The Burj Khalifa is the world’s tallest building. When we took the elevator up to the top of the Burj Khalifa, one of the employees there mentioned that the only reason the government chose to build it was so that Dubai could claim to have the tallest building in the world, and millions of people would want to travel to Dubai to see it. That is true. The Burj Khalifa is a monument to the success of Dubai as an individual city and a monument to the technology of mankind. Having the tallest building in the world “puts Dubai on the map”, making the city well-known to many people.
However, the tourism industry is changing. Tourism used to be able to sustain itself on landmarks; for example, the Eiffel Tower in Paris and the Empire State Building in New York used to attract tourists just so they could get a glimpse of the famous structures. Now, tourism has become about re-creating an experience. Tourists are no longer satisfied with just simply seeing a landmark; they want to experience the culture surrounding it and learn about the history of it.
In the Burj Khalifa, the experience is about feeling the progression of the culture from nomadic, desert dwellers to Billionaire tycoons. The experience is also about acknowledging the advancements of mankind and viewing the world from the tallest man made structure ever made.