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The Burj Khalifa is open – but only for ‘VIPs’

The Burj Khalifa is open – but only for ‘VIPs’

The observation deck at the world’s tallest tower remains closed to the public. But it’s very much open for ‘public’ relations stunts.


March 8, 2010 8:24 by

The Burj Khalifa remains closed to the public, after ‘maintenance’ issues forced its closure on February 7.

This is bad news for the countless Dubai residents and tourists who bought tickets, and who now face the annoyance of obtaining a refund, or rebooking at a later date.

But it’s not bad news if you’re Lord Peter Mandelson, UK’s Secretary of State for Business. Neither is it bad news if you’re NASA astronauts Barry E. Wilmore and Robert L. Satcher Jr.

For while the observation deck on level 124 of the Burj Khalifa remains closed to visitors, it emerged that these three ‘celebs’ were treated to a trip to the top – all of it publicized though two separate photo releases issued by developer Emaar’s public relations agency.

How do tourists feel about seeing ‘celebrities’ visit the Burj Khalifa, when the tower remains closed to the public? Probably more rock bottom, than ‘At The Top’.

Perhaps Emaar’s ‘public relations’ effort should be directed towards better communicating when the tower will actually open to the public, rather than highlighting the fact that only a select few are allowed up there.


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  1. Adam on March 9, 2010 5:21 am

    Personally I have no problem if they wish to use Mandelson as a guinea pig to test whether they’ve solve the problems with the lifts.

    I would have thought that the two astronauts would have had a better understanding of managing risk however !!

  2. Andrew on March 9, 2010 7:18 am

    All animals are created equal, but some are more equal than others.

  3. Ronald on March 10, 2010 11:41 am

    @ Andrew,

    but some are also more animal than others

    as for the lifts, what’s the big deal…

    and why would astronauts want to go to the 124th floor to get a view of something they have seen from heaven’s door step? beats me

  4. Dubai Speck on March 16, 2010 9:19 am

    Maybe it’s best not to go up even if you’re a VIP. This video shows what the Burj Khalifa looked like the day before it closed – there was broken glass!

  5. Kilgore Trout on March 30, 2010 11:11 am

    George Orwell is the man!


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