Dubai Opens Burj Halifah

More than 800m (2,625ft) high and clad in 26,000 glass panels, Burj Kalifah has 160 floors and more than 500,000 sq m of space for offices and apartments. Construction began in 2004, at the height of an economic boom.

The opening comes after a financial crisis which has seen Dubai bailed out by Abu Dhabi. The exact height of the $1.5bn tower is secret, but it far exceeds that of the previous record holder, Taipei 101.

It 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.

Technical challenges Though not complete on the inside, Burj Dubai (Arabic for tower) will be 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.

At a ceremony to be attended by 60,000 guests, Sheikh Mohammed will also reveal the exact height of the tower that dwarfs the 508m Taipei 101 and the 629m KVLY-TV mast in the US, the tallest man-made structure. Its spire can been seen from 95km (60 miles) away.


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