Since Scott and I had the rental car we decided that we should put it to use . . . and so we planned a trip to Dubai!! Scott has dreamed of going to this city for years and since his graduate school classes start in a week we figured we better go now before our life is hectic again. Of course what do you do when you get to Dubai but the Burj Khalifa! It is the tallest building in the world and for those movie buffs out there it was also featured in the latest Mission Impossible movie with Tom Cruise. This link shows how the Burj Khalif compares to other famous buildings in the world. Besides the Burj Khalifa, the whole United Emirates is known for its amazing architecture, and the Burj Khalifa is one of many wonders:

The Panaramio – a circular building

The Capital Gate Tower – the furthest leaning man-made tower

The Abu Dhabi Investment Authority Tower – Designed to look like a ribbon and its beautiful

The Jumeriah Towers – Another 5 star hotel and at night its quiet regal

Other buildings include Ferrari World, the Emirates Palace, the Yas Formula 1 Race Track and Hotel, the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque (the feature of an earlier blog), the Burj Al Arab (my personal favorite, it has an “underwater” restaurant and it is located in Dubai) and soo many more. As Dubai approached we were able to pick up small views of the famous Burj Khalifa. Our first full sighting of this beast of a building:

In order to go to the top observation deck you need to go through the Dubai Mall. Once you purchase tickets you walk past this animated hallway that pictorially depicts the history of the Emirates. From Bedouin culture, pearling, oil, development, and up into today. After that you walk past several facts on the wall that describes the history and design ideas behind the Burj Khalifa. The Burj Khalifa got its original floor plan idea from a popular desert flower Hymenocallis:

After learning a lot about the building we then were ushered onto an elevator (the fastest in the world) with, within a matter of seconds took us up 124 floors!! My ears even popped. The observation deck wraps around the whole building and half of it is even outdoors:

Highest Kiss in the World : )

The views were pretty incredible, but what shocked us the most was how much of the area is still undeveloped and covered in sand. Just desert for miles.

The Arabian Gulf

I kid you not – they even had a gold vending machine at the top:

Scott considering a purchase : )

At the top they even had electronic telescopes where you could zoom in on an certain area. You could even select a button that would show you what that area looks like at night, on a clear day, and what it looked like 30 years ago.

The historical view on the telescope. Before: desert with few building. Today: modern metropolis

While on the tower we noticed that below the Dubai Fountain show was taking place. It must have been real spectacular for those down below:

After exploring the tallest building in the world, we decided to walk around the Dubai mall which is attached. It is the biggest mall I have ever been in. It even has its own aquarium with nighttime sky, zoo, ice rink, waterfalls, and souk:

we then ventured outside the mall to get a better look at the Burj Khalifa and ventured over to the Souk where we were able to hold a falcon! We could not take pictures of the falcon, though in case it spooked him but what an amazing creature it was. Its owner even nuzzled it like I would my cat!

The surrounding area outside of the Burj Khalifa where the fountain show happens

Scott on the throne!

Oh – and I almost forgot to mention – the mall has a cat walk and while we were there, they had a fashion show!

To end the night we drove over to the Marriot Hotel which has a Hofbrauhaus inside! Scott and I love Hofbrauhaus. It’s a German Beer out of Munich. During Octoberfest they have huge tents full of music and food. They have recreated several Hofbrauhaus’ in the world. We have been to the one in Pittsburg, PA a lot and were excited for this chance to go to one in Dubai – next we will have to visit the one in Munich itself!