High in Dubai

Barj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, stands across the road from my hotel. Last night, as I was on my way to the hotel gym, my colleague waylaid me and insisted I come to the top for a sunset cocktail.

Minutes later, we were at the foot of the building, the sun bobbling on the horizon.

Our friend had made reservations at the bar, Atmosphere, and we were ushered into the express elevator. Seconds later, ears popping we were on the 123rd floor.

We descended a flight of stairs and got our first glimpse of the view.

The city stretched before us. Zillions of wild skyscrapers, all lit up. It was like looking out of the window of a plane, too high to even trigger my vertigo.

Many of the buildings are still under construction. Their windows are dark but cranes are strung with lights.

After a martini and some snacks, we paid an exorbitant bill, and descended to reality again.

At the foot of the building, a crowd of thousands watched computer-controlled fountains dance to the theme from Bonanza and Michael Jackson’s Thriller.

Hours later, as dawn broke, we began our next day of filming.

We had to start early before the sun grew unbearably hot.

Our cast and crew worked together to make swift progress.

By 9:30 a.m., the sun was baking down. We had to take a break till mid-afternoon; we’ll return to shoot into the setting sun.