Burj Khalifa – up above the world so high!
As if transcending its financial woes, Dubai opened on Monday last, the world’s tallest building – 828 metres (2717 feet). In an extravaganza of blazing fireworks, the needle-like structure of concrete, glass and steel, which cost $1.5 billion, was inaugurated by Dubai ruler, Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashed al-Maktoum.
Hitherto known as Burj Dubai, Sheikh Mohammad renamed the tower Burj Khalifa, in honour of United Arab Emirates President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahayan, ruler of Abu Dhabi which came to Dubai’s help late last year to the tune of $10 billion to bail out troubled property developer Nakheel, a subsidiary of DubaiWorld.
The construction of the tower, which began in 2004 by the partly government owned property developer, Emaar Properties, has more than 200 floors, only 160 of which will be inahbited, while the remaining floors are for services. The Burj has 1044 apartments and 49 floors of office space, served by 57 lifts. It also has a hotel carrying the Georgio Armani logo.
A spiralling Y-shaped design by Chicago-based architectural company Skidmore, Owings and Merril (SOM), was used to support the structural core of the tower, which narrows as it ascends. Higher up, it becomes a steel structure topped with a huge spire. To reach the final stages, concrete was propelled to a height of 605 metres – a world record.