The Burj Khalifa – Dubai, UAE

Dubai – hot, new, modern, glitzy, and hot. Did I mention hot already? For someone used to moderate, dry temps here in Colorado, it’s very much an adjustment (I’m sure someone visiting Colorado from the UAE would call our 80-degree temps cold).

Dubai was not the destination on this trip, just a part of the journey. But one I was still looking forward to and wanted to experience as it’s simultaneously modern and easy to explore, yet very different in its “newness,” culture, and environment. 

The below photos are all of the Burj Khalifa, plus one from another rooftop at sunrise. I share these not just because of the architecture of the Burj Khalifa, or the fact that it’s the world’s tallest building currently, but because of what these scenes represent – an entire modern city full of skyscrapers built in only about one generation. Hardly anything you see in these photos of the Burj Khalifa, taken from an outdoor deck on another nearby building, was there at the turn of the century. 

Walking around the streets, everything just feels like the same vintage: new steel, new concrete, well-manicured landscapes. It has a sense of place that is hard to explain. We had a similar feeling visiting Doha in Qatar a few years back. Perhaps these cities just need some time to age with development occurring over different eras. Or perhaps, the heat was just too distracting for me to see more.

I also shared these in part for pragmatic reasons as street photography, and inadvertently photographing people, could get you in trouble (seems to be a bit of a gray area). So, I played it safe and limited what photography I did at street level to “old” Dubai (still not that old) as part of a guided walk. Check out a few of those photos on my Instagram.

All photos from April 2024.

The Burj Khalifa at dusk.
At night with in-camera zoom (multiple exposures).
The view from the 125th floor. You can go as high as 148 and the building tops out at 163. 
Sunrise over Dubai. 

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