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Tour the World’s Tallest Skyscraper and Learn About Its Stories


Fabulous shopping, luxury hotels, and fine dining are synonymous with Dubai. But there’s more to this jewel on the Arabian Peninsula. 

Dubai has something to offer everyone; you can spend the afternoon relaxing at a spa or head to the beach, or go fishing from a kayak or try something a little more adventurous. On top of all this, you can also visit the world’s tallest skyscraper, for example. 

Towering over Dubai, the Burj Khalifa is impossible to miss—the structure draws visitors from around the world and it’s an engineering marvel. However, did you also know the 163-story building also has a few stories to tell? To help boost your understanding a bit, here’s what you may not know about Burj Khalifa.

Meeting the Criteria for a Tall Building

Okay, so pretty much any multi-story building can be considered tall, and this can even include a multi-level home. Basically, most people consider anything or anyone with a height greater than theirs to be tall. Technically this is true, but to hold a world record as the tallest building, man made structures need to meet a few criteria.

To help separate a tall building from a supertall structure, Chicago’s Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat set down three categories to determine if a building’s height is something truly remarkable. Yes, there’s a council that decides if a building is tall or just average height. 

So, what are the three requirements a building must meet to be called a superstructure?

  1. Height from the entrance to the tip. The measurement runs from the lowest level pedestrian entrance. If the building has sublevels, these aren’t included in the measurement. The tip can be the top of the building or any structure on the roof like a flagpole, antenna, or sign. The only requirement is the element must be classified as functioning technical equipment.
  2. Height to the architectural top. This measurement is similar to the one above. The exception is any technical equipment like an antenna isn’t included in the measurement. For example, a spire can be included but not a flagpole.
  3. Highest occupied floor. Any floor occupied by tenants or even pedestrians passing through like an atrium counts in this measurement. However, floors being used for maintenance and storage are not counted as being occupied.

Guess what? Dubai’s Burj Khalifa meets these three requirements to be considered the world’s tallest building.

A Look at Burj Khalifa’s World Records

With 153 stories and standing over 828 meters (2,716.5 feet) high, Burj Khalifa holds several impressive records that include the following:

  • Home to the world’s tallest service elevator
  • Tallest building in the world
  • Highest number of stories in the world
  • Highest occupied floor
  • The world’s tallest free-standing structure
  • Highest observation deck in the world
  • Elevator with the world’s longest travel distance

If holding these world records isn’t enough to make a trip to Burj Khalifa worth the admission price, then maybe learning a little more about the skyscraper’s fascinating stories will help.

The Skyscraper’s Fascinating Stories

Burj Khalifa is an impressive structure. Astounding innovations in design, engineering, and science combined to erect the world’s tallest and most impressive skyscraper. Did you know the building also has some fascinating stories that help explain the stunning effect it has on everyone?

Inspired by a Desert Flower

The skyscraper’s iconic design is the vision of architect Adrian Smith, drawing direct inspiration from the region’s native desert flower, the Hymenocallis Spider Lily. The skyscraper’s design reflects the lily’s simple and even proportions.

Welcoming Reception Area

Visitors stepping into the hotel section of the building will feel like they’re entering a friend’s home, and this welcoming ambiance is thanks to Giorgio Armani’s designs. The lack of a reception desk at the entrance to the Armani Hotel Dubai can be a little confusing. 

First-time visitors may be unsure of which way to go, but a friendly staff member is always right there to lend a hand.

A True Mixed-Use Tower

With 1.85 million square feet of living space and 300,000 square feet of offices, plus the Armani Residences and the Armani Hotel Dubai, the tower is truly a place where you can live, work, and play. 

With two observation decks, wellness facilities, several lounges, and four pools, everything you need can be found on at least one of the tower’s 163 floors.

Explore the Tallest Art Gallery in the World

Since Burj Khalifa is the tallest free-standing building in the world, it only makes sense that it also houses the tallest art gallery. Over 85 commissioned artists from around the globe showcase their art in the gallery. 

So whether you’re fond of impressionism or are thrilled by abstract art, you’ll find this and more in the gallery.

Bringing a Town to Life

Old Dubai is still an area you don’t want to miss, but the city’s downtown is currently getting all of the attention. This is thanks to the Burj Khalifa. Dubai’s downtown was little more than a fishing village before construction on the tower started. 

Everything from the Dubai Mall to Bin Rashid Boulevard sprang to life as another story was added to the skyscraper.

Get Your Daily Steps In

The tower’s elegant stairway has 2,909 steps; yes, you can take the stairs up to the 160th floor, but don’t worry if you’re not ready to climb up 160 stories. 

Don’t forget, the tower also has an elevator holding the world record for longest traveling distance. If you want to climb any higher than the 160th floor, you’re going to need to use either the elevator or a ladder.

A Different Aroma for Each Common Area

Since each of the tower’s common areas has a distinct ambiance, it only makes sense to change up the fragrances. With 18 different fragrances, finding the perfect common area for relaxing, catching up with friends, or holding a meeting is easy.

Appearances in Popular Culture

Travel and architectural journals aren’t the only places you’ll find the Burj Khalifa. The tower has also made appearances in movies like Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol. The tower even made an appearance in a Simpsons episode.

Whether you’re touring the world’s tallest skyscraper or booking a room in its hotel, the Burj Khalifa has something for everyone. 

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