Monday, January 04, 2010

Tallest Building On Earth opens: Burj Dubai renamed Burj Khalifa

The world’s tallest fountain, the world’s highest swimming pool, on the 76th floor; the highest observation deck, on the 124th floor; and the highest mosque, on the 158th floor.

At a cost estimated at $1.5 billion, the Burj Khalifa took five years to build, is over 160 floors high and has comfortably surpassed the previous record holder in Taipei.

Mohamed Ali Alabbar, chairman of Emaar Properties, the developer behind Burj Khalifa, 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.

Wrote the New York Times, “Dubai not only has the world’s tallest building, but has also made what looks like the most expensive naming rights deal in history,” said Jim Krane, author of “City of Gold: Dubai and the Dream of Capitalism.” “Renaming the Burj Dubai after Sheikh Khalifa of Abu Dhabi — if not an explicit quid pro quo — is a down-payment on Dubai’s gratitude for its neighbor’s $10 billion bailout last month.”