Can the highest lounge in the Burj Khalifa offer more than just panoramic views?
I’m standing on the 122nd floor of the Burj Khalifa, gingerly peeking over the window’s edge. I have a top-down view of the Dubai Fountains, which are dancing and shimmering in the night sky. Oh, and when I look further, there’s Address Downtown, Sheikh Zayed Road, stained red and white by car lights. Dubai’s iconic buildings are everywhere.
At.mosphere Lounge is in the middle of it all, perched on the world’s tallest building. It offers visitors the chance to witness modern Dubai’s buzzing rush. After a six-month renovation, the old At.mosphere at Burj Khalifa – one that long-time Dubai residents may remember (a sort of airport lounge-come-good) – is now deftly refurbished into a trio of spaces: At.mosphere’s restaurant, the Champagne and Oyster Bar and the Conservatory Cigar Lounge. The latter two make up At.mosphere Lounge.
We make our way from At.mosphere’s restaurant to the Champagne and Oyster Bar. A space that immediately whispers: come in, leave it behind, let go. Stay a while. Have a good time.
The sound of a piano loop and pulsing beat heighten the excitement as we shuffle down At.mosphere Lounge’s lengthy bar. It’s adorned with brassy metals, and bottles of delicious things above vintage-looking glassware. Plus, blue-grey, supple high chairs from which you can pitch up and watch the mixologists shake together signature cocktails.
Cocktails start from AED 115 but, like the Burj Khalifa’s elevator, they quickly climb. The Damah drink lands blanketed in dry ice and buttressed by caviar and a hench oyster that never skipped leg day (AED 335).
The Champagne and Oyster room boasts Asian art décor and floor-to-ceiling windows. Monochrome floors rise to meet a sea of dark blue furniture, long curtains and cabinets rich with the kind of mahogany and leather-bound books that Ron Burgundy would appreciate. We slink into our heavy chairs, thumb-drumming our table to the music, which is Spotify playlist-worthy.
At.mosphere Lounge’s à la carte menu spans 20-plus dishes, and fuses Asian-Mediterranean-flavours across cold and hot starters, mains, salads and charcuteries. The menu showcases some of Dubai’s most loved dishes: Tuna Carpaccio with yuzu miso dressing (AED 165) alongside Burrata with heirloom tomato and chlorophyll oil (AED 155) and Wagyu Cold Cuts with tapenade and blue cheese (AED 575).
A trio of substantial Billionaire Wagyu Sliders with foie gras cromesquis head over to another table (AED 195) together with folded Soft Shell Crab Baos with kimchi and saffron mayo (AED 165). The prices are sobering, with main dishes ranging from AED 225 for a Teriyaki-Glazed Poultry Oyster Skewer rising to a Japanese A5 Tenderloin or Striploin Steak with potato gratin at a towering AED 1,750.
It begs the question, when will you come to At.mosphere Lounge? The Lounge will attract visitors who want The Dubai Experience. They want to see it all, get selfies and be entertained by bartenders wielding bubbles and dry ice.
Dubai residents may save it for entertaining guests, splashing out or for corporate entertainment. Either way, I’ll be that guy in the corner, looking out of the window and picking his jaw up off the floor.
GO: Visit www.atmosphereburjkhalifa.com or call 04 888 3828 for reservations and more information.