On our long journey to Thailand, our first break after 18 hours of flying overnight, brought us to the city of Dubai in the UAE. It was 8am on a bright, hot, miserably hot, October day. Our next leg of the trip, a 6 hour flight to Bangkok didn’t leave for 15 hours. Dubai was at our doorstep for about 10 hours. It was quite the sleepless night on the flight over, but with the sights and sounds of this exotic city awaiting us we stepped out of the air conditioned airport into the air conditioned metro and began our layover with a purpose.
Our first stop was what is called old town or BBOB, before big oil boom. We loved walking around this little harbor with the low buildings and boats, but let me tell you the heat was nearly unbearable. It was a rude awaking to step out of the metro into the over 100 degree dry, hot air. Later we talked to a gal on the metro and she told us that no one walks around in Dubai. It is always too hot.
The only air condition waiting for us was back on the metro, so we had a rather quick look around, and couldn’t help but notice this old tower over looking the site. Contrary to popular belief this is actually the first happy face portrait, or— is that a “why do I get to stand out here in this heat for hundreds of years” face. It could be “How come I only have one ear,and all these pimples on my face?” I’m really not sure, but certainly worth the picture, don’t you think?
What we really wanted to do was to visit the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world. Tickets in hand that we had purchased a month before our arrival, we finally got a close up look at the outside of this towering building. We were going to the 124th floor and viewing from 1000 feet up.
Excitement was building as we waited our turn to go down long hall ways showing the building process. We were concerned about the elevator ride and found that it was the most gentle ride you could imagine. And fast? It was unbelievable! We reached our destination in less than 1 and 1/2 minutes. I hardly even felt my ears popping and no heart stopping rush of sudden movement. Before we had time to think about the distance we had just traveled upward, the door opened, and we were there. This elevator holds the record for the longest travel distance in the world. Contrary to our fears of wall hugging when we stepped off the elevator, we were lured into a wide open room with a terrific view.
It is kind of funny but immediately our fears were gone and we rushed to the window to get that first look and picture. We were now standing on the highest observation deck in the world.
Here is the comparison to other tall buildings in the world. The New York building at the 9/11 site won’t top it at 1,776 feet as this one, to the highest point, tops out at 2,716 feet with more than 160 stories.