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Top of the World

Top of the World

PeterDoggers
Jun 25, 2014, 7:34 AM 9

As Chess.com's news reporter, and in the years I was running ChessVibes.com, I have travelled quite a lot and I have seen many interesting places. The farthest to the west was Mexico City, my first big trip, and my first World Championship, in 2007. The farthest to the East was Shanghai, for the Masters Final in 2010.

The farthest to the North was Tromsø, for the World Cup in 2013 and now I have also made it to the highest place - of the world, in fact. Last week, while spending a week in Dubai for the World Rapid & Blitz Championships, one morning I went up the Burj Khalifa. It is the tallest man-made structure in the world, at 829.8 m (2,722 ft). That's two and a half times the Eiffel Tower!

Obviously I took lots of photos and videos of the view looking over Dubai, but I actually don't have a single picture of the building from the outside so therefore I have to include Wikipedia's photo: 

Burj Khalifa

When I told Danny Rensch about going up this building, he immediately referred to “that scene with Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible 4”. I had never seen that movie (I did see the first, and somehow I can't be bothered with sequels unless people are really enthusiastic about them) but last night I decided to watch it. It wasn't too bad, and nice to revisit Dubai one more time! Here's a video Danny shared with me:

It's quite windy up there

In buildings like these it's never possible to really go all the way to the top, but the 124th floor (at 584.5 m), out of 163, wasn't bad either! And the lifts are reallty impressive too - you reach that 124th floor in less than a minute which is about 10 m/s!

The view is stunning and in fact a bit surreal. Because Dubai is basically located in the middle of a desert, the landscape looks more like a maqutte, a model of a city. See for yourself: 

Is this real?

I went together with Ole Kristian Strøm, a Norwegian journalist who reported on the tournament daily (well, it looked more like live blogging to me!) for Norway's biggest newspaper VG. He took this photo:
A view from the other side (and myself three times) | Photo Ole Kristian Strøm
When talking about Dubai it's hard to avoid superlatives. I also visited The Dubai Mall, which happens to be the world's largest shopping mall based on total area. Opened in November 2008, it includes 1,200 shops, a 250-room luxury hotel, 22 cinema screens, 120 restaurants and cafes, a Discovery Centre, an Ice Rink and an Aquarium.
An aquarium in the the middle of a mall...
...that's quite an attraction!

I only had one free morning in Dubai, but I'm very glad I made this trip. The mall and the Burj Khalifa made it quite unforgettable! 

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