Review: Lunch At At.mosphere Burj Khalifa Dubai

Filed Under: Travel

I’ve been to Dubai more times than I can count, but I’ve never actually been to the top of the Burj Khalifa, which is the tallest building in the world. I can’t say I was ever really that interested in going to the top, given that Dubai doesn’t have all that impressive of a skyline aside from the Burj Khalifa. So it’s not like being in a building “above” New York City or Hong Kong or London, for example.

Burj Khalifa

That being said, this was a very special trip, and I wanted to go to the top of the Burj Khalifa with my dad. There are two ticket options for visiting the observation decks at the top of the Burj Khalifa:

  • At The Top (124th floor): 125-200AED (~35-55USD) per person depending on the time of day
  • At The Top Sky (148th floor) 500AED (~135USD) per person

But there is one alternative if you don’t want to pay for a ticket to the observation deck. You can dine at At.mosphere, the restaurant on the 123rd floor of the Burj Khalifa. It’s actually the highest restaurant in the world (assuming you don’t consider some Amsterdam coffee shops to be restaurants).

Now, it’s not cheap. And when I say it’s not cheap I mean it’s the most expensive place I’ve ever had lunch. Ever. By, like, a factor of five.

They have a set lunch menu, and the cost is 450AED (~120USD) for a two course lunch, or 600AED (~160USD) for a three course lunch. So that is really expensive, but when you factor in that you’d pay 125-500AED just to go to the observation deck, it’s a comparatively not-so-horrible value.

So I figured I’d take one for the team and check out the Burj Khalifa for lunch, so I could report back. Think of it like flying China Southern. Twice. šŸ˜‰

Anyway, I made the reservation back in late October by emailing the restaurant at r[email protected]. They quickly responded with available times. I made the reservation for 1:30PM, though I’d actually recommend making one at 1PM in the future, since the fountain show at the Dubai Mall is at 1PM and 1:30PM, and you have a great view of it from At.mosphere.

The entrance to At.mosphere can be accessed through the lobby of the Armani Hotel, located at the base of the Burj Khalifa. You go to the back of the lobby and then take an elevator down a level, and then down the hallway is the reception desk for At.mosphere.

Atmosphere reception Burj Khalifa

Once they verify your information you can take an escalator up a level, which is where the nonstop elevator to the 123rd floor leaves from.

Atmosphere entrance Burj Khalifa

The elevator is super-fast, so your ears sort of pop when you get to the top.

Atmosphere elevator Burj Khalifa

From there you take the stairs down to the restaurant’s reception desk.

Atmosphere stairs Burj Khalifa

As you walk down the stairs you immediately get hit with the view. Now, the Dubai skyline isn’t all that amazing, but you realize just how high up you are. Yow!

View from Atmosphere Burj Khalifa

View from Atmosphere Burj Khalifa

Anyway, the dining room is to the right while the bar is to the left. We had reserved a table by the window in the dining room.

Atmosphere Burj Khalifa dining room

Atmosphere Burj Khalifa dining room

View from Atmosphere Burj Khalifa

Our server, Andrii, quickly introduced himself and offered us the menus. The menu read as follows:




My dad went with the two course lunch, while I went with the three course lunch (so that we could share a dessert).

To start we were offered some sort of specialty butter and spread, along with some crackers and bread.

Atmosphere bread Burj Khalifa

Atmosphere butter Burj Khalifa

Atmosphere bread accompaniment Burj Khalifa

Then a separate server came out with a bread basket, with a variety of options to choose from.

Atmosphere bread Burj Khalifa

We quickly placed our order, and as soon as we did, Andrii asked if we wanted to go to the bar area of the restaurant to take a look at the view from there, which we did. The bar faces in the other direction, out towards the Burj Al Arab, which can be seen in the distance on a clear day.

View from Atmosphere Burj Khalifa

View from Atmosphere Burj Khalifa

View from Atmosphere Burj Khalifa

The bar area is equally nicely furnished and decorated, and you can also do afternoon tea there, which isn’t a bad alternative to lunch.

Atmosphere Bar Burj Khalifa

Atmosphere Bar Burj Khalifa

To start I had the burrata. It was fantastic, from the taste to the presentation. Absolutely amazing.

