Wednesday 28 April 2010

At the Top, Burj Khalifa, Mall of Dubai

I was itching to see the view from the top of the Burj Khalifa, although I must admit I do find being so high up on these kind of buildings a little unnerving. There is a whole dedicated and actually quite spectacular-no-expense-spared journey to the top beginning with the At the Top retail space. I do like this open space as there is such an element of trust with shoppers here which is quite unlike anywhere else in the world. This is however probably due to the very harsh and fearful prison system here which is certainly not the pleasant option to prolong your stay but perhaps a great deterrent against theft and so on. This open White futuristic looking space is the starting point for the journey to the top. Once one has paid for their ticket, at their allocated time slot one begins the journey through many spaces along travelators with video walls (below), escalators and walkways with beautifully printed glass (below). There is a sense that something remarkable is about to happen as one journeys through these various spaces within the bowels of this beast of a mega structure. Following the obligatory security searches and photo opportunity against a blank Green coloured back ground (I hate those things, but played along) one is shot through the air in the up-to-the-minute technologically advance elevator. No creaking ropes and pulleys here ya' know. The views are spectacular although a little unreal. Having viewed many Architectural models, the view itself is a little like, well, looking at the Architectural models of the area that I have seen many times. It really does look unreal. The Dubai Mall (and worlds largest Mall) appears like some giant alien machine that wouldn't look out of place in 'Independence Day' and the experience overall is very much like Westworld and Future World. The one thing that kept dropping into my mind was the sinister strapline from the films themselves..."Boy have we got a vacation for you". However, it is a spectacular achievement by the companies involved and if you don't mind heights (or even if you do), you must go for the experience - remarkable.

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