Until the Sky City One tower is completed in China, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai can lay claim to being the tallest building in the world. Standing at a whopping 828 meters (2,717 ft), it's a must-visit destination for those traveling to the UAE. But now anyone can enjoy the building's stunning views from the comfort of their own home thanks to a photographer who recently composed a stunning 360-degree panorama image taken from on top of the Burj Khalifa.
The photo was created to promote the second Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Photography Award (HIPA), which is scheduled for March 2013 in the sprawling UAE city. The award has attracted entries from almost 100 countries, largely due to its grand prize of US$120,00, which is the highest cash prize of any photography contest in the world.
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Dubai-based photographer Gerald Donovan climbed to the very top of the tower, even scaling the 200-meter (656 ft) ladder inside the spire, and shot 48 photos, each at 80 megapixels, using a mechanical panoramic tripod head. He then manually took some extra pictures that could be added later to eliminate the lightning conductor, aircraft beacons, and any other equipment blocking the view.
In the end, over 70 photos were merged together to create one 2.5 gigapixel image that can be zoomed and rotated to explore the view as if you were there.
Even on a computer screen, seeing all of Dubai from that height is an extraordinary sight. The Burj Khalifa overlooks everything, and zooming in on the high-resolution image lets you focus on landmarks like the Burj Al Arab hotel, the world's largest mall, and the Meydan Racecourse.
If you want to see what the view looks like from 828 meters up, you can check out the HIPA website yourself by following the source link, or just watch the video below.