Top’ped and Frame’d in Dubai

Best time to visit At the Top – Burj Khalifa is first thing in the morning. If you’re like me and dislike crowds, go before 9.30 am. The queues are relatively tiny and the going is easy.

Access is through the Dubai Mall basement. Follow the signs to At the Top. Once you get there, it’s easy peasy…line up and follow the arrow to the elevator. The lights go off and it sorta zooms up – music plays and pictures appear on the wall. Drink it all in and swallow rapidly if your ears have a tendency to go pop! I just chew gum diligently and it helps.

Once you’re out of the elevator, the view is stupendous. Look any which way and you will be it the towering skyscrapers or the frame or the Arabian sea or the vast sands of the desert! Just mesmerizing. I walked all around the 125th floor. There are lots of photo ops obviously. Do your thing – be a tourist, pose and smile and enjoy it! Drink in the view – but please ensure you go on a clear day and not when there’s a sandstorm brewing. The weather updates are very reliable. I went down to the 124th floor and guess what – the view was almost identical ?.

We then meandered over to the newest addition to Dubai’s ‘must visit’ places. The Frame – it’s what the name suggests. A huge picture frame which is 150 m high and 105 m wide. Built with glass, steel, aluminium and reinforced concrete, this solid structure which was opened to public in January 2018, attracts many visitors daily. The frame is very shiny and is gold plated! In the evening, it’s lit up and looks very nice.

To the North is the old city of Dubai – Bur Dubai, Karama, the Creek. To the South is the new city – skyscrapers, new structures, Burj Khalifa and the like.

I bounded out of the elevator and looked around with great excitement – the view is spectacular. Old Dubai to one side and the newer version on the other. I had no idea about the floor though – spoiler alert coming up!! As I walked through the frame, looking out of the huge glass windows, I realized some folks were acting a bit strange. They looked shaky and there was a lot of nervous giggling and chattering around me! They were also all looking downward. So, I decided to look downward as well – OMG!! The floor which was opaque had turned clear and there I was looking at the ground some 46 floors below!! Jeez – my knees went all wobbly and my heart was pounding! Since I didn’t know about this glass floor, I reacted by jumping off very quickly to solid floor next to it! This glass floor goes all the way through the centre!! I’ve been on glass floors in the Grand Canyon and Canada but knew what I was getting in to. This took me by surprise, hence the cowardly custard reaction! Even after, I couldn’t bring myself to walk on it, so gingerly put a foot on the glass, hastily took a pic and then took refuge by the railing.

I came down and treated myself to a Turkish ice cream – try it. The guy who delivers it is a real treat!

You must visit. Book your tours through United World – they do it well and with aplomb!

Mavis Mendonca Smith

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