Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Tallest tower set to open in Dubai

Burj Dubai, the world's tallest tower, will open on December 2, the United Arab Emirates' National Day, says the developer.

Emaar Properties started building the US$1.1 billion Burj Dubai five years ago.

The tower, centrepiece of the US$20 billion Downtown Dubai project, overtook Taipei 101 as the tallest building at 818m in February.

"We are shooting for National Day," said chairman Mohammed Alabbar. Emaar, the UAE's biggest developer, announced the completion of the exterior cladding on October 1.

About 12,000 people are working on the tower to meet the planned opening date. The final height of the building hasn't been announced.

Dubai, the second-biggest sheikhdom in the UAE, has gone from being the best performer among the 46 markets monitored in the Knight Frank global house-price index to the worst.

The slump ended a construction boom that resulted in thousands of houses and apartments being built just as demand started to evaporate.

Alabbar said the Burj "was sold almost 3 years ago, the day we launched it".

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