Dubai is not known for sitting still. Located in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), this city that was considered a backwater a few decades ago has become one of the premier cities of the future. It’s also set up world record after world record—the tallest tower, the tallest hotel, the largest shopping mall, the fastest roller coaster, and the largest indoor snow park (yup, you read that correctly). It can now add another record to the list with the 2019 opening of The Lounge: the highest lounge in the world.
What is The Lounge at the Burj Khalifa?
The Lounge is the highest lounge in the world
Located along with floors 152, 153, and 154 of the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest tower, The Lounge offers the kind of red carpet experience travellers come on a Dubai vacation to enjoy. It sits 585m above ground, and several metres above At the Top, the observation platform for the Burj, meaning you’ll get a better view from The Lounge than anywhere else at the Burj. The actual lounge is a kind of hybrid restaurant and cocktail bar. There’s an outdoor terrace to enjoy views over the city and the desert, as well as an indoor dining room and massive bar. If you consider a lounge a type of restaurant, The Lounge would technically count as the world’s highest restaurant as well. But officially, it has to suffice as the Guinness World Record holder for the highest lounge in the world.
You need to book a package to experience The Lounge; if you could just show up and expect to experience a one-of-a-kind night out while being half a kilometre above ground, just about everyone in Dubai would be doing it. There are three available packages. You can book high tea between 12pm and 4pm, which comes with snacks and drinks, as well as private tables. There’s a sundowner deal from 5:30pm to 7pm that lets you enjoy the fabulous sunsets over Dubai as you sip sparkling wine and snack on canapes. There’s also an evening package from 7pm until midnight that includes drinks, canapes, and live music in the indoor lounge. High tea costs AED 608 (CAD $217), the sundowner package AED 657 (CAD $235), and the cocktails under the stars package AED 608 (CAD $217).
What other reasons are there to visit Dubai?
Dubai is a marvel of innovation
As I said at the top, Dubai is not known for any one innovation, but for several. It’s a city that never stops growing. The Burj Khalifa is its greatest attraction, with several ways to experience the wonders of the world’s tallest tower. It now has The Lounge, but people who don’t want to splurge on a night out can still visit its observation platform. You don’t even have to visit the tower to appreciate it. Every hour on weeknights, the tower dazzles with a brilliant light show, while the weekend has the light show play every 30 minutes. Oh yeah—the Burj also has the highest restaurant in the world, At.mosphere. So even though The Lounge doesn’t hold the record for that distinction, the tower itself is still home to the record holder.
There are more ways to spend time on a Dubai vacation than simply visiting the Burj Khalifa or marvelling at its height. You can watch the choreographed water show at the Dubai Fountain, explore the clubs and shops off the boardwalk on Palm Jumeirah, or go skiing inside the massive indoor ski hill of Ski Dubai. History buffs will find many forts and holdovers from the Emirati past when Dubai was little more than a desert outpost. The Al Fahidi Historical District showcases life in pre-modern Dubai, while the Dubai Museum is located in the old Al Fahidi Fort and traces the history of the city.
Dubai is particularly accommodating to shoppers. If you want high-end designer goods, head to one of the giant malls within the city, either the Dubai Mall, the world’s largest, or the Mall of the Emirates. To find more traditional goods, head to one of the souks such as the Spice Souk or the Gold Souk. Dubai is also a great beach city. You’ll find good beaches at most of the hotels along the shoreline, some of which are exclusive only to hotel guests, but there are also public beaches like Jumeriah Beach that are perfect for families or travellers staying at a hotel away from the beach.
Dubai is hosting Expo 2020
2020 is sure to be a big year for Dubai. It’ll play host to Expo 2020, the next world’s fair, which will showcase technological marvels and cultural exhibits from 192 countries over six months. The expo grounds are in the Dubai South district, not far from the international airport. Dubai is pulling out all stops to put on a show for the expo. Of particular note are the expo’s planned technological showcases, which highlight proposed developments like hyperloop travel and new ways of imagining urbanization. And did we mention flying cars? Dubai is planning to test flying taxis during the event, so if you’ve ever dreamed of this futuristic idea becoming a reality, you may want to plan a trip to Expo 2020.
Dubai is also planning to open the Museum of the Future in 2020, as well as the world’s highest infinity pool. So if you are lucky enough to go on a Dubai vacation in 2020, you’ll find plenty to keep you occupied. The Lounge at the Burj Khalifa simply adds another option to experience this architectural marvel and a memorable way to spend an evening in the world’s most futuristic city.
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