Amidst the crisis, Dubai is keeping its date to create history by opening the Burj Dubai, the world’s tallest building, on Monday, even as it is keeping the whole world guessing about the final height of the magnificent tower whose parent is fighting for survival.
Though the final height of the super-scraper is not known, the £1 billion Burj Dubai is at least 2,683 ft from its base to the tip of its spire — equivalent of three-and-a-half Canary Wharf towers or two Empire State Buildings stacked up.
Its final height is being kept a secret until Monday, but architects who have worked on the building have hinted it could break the 2,700-ft mark. The tower is more than 1,000 ft higher than its nearest inhabited rival, Taiwan’s 1,671-ft Taipei 101.
The Burj Dubai, which is not just the tallest building on the planet but also the world’s tallest man-made structure, surpassing even the 2,063-ft KVLY-TV mast in North Dakota, America, will be opened by the Emirate ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum on Monday.
Meanwhile, online news site ArabianBusiness.com said the “inauguration of the Burj Dubai, developed by Emaar Properties, (it parent Dubai World is fighting a $59 billion debit crisis) will feature a spectacular display of sound, light, water and fireworks.”
A combination of 10,000 fireworks, light beams, choreographed water displays, and sound and music effects on Monday will describe the evolution of the world’s most iconic new building.
The 169-floor building passes through different climatic zones as the temperature at the top is up to 10°C cooler than that at the bottom.
It has the highest swimming pool in the world, on the 76th floor, and the most elevated place of worship with plans for a mosque on the 158th floor.
However, after the economic downturn ripped through Dubai, critics are already dismissing the tower as a gaudy memorial to a lost decade of uncontrolled speculation.
There are 900 studios and one- to four-bedroom flats and 144 apartments in the Burj Dubai, designed by Giorgio Armani.
The tower also houses the Italian designer’s first hotel.
The building has, however, received flak from various sectors. Human rights groups and workers’ organisations say the tower has been built using “slave labour”, the Sunday Times said, adding that construction workers, mainly from India and Pakistan, toiled round the clock for just $5 a day.
Besides, environmentalists have criticised the building’s power consumption. Its air-conditioning system is the equivalent of melting 12,500 tonnes of ice a day, and it will consume millions of gallons of desalinated water — in a city that already has the world’s highest per capita carbon footprint.