Whilst in Dubai it would have felt a shame to miss out on visiting "the top" of a very tall building. Only the more expensive 124, 125 & 148 floor tickets were available. After paying £150 online for two of us to travel up the world's tallest building, I had 'high hopes'. The online booking process timed out so had to go through the rigmarole of telephoning to get confirmation numbers and then taking my passport to collect the tickets. I uncomfortably watched as the gentleman behind the counter photocopied my passport along with my credit card. We received our tickets and were sent to a lounge away from the massive queues, lulling us into a false sense of confidence.
Once in the lounge we were treated to some strange tasting Arabic coffee and some small dry date cakes. We waited until almost 20 minutes after our booked time before someone came along to lead us to the first of several queues. It took about 10 minutes to get through security where our possessions were x-rayed and we were instructed to walk through a metal detector which beeped for almost everyone and those beeps were largely ignored.
We then joined the next queue were people were being forced to have their photos taken in order to be badly Photoshopped onto images to make them look like they were sitting atop the spire etc.
We walked a little and then joined queue 3. Despite being 'fast tracked' due to our rip-off tickets, the wait from this point was around 45 minutes. People with 'cheap' tickets must have been waiting at least double that.
Once we reached the front of the queue, about 10 of us were squeezed into a small lift and taken down a couple of floors before being squeezed once again into a different small lift.
Two minutes of ear popping later, we arrived on floor 125 where we were transferred into a further identically small lift. Finally we reached floor 148. Someone was there handing out glasses of orange juice and lemon and mint juice. They ran out. It was 20 minutes before I got any refreshments. After my queuing experience, I was quite thirsty. Some time later some Arabian sweets came out and were quickly taken away again.
There wasn't much to see at the top, you'd get a much better view from a mountain, if there were any in the UAE, or a plane, and you might not have to look through dirty windows. It was a slight novelty to look down on tall buildings from a much taller building but that was about it. The outside viewing area was accessed through an incredibly expensive gift shop. It was ok outside.
I'd needed the toilet for quite some time. There was only one toilet each for men and women. They were constantly in use and for long periods of time. I got the impression, like me, everyone wanted to poo higher than ever before. I didn't get to poo there.
We got bored and decided to go down to the lower levels. It was really busy down there and the gift shop was much larger, taking up most of the floor and slightly cheaper. Luckily there were more toilets. I got my poo.
We got bored again and joined the exit queue. This took a while too.
Even as a Brit, proud of my queuing skills, I wouldn't recommend this experience. It's actually better to see this vulgar display of power from the bottom, or far away. Spend your money on something more fun!
Oh, and you don't get to go right to the top. I could see through a window above the outside viewing area on 148 that someone had a lovely yucca plant.
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