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Reaching to the Sky in Dubai

Until a week ago, when I thought of Khalifa Tower, I thought of the Mission Impossible (Ghost Protocol) movie with Tom Cruise' death-defying action scenes hanging off the outside of the building. Now, I think of my visit there a week ago. 

At 828 meters (2,717 ft) tall, Burj Khalifa (also known as Khalifa Tower) in Dubai, UAE, is the tallest building in the world – at the moment (more on that later).

As Khalifa Tower reaches to the sky physically, Dubai reaches to the sky metaphorically. I have visited about 30 countries and have never seen anything like it. Twenty years ago, there was mostly sand. And now?

The amount of construction going on in Dubai and its neighboring emirate, Abu Dhabi, is mind-boggling. I cannot remember a moment traveling around Dubai or Abu Dhabi where I could not see a construction crane or dredging ship.

The purpose for my trip was to visit our AFT Channel Partner ImageGrafix. During my visit, we presented two free workshops and met some of their customers. 

But it wasn't all work. I had two days over a weekend to be a tourist in Dubai, and on one of those days, I visited Khalifa Tower. I went up a superfast elevator (about 60 seconds) to the 124th floor. And took a spiral staircase up the 125th floor. Altogether there are "over 160 floors". There is another tour which I did not choose which allows tourists to visit the 148th floor. Next time! Khalifa Tower opened publicly in 2010.

Building Bigger and Better

Dubai is also reaching to the sky with its new airport, Al Maktoum International Airport also known as Dubai World Central (airport code DWC). This airport is currently operating while still under construction. When complete, it will be (you guessed it) the largest in the world.

The Emirates are also building malls like crazy. The malls are actually tourist destinations! One of their malls is over a kilometer in length. I visited the Dubai Mall because that is where you enter the tour for Khalifa Tower. The Dubai Mall has 1200 stores and reportedly would take 2 weeks to shop every store.

They are building islands around Dubai and creating artificial inland marinas. These are desirable places to live for the locals. Below is a photo of Atlantis Hotel (like the one in the Bahamas) on the man-made island of Palm Jumeirah.

The Emirates have built or are building desalination plants, nuclear power plants, district cooling systems, massive water distribution systems, buildings, pipelines, oil and gas and petrochemical facilities, entertainment complexes and more.

They are also working on the next "tallest building in the world". I got to see the building location for what they are now calling "Dubai Creek Tower". It will top out at 928 meters (3,045 ft) – or maybe even higher.

The original Emiratis represent about 12% of the population of about 10 million. Now that the country has opened to the world and become a business hub for the Persian Gulf, I met engineers from Iraq, Syria, Jordan, Nigeria, Egypt, India, Pakistan and the Philippines, as well as some Emirati engineers. Indians represent almost 30% of the population there.

Below you can see a few more photos I took while I had my tourist hat on. Dubai is moving upward in infrastructure, opportunity and business. 

All in all, I had a very interesting 10 days there!

Khalifa Tower from near my hotel
Sign for the 125th floor

Me on the 125th floor of Khalifa Tower

View from Khalifa Tower 125th floor towards the Persian Gulf – I stayed at a hotel in one of those buildings at the right
Some hydraulics from Khalifa Tower 125th floor! A water show took place here which I got to see from this angle. It is like the Bellagio fountains in Las Vegas but, as you might guess, bigger.
Atlantis Hotel in Dubai’s Palm Jumeirah
Dredging ship with the “Dubai Eye” Ferris wheel (still under construction) in the background
It’s a Pump Properties Party!
Liquids And Gases And Slurries, Oh My!


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Friday, 09 June 2023
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