Tallest building - Burj Khalifa (former Burj Dubai) sets world record

 DUBAI, United Arab Emirates -- At 2716.53 feet (828 m) high and clad in 26,000 glass panels, Burj Khalifa (Dubai) has 160 floors and more than 500,000 sq m of space for offices and apartments-setting the new world record for the Tallest building.
   The world's Tallest building it's about twice the height of the Empire State Building, you can see its spire from 95km away and the exterior is covered in about 26,000 glass panels, which glisten in the midday desert sun.
   Photo: AFP  (enlarge photo)

   "You have the solutions for it but you always wonder how it will really work," Mohamed Ali Alabbar, chairman of Emaar, the developer behind Burj Dubai told the BBC.

The world's Tallest building will also lay claim to the highest occupied floor, the tallest service lift, and the world's highest observation deck - on the 124th floor. The world's highest mosque and swimming pool will meanwhile be located on the 158th and 76th floors.   

   Its spire can been seen from 95km (60 miles) away.

   "We weren't sure how high we could go," said Bill Baker of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, the building's structural engineer. "It was kind of an exploration... a learning experience."

    Photo: Reuters graphic on the Burj (enlarge photo)

   The Tallest building itself cost about $1.5 billion and has been under construction since September 2004. Officials said they have sold about 90 percent of the building's 1,000 condominiums.

   The design incorporates ideas from traditional Islamic architecture, while the open petals of a desert flower were the inspiration for the tower's base.  
   Burj Dubai will be home to 1,044 luxury apartments, 49 floors of offices and eventually a 160-room Armani-branded hotel. Around 12,000 people are expected to live and work in the tower, which is part of a 500-acre development.
  (enlarge photo)

    "You have to ask, 'why we are building all this?' To bring quality of life and a smile to people and I think we should continue to do that," said Mohamed Alabbar, chairman of Emaar, the Arab world's largest listed developer. "Crises come and go," Alabbar told reporters. "We build for years to come ... We must have hope and optimism."     

    Burj Dubai in numbers:
    95: distance in km at which its spire can be seen
    504: rise in metres of its main service lift
    57: number of lifts
    49: number of office floors
    1,044: number of residential apartments
    900: length in feet of the fountain at the foot of the tower, the world's tallest performing fountain
     28,261: number of glass panels on the exterior of the tower     Though not complete on the inside, the world's Tallest building was officially opened by Dubai's ruler, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, at 2000 (1600 GMT) on Monday, 1,325 days after excavation work started.

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