Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Burj Khalifa formerly known as Burj Dubai

Over the last six years, residents of Dubai have seen it grow out of a 141-foot hole in the ground, to stretch 2,717 feet (828 meters) into the Gulf sky.

But now the shimmering spire that is the Burj Khalifa can finally enter the record book as the world's tallest building, after a spectacular opening ceremony on Monday night.

The renaming of the tower hit the city by surprise. On Monday, the emirate's Road and Transport Authority opened a 'Burj Dubai Metro Station'—unaware that the signage would need to be replaced the day afterward.

The exact height of the building had remained a closely guarded secret until it was unveiled at the opening ceremony on Monday as 828 meters—a full 10 meters higher than pundits had speculated it to be.

More than 12,000 workers toiled split shifts at a salary of only US$4.57 a day to build the tower in the record time of 1,325 days.

Exactly 24,348 panels were used to build the exterior walls. There is enough glass in the building to cover 14 football pitches.

Around 12,000 people are expected to live and work in the tower, and 90 percent of the properties are sold.

However, investors in the 1,044 residential apartments in the building have already faced losses, after property prices dropped 40 percent in Dubai from 2008 rates.

The building easily dwarfs its 508-meter-tall rival residential building, the Taipei 101 tower, and the 629 meter KVLY-TV mast in North Dakota.

These stunning aerial and exclusive interior images provide a glimpse into the lavish creation which has cost an estimated UD$1 billion to build, with a further three billion budgeted for the entire complex.

Tours to the 124th floor of the building cost $27.

Official burjdubai.com site

Would you want to go visit the Burj Khalifa?


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