Getting a ticket in advance is highly recommended, pre-booking is a quarter of the cost of just turning up. I had visited the local area earlier in the week and had managed to traverse the Dubai Mall maze to get my ticket. At busy periods they do book out early so try and get yours 3 days in advance if you want to go at a specific time, like I did.
As I queued up, I was concerned about the security check; would they let me through with my backpack full of camera gear and a tripod? Not to worry, as long as your bag is not too big, all is fine. It took approximately 45 minutes to queue and get to the top, well three quarters of the way up, where the observation deck is.
The view is not as awe inspiring as one would think. Dubai is in a desert location and so the view is brown, the horizon sparse and pretty boring. The immediate area at the skirt of the Khalifa is probably all that is of interest.
The Address hotel and business bay in the background (I walked around that body of water during the day and night – more to come of that)
This is interchange 1 on the Sheikh Zayed Road
Why not stick your hands and camera out the slot in the windows and take a shot looking straight down.
The interchange at night
I would recommend going just so you can say you have been up the Burj Khalifa, more than for the view.
Details of the “At The Top” can be found on the Burj Khalifa website.