Dubai City Information Site

The Burj Khalifa - Previously Burj Dubai

Hi, Sunil here to talk about the Burj Khalifa - previously called the Burj Dubai

Our good ole city of Dubai is known for setting the standard and breaking records in terms of construction.

It is not surprising that the city houses the tallest building in the world as of 2010.

The Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest skyscraper, is the magnificent centerpiece of Downtown Dubai as you can see it.

Burj Khalifa The Burj graces the city’s skyline and is surrounded by entertainment centers, shopping destinations, and various first-class hotels in Dubai.

It is the tallest among all the Dubai towers.

The construction of the building began on September 21, 2004, and was completed on October 1, 2009.

The building was officially opened on January 4, 2010.

The Burj is a part of the 490-acre flagship development named Downtown Burj Khalifa or Downtown Dubai, located at the “First Interchange” along Sheikh Zayed Road, adjacent to Dubai’s main business district.

The primary contractor for the construction of the building was Samsung C&T of South Korea, who also built the Petronas Twin Towers and the Taipei 101. The Burj is more than just the world’s tallest building.

It is a living wonder, a spectacular work of art, and an incomparable accomplishment of engineering. As of 2010, the Burj has no equal in terms of concept and execution. Kish and I witnessed the construction of this gigantic structure throughout before its official launch.

This wondrous structure is an unparalleled example of global collaboration, an emblematic symbol of progress, and a sign of the new, vibrant, and thriving Middle East.

In less than 30 years, the city transformed from being a regional center to a global city.

The Burj embodies this success which is not brought about by oil reserves, but by ingenious and innovative human talent.

Dubai is notorious for this!

The building is over 800 meters and more than 160 stories tall, and holds the following world records as of 2010:

tallest skyscraper to top of spire, tallest structure ever built, tallest extant structure, tallest freestanding structure, building with most floors, world's highest elevator installation, situated inside a rod at the very top of the building, world's fastest elevators at speed of 64 km/h, highest vertical concrete pumping (for a building and any construction), the first world's tallest structure in history to include residential space, and the highest outdoor observation deck in the world.

Here is a picture from the peak of the Burj Khalifa taken by a construction worker during its build-out. The tower is so high, you can actually see the surface of the earth as it curves round.

Burj Dubai Top View



While it is unmatched in every aspect, it is the exceptional design of Burj Khalifa that really sets it apart. The architecture features a triple-lobed footprint, which is inspired by the Hymenocallis flower. The tower consists of three elements arranged around a central core.

The modular, Y-shaped structure, with setbacks along each of its three wings provides a naturally stable arrangement for the structure and provides good floor plates. Twenty-six helical levels reduce the cross section of the tower incrementally as it spirals skyward.



The central core surfaces at the top and concludes in a sculpted spire. A Y-shaped floor plan extends views of the Arabian Gulf. Viewed from the base or the air, Burj Khalifa is reminiscent of the onion domes widespread in Islamic architecture. Don’t mean to get all Shakesperean on you, but this structure truly amazes me.

Over 40 wind tunnel tests were conducted on Burj Khalifa to test the effects the wind would have on the tower and its occupants. These ranged from initial tests to validate the wind climate of Dubai, to large structural analysis models and facade pressure tests, to micro-climate analysis of the effects at terraces and around the tower base. Even the temporary conditions during construction were tested with the tower cranes to ensure safety at all times.

Concourse level to level 8 and level 38 and 39 will feature the Armani Hotel Dubai, decorated by couture designer, Giorgio Armani. Levels 9 to 16 will exclusively house plush one and two bedroom Armani Residences. Based on how much the construction plans and dates had changed, I wouldn’t be surprised if these tentative plans shift around as well.

Floors 45 through 108 contain private ultra-luxury residences. The Corporate Suites occupy most of the remaining floors, except for level 122 which is a restaurant and level 124, the tower's public observatory.

The Burj Khalifa was formerly known as Burj Dubai, and was renamed during the opening ceremony in honor of the current President of the UAE and ruler of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al Nahyan. The reason? Rumor is that Dubai didn’t have the money to finish the construction amidst the global economic crisis that hit in 2008. Abu Dhabi came to the rescue to ensure completion of the project.

When you visit Dubai, The Burj Khalifa is one city structure that is impossible to miss. Definitely highly recommended!


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