Atmosphere lunch starter: pressed burrata

Atmosphere lunch starter: pressed burrata

Meanwhile my dad had the butternut chestnut veloute, which he enjoyed as well.

Atmosphere lunch starter: butternut chestnut veloute

For the main course I had the cod. As you’d expect, it wasn’t a very large portion, though it was again fantastic. It was cooked perfectly, flavorful, had a crispy skin, and the presentation was gorgeous.

Atmosphere lunch main course: roasted black cod

My dad had the chateaubriand, which he said was one of the best pieces of meat he has ever had.

Atmosphere lunch main course: chateaubriand

Per Andrii’s suggestion, we had the snickers bar for dessert. Again, it was delicious and a work of art.

Atmosphere lunch dessert: homemade snickers

We ordered some coffee to finish the meal, which was served with (complimentary) petit fours.

Atmosphere lunch: cappuccino

Atmosphere lunch petit fours

We were offered a box of chocolates to go as we finished up the meal.

Atmosphere lunch chocolate to go

I realize up until this point I kind of just ran through the review, because I’m not some food critic that’s going to describe the food in great detail. That being said, the entire experience was just flawless. The service was attentive and professional, the food couldn’t have been any better, and the pace of service was great as well. The meal took well over two hours, and each course was nicely spread out.

Really the only part that didn’t blow me away was the view, bad as it sounds. Yes, it’s cool to be that high up, but the Dubai skyline just isn’t that interesting. At least not when you take the Burj Khalifa out of the equation.

Eventually the check came, and lunch cost about $370USD.

Atmosphere lunch bill

On the way out I stopped at the restroom quickly, which had a pretty breathtaking view.

Atmosphere Burj Khalifa bathroom with a view

Is lunch at At.mosphere Burj Khalifa worth it?

I’m happy to have eaten at the world’s highest restaurant. In terms of aspirational Dubai experiences, I do think afternoon tea at the Burj Al Arab is specialer than lunch or afternoon tea at the Burj Khalifa. The food was great and the service flawless.

Would I recommend others do it? I guess it depends on your financial situation, how special of a trip you’re on, how much you value the view, and how much weight you place on having eaten in the highest restaurant in the world. I’d certainly consider doing it again if I were with someone that insisted on going to the top of the Burj Khalifa, since I think it’s not a horrible value when you factor it in.

But it’s not an experience I’d have to repeat, personally.

If you’ve been to At.mosphere at the Burj Khalifa, what was your experience like?

  1. This looks to be a much better value than the hotel tea. Elegant interior with one of a kind view for just a bit more price wise. The food also looks better as it is no loaded with sugar and white flower pastries.

  2. If you would have to decide between Burj’s afternoon tea or Khalifa’s lunch, and you could do only one of them for the first time, which way would you go?

  3. phew… for a little while you had me kinda worried there that you’d forget to mention your sponsor… good that i scrolled thru the pics almost all the way to the bottom!

  4. We went for the $135pp 148th floor view this past Saturday and would have much preferred the restaurant. Too bad my timing was off, as your excellent review would have made us change our strategy!

  5. @Lantean – The blog is free (and you keep reading it), so what is wrong with some minor product placement? In my viewā€¦.absolutely nothing. In fact, as a non US resident, I am kind of jealous of all the cards available in the US that can accrue all these points/miles so easily. Where I live the variety of CC on offer is much more limited with regards to earning points/miles.

  6. @ I believe there’s a minimum of 300AED for a non-window table and 400AED for a window table. So you’d just have to order a good number of drinks. šŸ˜‰

  7. Wow, to me the Dubai skyline IS very impressive. But maybe it’s more impressive in pics than in person? I will find out in a few months.

  8. “So youā€™d just have to order a good number of drinks”.

    Which to some of us is more of a feature than a bug. Especially when “a good number of drinks” for several people would be less than a third of the price for 2 lunches. And the bar has the better views as well.

  9. I consider myself a foodie and spend a lot of money dining out eating good food, but wow this is not worth it on any level. But I guess it’s one of those things you can check off your list to say that you experienced it.

    I agree with you about the view. Not impressive at all.

    In one of the pictures of the view from the bar area, you can see another skyline in the distance. Does Dubai have two “downtown” areas or is that a different city?

