Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Burj Dubai to be taller than originally planned

DUBAI: The United Arab Emirates (UAE)-based real estate giant Emaar Properties has announced that the final height of its skyscraper Burj Dubai, set to become the world's tallest building, will be more than what was originally envisaged.

As such, the opening of the tower here has been pushed back till September 2009. The original deadline was December this year but was then pushed back to April next year. The company said in a statement that the final height of the tower, till now a closely guarded secret, would be known only at the time of its opening. According to the statement, the height enhancement work was already being executed and two additional communication floors were being added. "The enhancements on Burj Dubai are being enabled through the advances in technology as well as qualitative improvements," Emaar chairman Mohamed Ali Alabbar said in the statement.

"Several aspects of Burj Dubai, especially with respect to the interiors, were decided as early as 2004. With the current enhancements we are bringing in the latest in quality considerations that will keep Burj Dubai truly exclusive," he added. Assuring that the project execution would be speedy, he said: "We believe that a completion date of September 2009 is possible and reasonable for a project of this global magnitude and significance." Along with height enhancement, the interior finishes have also been upgraded with international designers from California visiting the project site over the last three months.

Burj Dubai is already unofficially the world's tallest manmade structure at over 636 metres (2,063.6 feet) and 160 floors completed till now. In April this year, it surpassed the height of the KVLY-TV mast in North Dakota in the US to become the world's tallest manmade structure. The building will be officially recognised as the world's tallest structure only when the construction is fully completed. Then the skyscraper will be the tallest building in the world in all four categories recognized by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH), which ranks buildings on the basis of spire height, the highest occupied floor, roof height and pinnacle height.

Burj Dubai is the centrepiece of Emaar's flagship mega-project, the 73-billion dirham ($20 billion) downtown Burj Dubai, billed as the world's most prestigious square kilometre. The super-tall structure will have residences, commercial space and retail space and hospitality elements including the world's first Armani Hotel and Armani Residences. Around 7,500 professionals and skilled workers are currently employed at the site.

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