PHOTO MOMENT: Looking down on Dubai – Joe McNally

(c) J. McNally via Mindblowing Pictures

A daredevil snaps a picture of their feet several hundred metres off the ground while perched on a ledge of the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa.

The death-defying snap was taken in 2013 (last year) by expert photographer Joe McNally, who is employed by geography and wildlife magazine National Geographic.

According to Belgian news site, McNally snapped this incredible view of central Dubai’s much smaller skyscrapers and expansive swimming pools from a height of 820 metres and had then tweeted the photo.

While speaking with the Huffington Post, Joe said that he had climbed the tower for a bit of fun and was not on official reporting business. Nevertheless this photo would have made the perfect submission to National Geographic’s image competitions, which attract some of the best wildlife and environment photographers from all over the world. The magazine has long been lauded for its stunning shots submitted by both staffers and contributors.

After somehow climbing the tower, McNally then gingerly stepped across to an outer support for LEDs installed to warn nearby aircraft of Burj Khalifa’s presence before happily snapping away. It is not known whether he used safety climbing equipment or had notified local authorities of his climb. Risky it may have been, but the effort paid off with a truly memorable and jawdropping image of one of the fastest-developing and most prestigious cities in the Middle East.


Joe McNally’s Blog

Joe McNally Photography

Joe McNally – Expert | National Geographic Expeditions

National Geographic

Visit the Burj Khalifa — The Tallest Building in the World


Vijay Shah { विजय }, Twitter
“Joe McNally est monté au sommet de la tour la plus haute du monde, Burj Khalifa, pour faire une photo à 820 mètres” –, Rossel Advertising (22 March 2013)
Google Translate, Google Inc.
Joe McNally, National Geographic (private work) via Mindblowing Pictures,  Twitter

10 thoughts on “PHOTO MOMENT: Looking down on Dubai – Joe McNally

  1. Wow. I feel dizzy just looking at the photo, but definitely worth the cyber climb.
    Stunning – thanks for sharing 😀


  2. OMG – makes my skin crawl 😉 . . . Heaven forbid; People would say, “Joe died doing what he loved…” – “What’s that, plummeting into the Earth at 195 km/h?”

    I am going to assume there was a safety tether of some sort (as if that somehow makes this understandable.) Yikes!


    1. Loools…oh that would have been a terrifying way to go…Apparently he had two workers assisting him with the climb, mentioned in one of the articles related to mine.
      He’s a brave soul, Joey boy 😀



      1. I was never terribly afraid of heights in my youth; having done rappelling, climbing of rope ladders into some ridiculously deep holes in the ground, tree climbing and such. But the older I get, the more my psyche reacts to such scenes. Natures way of saying “step away from the edge, old man!” I suppose… :\


      2. Hahahaha…you certainly were very brave and adventurous in your youth. Very right about nature ‘reining you in’. Even I have mellowed away from ‘risks’ as I got older. Must be that ‘settling down’ phase.



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