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21 May 2024

Burj Khalifa: A symbol of Dubai’s towering ambition

By Parag Deulgaonkar

Burj Khalifa was official opened and became the world’s tallest tower on January 4, 2010. This year on January 4, the Accession Day of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE, and Ruler of Dubai, the super skyscraper completes four years and continues to remain the undisputable leader of tall towers globally.

Unveiling the nameplate on January 4, 2010, Sheikh Mohammed said: “We built the high rise for people with strong will and determination. The highest point in the world should be linked to the big names and I announce today the opening of Burj Khalifa Bin Zayed.”

He added: “Today, the UAE has put a new spotlight on the world map.”

“Emaar had but one inspiration, the unflagging enthusiasm set in motion by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed, who inspires us to reach for the stars,” the developer states on its official website.

Mohamed Alabbar, Chairman, Emaar, states on the website: “Burj Khalifa is the Arab world’s tribute to the art and science of modern engineering and design. Burj Khalifa symbolises the aesthetic unison of many cultures – from Arabia and the rest of the world.”

The world's tallest building… a living wonder... stunning work of art… incomparable feat of engineering. Burj Khalifa is all that.

“In concept and execution, Burj Khalifa has no peer,” Emaar states.

Burj Khalifa, build at the cost of $1.5 billion, is also tangible proof of Dubai’s growing role in a changing world as in less than 30 years, the city has transformed itself from a regional centre to a global one.

Alabbar states: “Burj Khalifa goes beyond its imposing physical specifications. In Burj Khalifa, we see the triumph of Dubai's vision of attaining the seemingly impossible and setting new benchmarks. The project is a declaration of the emirate’s capabilities and of the resolve of its leaders and people to work hand in hand on truly awe-inspiring projects.”

Prices of residential apartments in Burj Khalifa jumped by 25 per cent in 2013, according to Cluttons, a global property consultancy. A review of prices over the past four years by the consultancy revealed prices of residential units rose by 13.6 per cent since handing over of the units in January 2010.

In 2008, Mohamed Ali Alabbar, Chairman, Emaar Properties, had said that apartments were selling for over Dh10,000 per square feet (psf), but fell to a low of Dh2,400 psf in 2009-10 following the global economic crisis.

Currently, apartment values stand at Dh3,750 psf, which is a 50 per cent increase on the February 2009 figure.

With the emirate’s property market witnessing a price increase, real estate agents believe prices in the tall tower will witness further increase.

Over 45,000 m3 of concrete, weighing more than 110,000 tonnes were used to construct the concrete and steel foundation, which features 192 piles buried more than 50 metres deep. Burj Khalifa's construction will have used 330,000 m3 of concrete and 39,000 tonnes (43,000 ST; 38,000 LT) of steel rebar, and construction will have taken 22 million man-hours.

At over 828 metres (2,716.5 feet) and more than 160 stories, Burj Khalifa holds the following records:

* Tallest building in the world

* Tallest free-standing structure in the world

* Highest number of stories in the world

* Highest occupied floor in the world

* Highest outdoor observation deck in the world

* Elevator with the longest travel distance in the world

* Tallest service elevator in the world