With all the excitement over getting my passport back, I just couldn’t sit still in Kuwait. Over this past weekend I flew down to Dubai for a quick weekend jaunt to catch up with an old friend, swim and enjoy some warm weather. Yes it is really cold in Kuwait and I am not exaggerating. The temperature when I wake up is around 6 degrees and it only warms up to 16 degrees during the day which is accompanied by an an icy wind. This is somewhat torturous for a person who grew up in sticky, tropical heat.
Since it was my third trip to balmy Dubai (fortunate I know), I wasn’t too hung up on doing anything touristy but I did manage to get myself to go up the Burj Khalifa. Everyone I know who has been to Dubai, including myself, has seen this ugly impressive structure but has never gone to the top… why ever not?! So this time round, I went.
Being a morning person, I decided I would go at sunrise. On the way there, along empty roads, watching the normally bustling city fast asleep I realized how much I love that time just before the sun rises… dawn- the beginning of the twilight before sunrise. There is something magical about the early morning in a busy city where even the city lights have ebbed to a mere inkling. The dark sky lay above me as an inky canopy of darkness freckled only by the fewest of stars, and I liked knowing that in a mere few hours it would be a bright blue winter’s day in the Middle East.
The World’s tallest building is not an attraction that can be missed (quite literally) and once you navigate your way to its entrance through the seemingly endless Dubai Mall, its quick and easy. Dubai Mall is is supposedly the largest shopping mall in the world based on total area. It did not seem to be larger than The Avenues in Kuwait— but then again, I was not exactly armed with a tape measure with the interest of finding out for certain.
I bought my tickets online because I am lazy and hate standing in queues. I didn’t even print it out, just showed them the confirmation email on my phone and they did the rest. Lazy, lazy, lazy panda. Sunrise tickets are available from 5:30 AM on Friday and Saturday only. Going at sunrise had so many advantages and the most important one for me was that it was so empty. Going up in the empty lift to the 125th floor meant no screaming kids or chattering tourists. Just blissful.
Upon arrival, darkness had not yet surrendered to the light, and I could see the thick grey clouds that were cast over the sky. The sea was tainted; no longer an abyss of black, nor did it appear blue. Instead it looked a metallic grey, glistening as the occasional spear of light pierced through the clouds and danced over the surface.
It was hard to grasp how incredibly high up in the sky, I actually was, but the skyscrapers, which looked like small Lego houses, gave me a good hint of Burj Khalifa’s enormous size. Just a short distance away from Sheikh Zayed Road, the buildings are mostly low-rise developments, which quickly turn into regular desert. Seen from above, this abrupt transition from concrete to sand almost made the city look like a movie set.
Watching the sunrise from the Burj Khalifa is something can only be described through pictures so here you go and oh- you’re welcome!
Brilliant gold and orange hues bled like fire over the desert and beyond the city. The first slither of the sun peeked over the skyline in a radiant, white form. Gradually it rose, peeking through the clouds in a vibrant backdrop. The creek below was liquid gold and silver and the sun itself was just peeking out of the horizon, and its brilliant rays already shined brightly and began to warm the air.
The sunrise was really gorgeous and magical (take your partner) and the best part was that it was not crowded. I imagine that the sunset is even more spectacular but I cannot imagine the crowds that would draw especially in December.
I am back in Kuwait now, eagerly awaiting my next departure which will be on Friday when I am off to Oman… Yeah I know, I really need to sit still.
P.S. All the pics were taken with my new Sony A6300… I love this camera!
Hours of operation: Sunrise tickets are from 05:30 to 7:00 on Friday and Saturday only. Daily operational hours are from 8:30 AM to Midnight. Last entry is 45 minutes prior to closing.
Location: Lower ground level of the Dubai Mall
Phone: +971 4 888 8124
Metro Stop: Burj Khalifa/Dubai Mall (#25)