurant is located. Indulge in a 3-course meal while enjoying the front-row seats to Burj Park and the Dubai Fountain (which may or may not be in action, depending on the chosen time).

This package is available from 12 pm to 2 pm (lunch option) and from 7 pm to 9 pm (dinner option). It’s priced at 284 AED per person (the same price applied to children aged 3 and up). Note that beverages are not included.

The Burj Club Saturday brunch at level 3

The Burj Club is a luxurious fitness and wellness retreat located at level 3 of Burj Khalifa. On Saturdays afternoon, from 4 to 7 pm, you can enjoy a BBQ Brunch on the beautiful rooftop overlooking the Dubai Fountain.

Brunch rates costs 249 AED for the soft beverages package or 349 AED with in-house beverages package. Children between the ages of 7 and 12 pay 140 AED. Note that this is a seasonal package that may not be available during the hot summer months.

The Burj Club pool pass at level 3

How about a dip in the rooftop pool of The Burj Club? Relax under the sunny skies and swim some laps all while taking in unparalleled views of Burj Park.

A Burj Club pool pass costs 150 AED on weekdays and 200 AED during weekends.

The Lounge Experience at levels 152, 153 and 154

Are you looking to elevate your experience? Then the world’s highest lounge is where you want to be. That’s exactly what The Lounge experience offers. Admire the Dubai cityscape from a height of 575 m or 1 886 ft at levels 152, 153 and 154 of Burj Khalifa.

It includes access to the outdoor observation deck as well as to a delicious meal. Depending on the time of your choice, that could be a delectable breakfast, luxurious afternoon tea, or bubbly sunset experience. The evening experience also includes a live music performance or DJ-set.

The Lounge at Burj Khalifa tickets cost 749 AED per adult and this experience is available from 11 am to 7:30 pm. Note that this is an adults-only activity.

High tea at At.mosphere at level 122 (currently unavailable)

This package includes hotel pick-up and drop-off and a delectable high-tea at the highest restaurant in the world with guaranteed window seating. You’ll love the endless panoramic views and exquisite service from the exclusive At.mosphere at level 122.

Tickets for this package are priced at 900 AED per person. Children from the age of 10 are welcome to join.

Note that this package does not include access to any of the outdoor observation decks.

This package is currently unavailable due to a refurbishment of the At.mosphere lounge.

Sunset VIP Lounge Experience at level 123

Yet another exclusive Burj Khalifa experience. This package includes a pick-up in a luxury car from your Downtown Dubai accommodation at 4 pm, an express elevator ride and a front-row seat to the panorama at level 123 (right below the crowded At the Top observation deck). This is the perfect package for a special occasion.

Tickets to the VIP Lounge Experience at sunset cost AED 3,287.35 for a party of three. This is an adults-only activity. Note that drop-off is not included. Drinks or meals are also excluded and a minimum spend applies.

The lounge at level 123 is a corporate lounge and not part of At.mosphere at level 122.

Lunch at the Lounge at level 123

This packages includes a pick-up in a luxury car from your Downtown Dubai accommodation at 4 pm, an express elevator ride, a panoramic lounge spot from 12:30 pm to 4:30 pm at level 123 (right below the crowded At the Top observation deck) and a lavish lunch menu with a selection of unlimited drinks.

Tickets to the Lunch at the Lounge cost 1710 AED per person. Children aged 6 years and up are welcome at the same rate.

The lounge at level 123 is a corporate lounge and not part of At.mosphere at level 122.

Burj Khalifa after dark

I have to admit that we returned to our hotel right after our visit to Burj Khalifa to get some r & r. We did get up at before the break of dawn, after all. It wasn’t until the late afternoon that we returned to Burj Park to explore more of Downtown Dubai.

Dubai park is actually more of a wide grass-lined promenade at the base of Burj Khalifa. It borders Burj Lake (also known as Dubai Fountain Lake) and is connected to the Downtown area by means of several bridges. In the afternoon, it’s perfect for a relaxing stroll. You can rent bikes or take a lake ride in one of the swan boats. The park is dotted with interesting artwork.

After sunset, Burj Park is the perfect place to watch the Dubai Fountain. For front-row seats to the fountains, you can buy tickets to the lake ride or head to the floating boardwalk.

The Dubai Fountain isn’t the only attraction to put up a show after dark. The Burj Khalifa is illuminated as well thanks to a series of stroboscopes. Watch it come alive from Burj Park or from the bridge to Souk al Bahar.

Burj Khalifa when night falls and with red flowers in the foreground
Blue animation that illuminates the Burj Khalifa at night
Burj Khalifa lighting up at night
Burj Khalifa animations after dark

Getting to Burj Khalifa in Dubai

While the world’s tallest skyscraper is not exactly a landmark that’s hard to miss, the entrance kind of is. You can walk around the Burj Khalifa all you want but you won’t find the exit. That’s because the At the Top entrance is located inside Dubai Mall.

Now, Dubai Mall itself is gigantic and the taxi stands are quite far away from the At the Top entrance. The Dubai Mall point of access closest to the At the Top Will Call counter is the lakeside entrance that’s located right next to Burj Khalifa (where Zouzou and Pizza Hut are situated).

Here’s a map to help you visualize it (the ticket counter is marked in yellow):

Floor plan indicating the counter for tickets for the Burj Khalifa
Image courtesy of At the Top Burj Khalifa

Dubai hotels with Burj Khalifa views

The ultimate Burj Khalifa experience includes a stay at the Armani Hotel Dubai. Then again, no view of the Downtown Dubai skyline is complete without a view of the Burj Khalifa itself, right? A hotel with Burj Khalifa views is the perfect way to complement your visit to the top of Burj Khalifa.

Here’s a selection of hotels with Burj Khalifa views that offer front-row seats to the Dubai Fountain as well:

And here are some luxurious hotels with Burj Khalifa views from another angle:

Dubai hotel with Burj Khalifa views

That’s it for this comprehensive guide about the At the Top Burj Khalifa experience. We hope to have answered all your questions. If not, let us know and we’ll happily help you out where we can.

Now, we can’t wait to find all about your visit. Will you be booking the sunrise, the sunset or the daytime experience? Which level is your top choice: At the Top or At the Top SKY? And will you be booking some additional experiences as well? Or do you have your heart set on a hotel with Burj Khalifa views? Let us know in the comments!

Sun reflection at the top of Burj Khalifa in Dubai
Burj Khalifa in Dubai at sunset with giant pink waterlilies in the foreground
Burj Khalifa in Dubai at night with pink and green illuminated flowers in the foreground
Dubai attraction Burj Khalifa with a heart-shaped sculpture and the view of Burj Lake as seen from At the Top Burj Khalifa

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