Suicide at the Burj Khalifa

The title of the book I’m writing. ‘Suicide at the Burj Khalifa’…I will finish it when the time is right. 

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The observation deck at the time of Laura’s death.

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The observation deck now…changed twice…since Laura’s death. Gaps were made smaller, at the request of the Dubai Police, and all on the same level. Warning signs. The horizontal bars were installed after my visit to the deck on 16 March 2015. Even though the gaps were smaller I could still push my head through the opening. 

Some of the outlines of the book. I will try to keep it as unemotional as I can.

In the late afternoon of 18 November 2014 I was informed of Laura’s death. Two days after her death. Was it sloppy police work, or was it deliberate?

I did not know that she had returned to Dubai.

Her death had not been covered by the media in Dubai. Why not? Was she still alive?

The initial communications between the Portuguese consulate in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – Portugal is not represented in Dubai – and Johannesburg, South Africa.

Two vital inter-consular emails which did not impact on me immediately.

Trying to find where Laura had been staying in Dubai. Apart from wanting to hold something that she had touched, one of her abayas, anything, I was hoping that with what she had left behind, on her computer and her phone, that maybe I could begin to understand why she had taken her life. My request to the Dubai Police, via Luis Camara, vice-consul of the Portuguese Consulate in Abu Dhabi, was ignored. I was denied some sort of comfort, as small as it was.

Before Laura’s death she had posted a lot of photographs of cats, and one in particular, on her facebook page. Golden Princess. I thought that they were at her residence, without food or water.

The person that had informed me of Laura’s death gave me details of the final moments of her life, which sent me on a quest to find the truth. Had she been murdered?

I couldn’t understand how Laura could have fallen to her death from the 148th floor of the Burj Khalifa. How could she? How could she slip through one of the gaps between the two panes of glass? It shouldn’t have been possible. Surely they were too small? Where was security? Why didn’t anyone notice? Why didn’t anyone stop her?

I contacted the Burj Khalifa. I contacted the Armani hotel. I wanted to see the footage of Laura on the observation deck before she died. A blanket of silence.

Two weeks later, the conclusion of the police investigation into Laura’s death was suicide. I had more questions which Luis Camara could not answer so I started to communicate directly with the Dubai Police.

You can read more about Laura’s story in News Coverage on this website.


9 January 2015, two days after I received Laura’s handbag, on her iPhone I found the identity and contact details of the mysterious Emirati whom she had met early in 2010. Mubarak. I sent him an email, attaching two photographs of Laura. “What happened to my daughter on 16 November?” There is no suggestion that Mubarak was responsible for Laura’s death. Her love for him was obsessive and she was not strong enough to break free.

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27 September 2015, a message which I sent to Maktoum. He had just lost his son, Laura had died almost ten months earlier. I was hoping to appeal to the gentler side of him, the poet. Needless to say I never received a reply from him…

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“Your son died recently…my daughter died on 16 November 2014.

What kind of country do you rule and what sort of ruler are you where you allow (or perhaps command) that the Government of Dubai, and the Dubai Police continue to blatantly lie about the circumstances of my daughter’s death from the Burj Khalifa?

I saw the footage at the Bur Dubai Police Station…you know that…and she slipped effortlessly through a gap between two panes of glass just above the handrail, from the At the Top Sky observation deck on the 148th floor of the Burj Khalifa…”

25 July 2018…from wikipedia…


The Daily Mail reported that on 16 November 2014, Laura Vanessa Nunes, a Portuguese national who was in Dubai on a tourist visa, fell to her death from Burj Khalifa’s “At the Top” observation deck on the 148th floor.[126] However, on 18 May 2015, Dubai police disputed the report made by the Daily Mail on this incident and said that this incident took place in Jumeirah Lakes Towers.[127] A Dubai coroner’s report stated her body was found on the third floor of the Burj Khalifa.[128] Emails obtained under the Freedom of Information act from Portugal’s embassy in the UAE also confirmed that she had committed suicide from the 148th floor of the Burj Khalifa.[129]

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The denial – “However, on 18 May 2015, Dubai police disputed the report made by the Daily Mail on this incident and said that this incident took place in Jumeirah Lakes Tower.” 


15 April 2014, Laura was back in Dubai, from Portugal. 

Her love for Mubarak, her need to be loved by him, brought out an intense vulnerability in her.

To her friend, Sara, (name changed to protect her identity), she said, “And after three weeks I was here I told him I was here…but still did not see him…nor want to right now! If I am meant to be with him it will happen. But Allah brought me back here so will see and be patient meanwhile.”

She had returned to Dubai from Portugal.

In another message to the same friend, she said, “Mubarak messed me so much. I fell so hard, until the end, because I needed to know the truth. I could not let go of him until life forced me to. I stuck it through until the end, even though I knew I was falling and he would not pick me up. I had to see it to the end…but my feelings for him are not that easy to forget. But it is a part of my path in life. I had to walk that way. I feel, yes, I control my life, but life controls us, if you understand. I followed life. Everything that happened since I met him, and things that happened before I met him, all pointed to him.”

From Laura…1 March 2009…’Laura’s Voice WHISPERS from an ANGEL’.

“Who can turn raindrops into sunshine…and teardrops into smiles!!?” 

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