The security obstacles of the Burj Khalifa
Keeping safe and sound is one thing, but I seem to be able to pass through high-security airport checkpoints with greater ease than I do my own car park these days.
Despite the fact I haven't changed my car nor my appearance since I moved in, the security guards in my building still look at me suspiciously, asking for my allotted parking number on a regular basis.
And yet these flimsy, rusting, car park gates are as inefficient as barn doors in a gale, compared with the security that residents enjoy at Burj Khalifa. Upon a recent visit to a friend's newly rented apartment, I stumbled spectacularly at the very first security hurdle.
With Dh25 already on the cab metre, the amount had almost reached Dh40 before the barrier to the exclusive residence was lifted. Try as I might to spell and respell my painfully long and complicated name to the security guard, or pass him the resident on my phone, the barrier remained down for such a long period of time that I started to question whether Justin Beiber hadn't unexpectedly dropped in for tea and put the place on high alert.
When I was finally allowed to step foot inside Fort Knox, I signed in and made my way to the lifts only to realise that I didn't have the relevant security pass to allow me to scale the iconic building's heady heights. Once a staff member appeared and cheerily sent me on my way to level 43, the same problem presented itself. As I emerged from the lift, a sleek, teak receptionist's desk stretched out before me. Yet no receptionist was to be found. Also conspicuously absent was any sort of a phone signal, rendering me unable to call my friend for a rescue; the same friend who must have - by this time - thought I was scaling the outside of the building with sucker pads à la Spider-Man.
Finally, a white knight appeared in the form of an unknown resident, who swiped the magic black panel within the lift that then zoomed me at ear-popping speed to the 60th floor. After inspecting the beautiful apartment, a tour of the building was in order and as I was whisked around a maze of floors and rooms it dawned on me that should my pal and I ever became separated, I would probably never find my way out.
Reminiscent of Matt Damon in the film The Adjustment Bureau, I couldn't enter through any door, corridor, lift or exit without a trusty pass. Long, wooden-panelled walls with endless numbered doors stretched out before me and unmarked internal elevators led me up and down the building in a way that no trail of breadcrumbs would ever allow me to retrace. Maximum security? Mission accomplished. This is one building you'll struggle to get into and can have trouble getting out of.
Updated: August 18, 2011 04:00 AM