Today marked the opening of the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest tower (and most likely to remain so for some time, until the crisis is over and projects in Asia are reignited to challenge the record).
Its final height was kept a secret, but it is 828m high (an impressive 320m higher than Taipei 101, the world’s former tallest tower). In itself the building is a great engineering achievement as it has to sustain the heavy winds associated with the desert and sand storms in its base, and its structure was designed so that the winds is “confused” (in the words of one of the engineers interviewed by Dubai eye) so that wind speed is not reinforced, therefore avoiding extreme forces and wind speeds of up to 3 times those at the base. Even as impressive as the building itself is the fact that it took only 6 years to build it, as the excavation works started in January 2004.
The building was open today January 4th, 2010 by his highness Sheikh Mohammed Al Maktoum in an spectacular array of fireworks, lights, water and even skydivers. It’s new name (it was formerly known as Burj Dubai) was also revealed during the opening ceremony as it was renamed after the U.A.E.’s president Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahayan (who knows how much influence the latest bail-out by Abu Dhabi had on this).
Here below I will let 4 pictures taken today of the tower and it’s opening speak by themselves:
PS: I personally think that the event was well organized and prepared, but the traffic coming in and out of the parking lots around Burj Dubai were incredible. I cannot believe they were not prepared to have traffic police at all intersections and traffic lights, so that the traffic could be better controlled and to give priority to the traffic coming out of Burj Downtown and all parking lots.