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10 quick facts about… Burj Dubai
The world’s tallest building is set to open on Monday amidst tight security and bright festivities. But the tower’s exact height remains a closely guarded secret.
January 3, 2010 4:04 by Aarti Nagraj
1. Developed by Dubai-based Emaar Properties, Burj Dubai was designed by Skidmore, Owings and Merrill of Chicago and constructed by South Korea’s Samsung Corporation. It is the centerpiece of the $20 billion Downtown Burj Dubai project and includes 57 elevators, 1,044 residential apartments, 49 floors of office space and an Armani hotel.
2. Construction began on September 21 2004, and according to reports the building cost approximately $1.5 billion. Emaar has kept the actual height of the tower a secret, but it is estimated to be over 2,600 feet – more than 1,000 feet higher than the Taipei 101 building, the world’s second tallest building. So tall, in fact, that the air temperature at the top of the tower is up to 8 degrees Celsius lower than at the base.
3. Around two billion people are expected to watch live TV coverage of Burj Dubai’s opening on Monday. The tower will be inaugurated by Dubai’s ruler Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid al-Maktoum, and the event will be marked by fireworks and a parachute jump. Two HD TV mobile production units will be on location to cover the opening, according to the UAE’s official news agency WAM.
4. The building will receive its first residents from February 2010, Emaar Properties confirmed last week. The Armani Residences between levels 9 and 16 will be the first to open, and the Armani Hotel Dubai is set to open in March. Emaar expects the building to eventually house more than 12,000 people.