  10. @ Luis — That’s the Dubai Marina area, which is where the Grosvenor House is. It’s one of the two areas of Dubai with a lot of high rises.

  11. @ Robert Hanson — To clarify, the minimum is per person, not per table. And if you saw the price of the drinks I doubt you’d feel quite as confident about that. šŸ˜€

  12. That view is meh. I don’t want to be a hater, but what’s the point of building the world’s tallest building by far in the middle of a hazy desert? There’s just not much to see from the observation deck, is there? Give me a lower but far more interesting view from the John Hancock Building, Eiffel Tower or the Empire State, any day. That seems to be the UAE in a nutshell: a lot of technical superlatives but nothing underneath the surface…

  13. When I was there in order to promote the place there was a groupon for the restaurant(several months ago). I think I paid 600AED for 2 of us and it had pretty much the same choices(1400AED worth). We did get tap water though. I think you got gauged – $10 for evian, jeez.

    But yeah I would not have paid what you paid for sure no way in hell.

  14. La Crema Chardonnay : $15.99 (roughly) ClubBev pricing – $22.99

    per glass: $4-5.75

    The glass here: $43.20

    Only 1000% (order of magnitude) mark-up.

    Thanks for the review, I would go there and not order any alcohol and the tap water. That seems feasible. Also have a pretty decent vegetarian menu.

  15. lucky,

    Being a professional photographer, I wonder if you had any option to visit an outdoor deck or observation area that is not enclosed within glass from your restaurant levels? I noticed all of your photos seemed to be shot from behind glass. (Much as I experienced at the Ozone Bar in the ICC in Hong Kong, I had to got to the observation decks – with admission costs, although entrance to the Ozone Bar was free in itself.)

    They state: “At 555 meters, you can now access the worldā€™s highest outdoor observation deck and enjoy the breathtaking views as your bask in the luxury of our lounges.” But that is At The Top, Burj Khalifa Sky Experience.

  16. Lol I find it amazing that someone would actually pay $135 to go to the top of a building anywhere least of all dubai. I must be missing something.

  17. Lucky, based on the menu descriptions and your pic, it looks like you had the cod, and not the salmon? There is no salmon listed as a main course, not to mention your dish was crusted and served with a green puree and no caviar…

  18. One tiny thing at the beginning: the restaurant is actually on the 122nd floor. You sort of clarified when explaining you have to go down the stairs after the elevator takes you to 123rd.
    123rd floor has lounges for residents of the tower (which I used to be).

  19. Ben, were you asked to send credit card over email while making the reservation?
    I was asked to send CC through email and don’t feel comfortable with this…

  20. Wow…………….I think I will just order a cup of Coffee and hope the bread sticks are good!!!!! Think I can get away with that???

  21. Aww – is the view over Dubai so unimpressive indeed? I was considering doing a seaplane ride over Dubai, but now wondering if it’s worth the cost. What do you think?

  22. wow…. amazing… well.. you had experience of both sides… lunch at Atmosphere- Burj Khalifa & Afternoon tea at SkyVier bar at burj al arab… ? so can you tell me why you said ‘afternoon tea is better option” & do they offer afternoon tea at Atmosphere also ?? also please advise if with the lunch/tea reservation , do we still need to purchase burj Khalifa entrance tickets…? oh yeah one more thing… is Burj Khalifa & Burj Al Arab are same or different ??

  23. A few evenings ago ,had dinner at At.Mosphere.Menu appears to be Fusion cuisine.And tables r so close , very uncomfortable.Added to that,service staff is more concerned in cleaning ur table than promptly executing ur order!! which taxes ur time.For me the whole experience was a little disappointing!

  24. Me and my husband are going mid October .For my Birthday…. can you just go to the top to have a drink in the Bar… or do you have to eat there to see the veiw?

  25. @Lucky – If you go during the night then the view is way cooler because of the lights. The fountain show is also amazing during night time!

  26. Hey lucky. I read about your lunch at At.mosphere. Awesome review of everything from start to finish and how you pictured everything. Quick question though, when you reserved for the 2 course and 3 course meals, will they serve it when you sit on the table? Or do they give you the menu first and then you must order something else for them to serve you the course meals? Thanks

Leave a Reply

If you'd like to participate in the discussion, please adhere to our commenting guidelines. Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *