Let’s take a quick break from our Bali series to visit the mega city of Dubai! Here are 30 fun facts about the Burj Khalifa, the most incredible building in Dubai (not to mention, the tallest in the world)! Check out our 30 interesting Burj Khalifa facts, and feel free to let us know if you have any to add!
To be honest, I am not really a Dubai person. I have visited the Emirate only once, on a stopover between Europe and Australia – I wasn’t a fan of the extreme heat, high prices and ‘fake’ atmosphere, but I did love the crazy architecture.
There was one building that stood out amongst all others – the Burj Khalifa, towering over the rest of the Dubai skyline. Standing in front of this giant, I felt the same awe I experienced in places like Petra, or the Brenta Dolomites. It’s a real marvel – modern, man-made indeed, but a marvel nonetheless.
It’s hard to take a good picture of the Burj Khalifa, since it’s so massive that it you’ll need a very wide angle lens. And yes, the entry charge may be steep, but it’s worth every penny.
Should you visit the Burj Khalifa in Dubai? Yes, without a doubt. If you’re not convinced, here are some interesting Burj Khalifa facts to get your curiosity going!
Burj Khalifa Facts – World Records
1) The Burj Khalifa is over 828 meters high, making it the tallest building in the world. It’s three times higher than the Eiffel Tower, and twice as high as the Empire State Building in NYC!
2) On top of that, it is also the tallest freestanding structure in the world. This record was previously held by the CN Tower, that we visited during our stopover in Toronto!
3) With 160 floors, the Burj Khalifa also holds the record of highest number of floors in the world.
4) If you like heights, you’ll also be please to know that you can find the highest residential apartment in the Burj Khalifa, at 385 meters!
5) What about meals with a view? Burj Khalifa also houses the world’s highest restaurant – At.mosphere on level 122, where you can dine looking at the city skyline from a height of 441 meters. Naturally, the menu is full of luxury items like wagyu beef, oysters and caviar!
6) You wouldn’t want to climb all the way using the stairs, right? Luckily, Burj Khalifa also has the world’s tallest elevator, climbing 504 meters at once, and travelling at a speed of 60 km per hour.
7) Let’s get to the actual reason to visit Burj Khalifa – the world’s highest outdoor observation deck on level 148, where you can admire Dubai from 555 meters height!
8) As such a record-breaking building, it comes as no surprise that the Burj Khalifa was the setting for a number of record-breaking feats! Let’s start with the highest climb of a building, performed on the Dubai mega skyscraper by Alain Robert aka French Spiderman, who reached the summit in just over 6 hours – he climbed solo, with no assistance!
9) What about the highest base jump from a building? It could only take place on the tallest building in the world! It was performed on April 21st, 2014, by French jumpers Fred Fugen and Vince Reffet. They jumped from the summit of the pinnacle at 828 meters, the very top of Burj Khalifa – check out the video!
Burj Khalifa Construction Facts
10) Construction work started in 2004 and lasted until 2010. Over 12,000 construction workers, mainly from South Asia, worked on the site during peak construction time.
11) Amazingly, there were very few deaths – according to some reports there was just one, whereas others state four. However, it is possible that the number is much higher, since it doesn’t take into account the horrendous conditions many labourers were subjected to, which led to long-term health problems.
12) Construction required the use of 330,000 cubic meters of concrete, equal to the weight of 100,000 elephants.
13) Aluminium used to build the Burj Khalifa weighs as much as 5 Airbus A380 airliners.
14) So much rebar (reinforced steel bars) were used during construction, that if you were to place them all side by side, they’d measure one quarter of the way across the planet.
15) The exterior of the Burj Khalifa is covered with 26,000 glass panels, all cut individually by hand.
16) Sustainability was extremely important during construction – the exterior cladding is silver coated to improve insulation, and solar panels were installed to heat up to 140,000 litres of water per day.
17) The gardens are watered using condensation from the air conditioning system.
Burj Khalifa Fun Facts
18) The shape of the Burj Khalifa is inspired by traditional Islamic architecture and by the spider lily, a desert flower cultivated throughout the UAE. If you look at the skyscraper from above, you’ll see the similarity!
19) In the building you’ll also find the second Armani Hotel in the world, after the one in Milan. The hotel has no reception, as Giorgio wanted to feel guests as if they were entering his home.
20) Art lovers will be pleased to know that the building is full of specially-commissioned art pieces. Two examples are the sculpture by Egyptian born artist Karim Rashid, made of shifting oval shapes and found in the corporate entrance, and the ‘World Voices’ installation in the resident’s lobby. The latter was the work of Catalan artist Jaume Plensa, and features suspended cymbals that sound when hit by droplets of water.
21) Tom Cruise climbed the Burj in Mission Impossible – Ghost Protocol.
22) The building was supposed to be called Burj Dubai, but its name was changed to Burj Khalifa to honour Sheikh Khalifa, the ruler of Dubai.
23) The Burj is surrounded by the huge Dubai Fountain, about as big as two football pitches.
24) You can sail on the Dubai fountain on traditional abra boats.
25) Its popular sound and light show was designed by the same company who created the fountains at the Bellagio Hotel Lake in Las Vegas. The Dubai Fountain holds the record of world’s largest dancing fountain system!
26) At the highest point on the Burj Khalifa, the temperature is nearly 15°C lower than on ‘ground level’.
27) It takes three months to clean the windows from top to bottom. After having finished, it’s time to start again!
28) The tip of the Burj Khalifa can be seen from up to 95 km away on clear days!
29) Over 10,000 fireworks were shot from the Burj Khalifa to celebrate its opening in 2010.
30) The Burj Khalifa will probably soon lose its many of its ‘highest building in the world’ title. The Kingdom Tower in Jeddah is set to open in 2021, and its height will exceed 1000 metres!