The Inauguration of Burj Dubai – The Grand Opening of the Highest Building in the World

January, 4th 2009 – one of the most important dates in history for Dubai – when everybody across the world could watch live the grand opening of Burj Dubai – the highest building in the world and probably the 8th wonder of the world. The huge building is no more than 828 meters, that is 2717 feet tall. The highest skyscraper in the world was opened on Monday, the 4th of January in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, during a very glossy and lavishing party, flooded by extraordinary fireworks. “Dubai Tower” cost around $1.5 billion and it is considered a “vertical city” of luxury apartments and offices and a hotel designed by Giorgio Armani also plans to have the world’s highest mosque (158th floor) and swimming pool (76th floor).

Burj Dubai Inauguration
Burj Dubai Inauguration
The highest building in the world – Burj Dubai – is the centerpiece of a 500-acre development that officials hope will become a new central residential and commercial district in this sprawling and often disconnected city. It is flanked by dozens of smaller but new skyscrapers and the Middle East’s largest shopping mall. Sheik Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan is the ruler of Abu Dhabi and serves as the president of the United Arab Emirates, the federation of seven small emirates, including Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Analysts have questioned what Dubai might need to offer in exchange for the financial support it has received from Abu Dhabi, which controls nearly all of the UAE’s oil wealth. Abu Dhabi provided direct and indirect injections totaling $25 billion last year as Dubai‘s debt problems deepened.

Burj Dubai Opening - 4 January 2009
Burj Dubai Opening – 4 January 2009
Greg Sang, Emaar’s director of projects, said the Burj has “refuge floors” at 25 to 30 story intervals that are more fire resistant and have separate air supplies in case of emergency. And its reinforced concrete structure, he said, makes it stronger than steel-frame skyscrapers. “It’s a lot more robust,” he said. “A plane won’t be able to slice through the Burj like it did through the steel columns of the World Trade Center.” After celebrating with fireworks, the officials announced that Burj Dubai Tower would be renamed Burj Khalifa, to honor the Abu Dhabi leader who is also president of the UAE. Mohammed Alabbar, chairman of the tower’s developer Emaar Properties, initially said Monday it had “more than 200″ stories, but he later backtracked to more than 165 inhabitable floors, given its tapered top. Promotional materials sent before the tower’s opening said it contained 160 stories. Although the building is twice higher than Empire State Building, it is a safe one and that a plane won’t be able to go through it like it was the case of World Trade Center. An observation deck on the 124th floor opens to the public Tuesday, with adult tickets starting at 100 dirhams, or just over $27 a piece. The ride to the top took just over a minute during a visit for journalists Monday. Although the financial crisis is the main issue for Dubai, Abu Dhabi provided $25 billion last year as Dubai‘s debt problems deepened.

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