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Burj Khalifa, the Dubai Tower

World's Tallest Building


The United Arab Emirates broke world records for building height with the Burj Khalifa, also known as Burj Dubai or Dubai Tower.
Burj Khalifa in the United Arab Emirates

Burj Khalifa in the United Arab Emirates, November 2009

Photo by Flickr Member Leandro, license CC BY 2.0
Location: Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Developer: Emaar Properties
Architect: Adrian Smith, Skidmore, Owings, & Merrill (SOM)
Year: Officially opened January 4, 2010
Height: 828 meters / 2,717 feet (including the spire)
Stories: 162

About the Burj Khalifa

The soaring skyscraper is now named after Khalifa Bin Zayed, the president of the United Arab Emirates.

Dubai has been a showplace for innovative, modern building, and the Burj Khalifa shatters world records. The skyscraper is much taller than Taiwan's Taipei 101, which rises 508 metres (1,667 feet). During a time of economic slowdown, the Dubai Tower has become an icon for wealth and progress in this city on the Persian Gulf. No expense was spared for the building's opening ceremonies on January 4, 2010.

Skyscraper Safety

The extreme height of the Burj Khalifa raises safety concerns. Could occupants be evacuated quickly in the event of an extreme fire or explosion? How well would a skyscraper this tall withstand a fierce storm or earthquake? Engineers for the Burj Kahalifa claim that the building design incorporates multiple safety features.
  • Hexagonal core with Y-shaped buttresses for structural support
  • Capacity withstand 7.0 magnitude earthquakes
  • Concrete reinforcement around stairways
  • World's fastest elevators
  • 38 fire- and smoke-resistant evacuation lifts

Critical Response

Dubai's new skyscraper has received both praise and condemnation. Although the building's structural system is innovative, the Burj Kahalifa is expensive and impractical to maintain. For critical reviews, see:

Views About Dubai

Famous for its bold, new architecture, Dubai's construction boom has stirred heated controversy. Some reports are glowing, and others are highly critical. See:

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