The spectacular growth of the United Arab Emirates within a generation shows that not only have Emiratis mastered the desert, they have bludgeoned it. The best example of man's supremacy over Arabian Peninsula's desert sand is the Burj Khalifa, which pierces the sky above Dubai.

Naturally travel to the UAE necessitates a visit to the Burj: just book in advance as the cost is about US$25 instead of the $100 you have to disgorge if you just show up unannounced at the ticket window at the Dubai Mall.

Burj Khalifa, Dubai (Leon Kaye)

Burj Khalifa, Dubai (Leon Kaye)

After passing through the turnstile and a long walk that would make any man or woman feel like a discombobulated hamster, an elevator shoots you up 124 stories into the sky to the Burj Khalifa's observation deck, named, of course, At The Top. Nope, you will not get up to the 200th story, but nevertheless the view is impressive. Even when the view is not too clearest, the sights of the Palm Jumeirah, Burj Al Arab and the world are impressive. I spent an hour transfixed at the sights, awed at the massive expanse of desert and of course, the development that has snaked along Sheikh Zayeed Road.

Whatever you think of the Burj Khalifa, you cannot deny that it is a masterful architectural feat. And with all the construction that is sprouting up along the Arabian Gulf coast, perhaps developing up is not so bad when you consider the other option, developing OUT. The Middle East's pinnacle, or actually the world's crowning achievement in architecture, stands tall, sneering down at anyone who sneers at the UAE's incredible accomplishments. The video I took from At The Top gives you a clue what the Burj reveals:

Read about how Dubai’s sustainability agenda must start with public health on Triple Pundit.

About The Author

Leon Kaye

Leon Kaye is the founder and editor of Based in California, he specializes in social media consulting and strategic communications. A journalist and writer since 2009, his work has appeared on Triple Pundit , The Guardian's Sustainable Business site and has appeared on Inhabitat and Earth911. His focus is making the business case for sustainability and corporate social responsibility. Areas of interest include the <a Middle East, sustainable development in The Balkans, Brazil and Korea. He was a new media journalism fellow at the International Reporting Project, for which he covered child survival in India during February 2013. Contact him at You can also reach out via Twitter (Leon Kaye) and Instagram (GreenGoPost). Since 2013, he has spent much of his time in Abu Dhabi, UAE, working with Masdar, the emirate's renewable energy company. He lives in Fresno, California.