Burj Dubai (Burj Khalifa) and records

The Burj Dubai (Burj Khalifa) tower officially opened its doors on January 4, 2010, six years after the commencement of construction in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The tower previously known as Burj Dubai was renamed Burj Khalifa in honor of the current President of the UAE and ruler of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Khalifa.

Burj Dubai

Some of the records made by the $4.1 billion, half-mile-high skyscraper are:

  • Tallest skyscraper to top of spire: 828 m (2,717 ft) (previous record: Taipei 101 – 509.2 m (1,671 ft))
  • Tallest structure ever built: 828 m (2,717 ft) (previous record: Warsaw radio mast – 646.38 m (2,121 ft))
  • Tallest extant structure: 828 m (2,717 ft) (previous record: KVLY-TV mast – 628.8 m (2,063 ft))
  • Tallest freestanding structure: 828 m (2,717 ft) (previous record: CN Tower – 553.3 m (1,815 ft))
  • Building with most floors: 160 (previous record: both 1 and 2 World Trade Center – 110)
  • World’s highest elevator installation
  • World’s fastest elevators at speed of 64 km/h (40 mph) or 18 m/s (59 ft/s) (previous record: Taipei 101 – 16.83 m/s)
  • Highest vertical concrete pumping (for a building): 606 m (1,988 ft) (previous record: Taipei 101 – 449.2 m (1,474 ft))
  • Highest vertical concrete pumping (for any construction): 606 m (1,988 ft) (previous record: Riva del Garda Hydroelectric Power Plant – 532 m (1,745 ft))
  • The first world’s tallest structure in history to include residential space
  • Highest outdoor observation deck in the world
  • World’s highest mosque (located on the 158th floor)
  • Elevator with the longest travel distance in the world
  • Tallest service elevator in the world
  • World’s highest installation of an aluminum and glass façade, at a height of 512 m (1,680 ft)

Burj Dubai 2

Construction milestones:

Burj Dubai 4

Excavation started in January 2004
Piling started in February 2004
Superstructure started in March 2005
Level 50 June 2006
Level 100 January 2007
Level 110 March 2007
Level 120 April 2007
Level 130 May 2007
Level 141 (world’s tallest building) July 2007
Level 150 (world’s tallest free-standing structure) September 2007
Level 160 (world’s tallest man-made structure) April 2008
Completion of spire and topping out January 2009
Exterior cladding completed September 2009
Tower inauguration January 4, 2010

The economic hardship and debt crisis has caused the building to stand mostly empty and unwanted by the international tenants for whom it was supposedly built. An article in Wall Street Journal sees the Burj Dubai “a modern-day Tower of Babel”.

The race to construct bigger structures and show the economic might will never stop. It is to be seen for how long the ‘tallest’ status or other records could hold. [Sources: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4]

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