Dubai to open world's tallest building
Published: 4th Jan 2010 13:43:04
The world's tallest building is set to be opened in the Gulf emirate of Dubai.
More than 800m (2,625ft) high and clad in 26,000 glass panels, Burj Dubai has 160 floors and more than 500,000 sq m of space for offices and apartments.
Construction began in 2004, at the height of an economic boom. The opening comes after a financial crisis which has seen Dubai bailed out by Abu Dhabi.
The exact height of the $1.5bn tower is secret, but it far exceeds that of the previous record holder, Taipei 101.
It will also lay claim to the highest occupied floor, the tallest service lift, and the world's highest observation deck - on the 124th floor. The world's highest mosque and swimming pool will meanwhile be located on the 158th and 76th floors.
Though not complete on the inside, Burj Dubai will be officially opened by Dubai's ruler, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, at 2000 (1600 GMT) on Monday, 1,325 days after excavation work started.
At a ceremony to be attended by 60,000 guests, Sheikh Mohammed will also reveal the exact height of the tower that dwarfs the 508m Taipei 101 and the 629m KVLY-TV mast in the US, the tallest man-made structure. Its spire can been seen from 95km (60 miles) away.
"We weren't sure how high we could go," said Bill Baker of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, the building's structural engineer. "It was kind of an exploration... a learning experience."
Mohamed Ali Alabbar, chairman of Emaar Properties, the developer behind Burj Dubai, told the BBC that the building's design had posed unprecedented technical and logistical challenges, not just because of its height, but also because Dubai was susceptible to high winds and was close to a geological fault line.
"We have been hit with lightning twice, there was a big earthquake last year that came across from Iran, and we have had all types of wind which has hit us when we were building. The results have been good and I salute the designers and professionals who helped build it," he said.
The design incorporates ideas from traditional Islamic architecture, while the open petals of a desert flower were the inspiration for the tower's base.
Burj Dubai will be home to 1,044 luxury apartments, 49 floors of offices and eventually a 160-room Armani-branded hotel. Around 12,000 people are expected to live and work in the tower, which is part of a 500-acre development.
However, investors are facing losses even before the tower is completed because property prices in Dubai have slumped amid the global economic crisis.
Some apartments were selling for $2,700 per sq ft, but are now going for less than half that. Analysts say it will be particularly hard to lease office space because few companies can justify paying premiums for luxury.
Emaar's government-owned parent company, Dubai World, meanwhile recently had to request a suspension in debt repayments, and Dubai had to turn to Abu Dhabi last year for bail-outs worth $25bn.
The BBC's Malcolm Borthwick in Dubai says developers are holding back on new flagship projects, so Burj Dubai could mark the end of an era for skyscrapers in the Gulf - at least in the short term.
At 12:01:43 in Northern IrelandA gang of up to eight men have damaged a car in Londonderry in what police have called a "sectarian hate crime".
At 12:01:00 in SportLeicester City manager Nigel Pearson wants his squad to mark their Championship title win by setting a new club record points total.
At 11:56:41 in WalesThe director of care at a children's hospice has been cleared of professional misconduct over the way she dealt with a dying teenager.
At 11:54:04 in ScotlandIntelligence whistleblower Edward Snowden has been installed as rector at Glasgow University.
At 11:54:02 in SportPaul Scholes has returned to help Manchester United's coaching team following the sacking of David Moyes.
At 11:54:01 in WorldA New York police public relations exercise in which members of the public were asked to share photos of themselves positively interacting with police officers has backfired.
At 11:53:19 in ScotlandScottish manufactured export sales fell by 4% in the fourth quarter of last year, according to official figures.
At 11:51:14 in EntertainmentThe number of viewer complaints over the audibility of BBC One drama Jamaica Inn has escalated, with the second episode seeing a decline in ratings.
At 11:51:09 in SportThe International Rules competition between Ireland and Australia has been reduced from two games to one for 2014.
At 11:50:20 in SportMiddlesbrough head coach Aitor Karanka has blamed himself for Tuesday's 2-0 defeat by Reading, the club's second loss in four days.
Harvard CitationBBC News, 2010. Dubai to open world's tallest building [Online] (Updated 4th Jan 2010)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/8318/Dubai-to-open-worlds-tallest-building [Accessed 23rd Apr 2014]
News In Other Categories
The director of care at a children's hospice has been cleared of professional misconduct over the way she dealt with a dying teenager.
Intelligence whistleblower Edward Snowden has been installed as rector at Glasgow University.
A teenage blogger with terminal cancer is close to raising £1m for charity after posting his final message to followers.
Eight major renewable energy projects, expected to support 8,500 jobs, have been given government approval.
Leicester City manager Nigel Pearson wants his squad to mark their Championship title win by setting a new club record points total.
With the doors to its brand new £1million training centre officially open, one of the UK's leading apprentice training providers, Bristol based S&B Automotive Academy, is showcasing its world-class facilities by launching a series of foreign student exchanges for the first time in its 41-year history. To get a flavour of what life is like as an apprentice in the UK, the Academy hosted 16 apprentice engineers and bus drivers from the G9 Automotive College in Hamburg, Germany, as part of a Europe-wide vocational training initiative called the ‘Leonardo Programme’ with support from the European Social Fund. In a reciprocal arrangement, S&B will be sending nine apprentices to Germany during February 2012 so that they can get an appreciation of life in the automotive industry on the Continent. A further three German exchange groups are being planned for next year. Designed to assist the development of vocational skills and training across Europe, including work placements for trainees, the Leonardo Programme has a budget of €1.75bn, which is helping to encourage UK organisations to work with their counterparts abroad. In what is expected to be another challenging year for employers in the UK automotive sector, S&B’s Chief Executive, Jon Winter, claims that the exchange initiative will bring many benefits to the Academy and its apprentices: “In a world of global automotive brands, it’s important for our learners to understand the international context of the industry they have chosen to make their career. This new exchange programme will enable apprentices and Academy staff alike to achieve a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities within the automotive arena in Europe. With the Academy’s influence also extending to the USA and Asia, there’s every possibility that this initiative could move further afield in the future.” Continued Winter: “The need for skilled technicians across the world is on the increase and we actively encourage our apprentices to look at broader horizons during their training. Many of them have already learned the phrase ‘Vorsprung durch Gelehrtheit’, quite simply, ‘Advancement through learning.” In the 2010/11 academic year, S&B doubled the number of successful Apprenticeships over the previous year with some 350 apprentices graduating from the Academy. At the same time, achievement levels reached an all-time high with an overall success rate of 85%. For those learners on the Advanced Apprenticeship three-year programme, success rates were even higher, at over 98%. PHOTO CAPTION: As part of their exchange visit, S&B Automotive Academy arranged for the German apprentices to visit Hampshire bus operator, Bluestar, at its Barton Park depot. The students are pictured with S&B’s Andy West (3rd right) and Steve Prewett, Bluestar’s Area Engineering Manager (2nd right). Ends http://www.sandbaa.com