10 of the best - Man-made icons - 10. The Burj Khalifa, Dubai
The ‘WOW’ factor: No trip to Dubai would be worth it, without a visit to the Burj Khalifa, the tallest manmade structure in the world that points to the stars from the centre of downtown Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates. The tri-cornered tower contains offices, prestigious Armani hotel accommodation and private residential apartments. Just standing at its base makes you dizzy looking upwards, almost as dizzy as the rents and rates.
Did you know?: When the Burj Khalifa was scheduled to open, Dubai was struck by the world economic collapse. It opened officially in January 2010, thanks to the generosity of Dubai’s neighbour, oil-rich Abu Dhabi, after whose President it was renamed (originally, it was the Burj Dubai). It stands 2,722 feet tall. To clean the 24,348 panes of glass on its exterior, an area of 1,290,000 sq ft of glazing, levels 40, 73 and 109 use a rail system and a very large bucket (3,300lbs). The spire is cleaned by specialists. In total, it takes 36 workers four months to clean the façade.
Experience: Several tour operators support the Dubai area actively, as there is a strong ex-patriot community resident in the city. Checking out Travel Supermarket reveals that a fortnight’s stay in January at the 4-Star ABC Arabian Suites Hotel starts from £659pp (roomonly). On the other hand, residing in the 5-Star luxury of the Bonnington Jumeirah Lakes Tower, located just opposite Dubai Marina, can cost from £956pp for a room-only accommodation. Both include return flights from Heathrow. (www.travelsupermarket.com)
Kuoni features ‘Modern Dubai with Burj Khalifa Experience’ in its 2013 Egypt, Dubai, Morocco and Arabia brochure. It is a good way to experience the contrasts of modern Dubai, with its traditional souks and contemporary skyscrapers. Dubai Marina provides amazing views of ‘The Palm Jumeirah’ island and a trip to the top of the Burj Khalifa is the crowning glory.
Prices start from £75pp for a full day, including transfers (departs on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays www.kuoni.co.uk). Other holiday companies include: www.letsgo2.com, www.virginholidays.co.uk, www.bestatdubaiholidays.co.uk, www.thomascook.com, www.britishairways.com
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