Welcome to my compilation of video footage I shot while having a chance to take a vacation that was over a year in planning. My trip to Dubai and Abu Dhabi was happenstance based on a lucky airfare situation, however I had been amazed by the architecture of the region for years. In September 2015, I finally was able to make it happen. We visited Abu Dhabi from September 17th to September 28th, 2015.
Footage was filmed over thirteen days utilizing gear listed below, 128 GB of CF and SD memory total, dumped to a basic Dell Studio Laptop and a WD My Passport 2TB external hard drive.
Slides were created in Photoshop CS6, images retouched for exposure and balance utilizing Canon DPP and Photoshop, and video graded and edited in PPro CC 2019.
Emirates Towers Hotel
Burj Khalifa SKY
Burj Al Arab Hotel
Al Mahara Seafood Restaurant
For the 6th day of our trip, today’s itinerary was one of the major highlights of my trip: visiting Burj Khalifa’s highest observation level (called Sky), and treating my Mom to a dinner at the world renown Burj Al Arab. Originally when booking, I had opted for the café, however renovations made that not available. Thus, I picked the next… not as expensive option and Seafood it was.
Booking Reservations at both establishments were easy and were very polite regarding everything from photo allowances to dress code required.
While a stay overnight at the Burj Al Arab was simply out of budget, running a minimum spend of over $2,000 per night / 7200 AED, every other restaurant at the Arab was either not quite our taste of palette or significantly more expensive. Al Mahara requires two courses minimum from a starter, main, or desert course.
Burj Khalifa tickets are more expensive now than before, the 124th floor is pretty accessible at roughly AED 130 or $40 and even less with mass-buys or hotel promotions, but you’re looking at about AED 500 / $150 per person for the SKY experience.
Once at Dubai Mall’s LG level, we entered the SKY view members lounge only. From there we were given an RF badge key and supplied headphones for the elevator and other more individualized presentation aspects of the tour.
From this point after a short welcome and briefing, everyone passes through stringent security checks. SKY pass holders then get to ride a large elevator with a cool multi-wall panorama showing other towers of the world as you ascend.
The elevators exit on Level 124 at 452 Meters / 1,483’. From there, SKY pass members access the higher bank of elevators which go from 124F to 154F, however mechanical and communication floors go to 163F but are not public.
Burj Khalifa SKY (aka The New Deck) is located on the 148th floor at a height of 555 Meters / 1,821’, yet is still nearly 275 Meters / 900’ from the top of the building. Guests are provided refreshing drinks and escorted through a mini-boutique out onto the outdoor terrace deck with an expansive view of the Southwest of Dubai.
Once we wrapped up with the sky-high viewing, we took the elevators back down to 125F where another SKY level awaited us. VR attractions, telescopes, photo booths and other shopping filled in this level and a large shop on 124F.
From there we took the metro back to the hotel and changed into our formalwear for Dinner at Burj Al Arab. Finding a taxi was easy, and the cost was perhaps 30 AED / $9 for 9 Miles / 16KM each way. Should you visit, be sure to bring any reservations and documentation with you! The Burj gives you 30 minutes of buffer to enter the hotel before your reservation time, and 15 minutes of window past said time so be prompt! Once checking in with the restaurant reception, you travel via glass elevator from 2F down to B1F and are checked in. As is traditional of most high-end restaurants, service is top notch. Our particular choice of dining was two main courses (Steak and Fish) with two dessert courses (chocolate brownie). Other aspects included an assortment of bread with different kinds of cheese (goat and others), a small vegetable medley, main course, dessert course, and a couple palette cleansers after. Expect to spend an hour or so minimum for your meal just to enjoy the experience. While I could not discern any mandatory gratuity required at Al Mahara, most establishments in Dubai charge a 10% tourism tax, 6% hospitality charge or both. Thus I believe we chose to tip about 15% extra on our bill, resulting in a total of roughly 1700 AED / $465 for our two-person dinner. Be sure to bring cash or cards with some room!
Days 7 and beyond to come later.
Music in video credits.
Photography, Videography, and Editing by Doug Fullerton / Fullerton Photography 2015-2020
Canon 5D Mark II:
Canon 7D Mark II:
Canon EF 24-105 f4 IS USM:
Canon EF 70-200 f2.8 IS USM II:
Canon EF 11-24 f4: