Burj Dubai ( "Dubai Tower")
is a supertall skyscraper under construction in Dubai, United Arab
Emirates, and is the tallest
man-made structure ever built, at .
on 21 September 2004, and the tower is expected to be completed and
ready for occupancy on 4 January 2010.
building is part of the flagship development called "Downtown Burj
Dubai" at the "First Interchange" along Sheikh Zayed
Road, near Dubai's main business district.
tower's architect is Adrian
, who worked with Skidmore, Owings and Merrill
until 2006. The Chicago-based architecture and engineering firm SOM
is in charge of the project. The primary builders are Samsung Engineering &
along with Arabtec
. Turner Construction Company
chosen as the construction manager.
The total budget for the Burj Dubai project is about US$
4.1 billion, and for the entire new
"Downtown Dubai", US$20 billion. Mohamed Ali Alabbar, the CEO of
, speaking at the
Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat
8th World Congress, said that
the price of office space at Burj Dubai had reached US$4,000 per
(over US$43,000 per m2
) and that the Armani Residences,
also in Burj Dubai, were selling for US$3,500 per sq ft (over
US$37,500 per m2
- 21 September 2004: Emaar contractors begin construction.
- February 2007: Surpasses the Sears Tower as the building with the most
- 13 May
2007: Sets record for vertical concrete
pumping on any building at , surpassing the to which concrete
was pumped during the construction of Taipei 101.
- 21 July 2007: Surpasses Taipei 101, whose height of made it the
world’s tallest building.
- 12 August 2007: Surpasses the Sears Tower antenna, which stands
September 2007: At , becomes the world's tallest freestanding
structure, surpassing the CN Tower in Toronto.
April 2008: At , surpasses the KVLY-TV Mast to become the tallest man-made
- 17 June 2008: Emaar announces that Burj Dubai's height is over
and that its final height will not be given until it is completed
in September 2009.
September 2008: Height tops , making it the tallest man-made
structure ever built, surpassing the previous record-holder, the
Mast in Konstantynów, Poland.
- 17 January 2009: Topped out at .
- 1 October 2009: Emaar announces that the exterior of the
building is completed.
- Tallest structure: (previously KVLY-TV mast - )
- Tallest freestanding structure: (previously CN Tower - )
- Building with most floors: 160
(previously both 1 & 2 World Trade Center - 110)
- World's highest elevator installation
fastest elevators at speed of or (previously Taipei 101 – 16.83 m/s)
- Highest vertical concrete pumping (for a
building): (previously Taipei
101 - )
- Highest vertical concrete pumping (for any
construction): (previously Riva del Garda Hydroelectric Power Plant - )
- The first world's tallest
structure in history to include residential space
Note: Additional records for tallest skyscraper are considered
unofficial. On 20 July 2007, the Executive Director of
on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH), Antony Wood, said
"We will not classify it as a building until it is complete, clad
and at least partially open for business to avoid things like the
Taipei 101 is thus officially the
world's tallest until that happens."
History of height increases
Burj Dubai compared to some other
well-known tall structures.
Though unconfirmed, Burj Dubai has been rumoured to have undergone
several planned height increases since its inception. Originally proposed
as a virtual clone of the Grollo Tower
proposal for Melbourne, Australia's Docklands
waterfront development, the tower was redesigned with an original design
by Skidmore, Owings and Merrill discussed below. Marshall Strabala
, an SOM architect who
worked on the project until 2006, recently said that Burj Dubai was
designed to be tall. However, contradictory information abounds
regarding the official height of the building, and it will only
acquire the title of world's tallest building upon completion in
The design architect, Adrian Smith, felt that the uppermost section
of the building did not culminate elegantly with the rest of the
structure, so he sought and received approval to increase it to the
currently planned height. It has been explicitly stated that this
change did not include any added floors, which is fitting with
Smith's attempts to make the crown more slender. However, the top
of the tower has a steel frame
structure, unlike the lower portion's reinforced concrete
. The developer,
, has stated this steel section may be
extended to beat any other tower to the title of tallest.
announced on 9
June 2008 that construction of Burj Dubai was delayed by upgraded
finishes and will be completed only in September 2009. An Emaar
spokesperson said "The luxury finishes that were decided on in
2004, when the tower was initially conceptualized, is now being
replaced by upgraded finishes. The design of the apartments has
also been enhanced to make them more aesthetically attractive and
functionally superior." A revised completion date of 2 December
2009 has been announced.
Architecture and design
Photo in January 2008 shows the
is designed by Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, which also designed
the Willis Tower in Chicago, Illinois and 1 World Trade Center in New York
City, among numerous other famous high-rises.
A Hymenocallis flower showing 6 spokes, as pattern for the 3-lobed
building resembles the bundled tube form of the Willis Tower, but
is not a tube structure. Its design is reminiscent of Frank Lloyd Wright
's vision for The Illinois
, a mile high skyscraper designed
to Marshall Strabala, an SOM architect who worked on the building's
design team, Burj Dubai was designed based on the 73-floor Tower Palace
Three, an all-residential building in Seoul, South Korea.
In its early planning, Burj Dubai was
intended to be entirely residential.
Emaar Properties has also engaged GHD
international multidisciplinary consulting firm, to assist with the
design, review and assessment involved in the construction
The design of Burj Dubai is derived from patterning systems
embodied in Islamic
. The design architect Adrian Smith has said the
triple-lobed footprint of the building was inspired by the flower
. The tower is composed of
three elements arranged around a central core. As the tower rises
from the flat desert base, setbacks
occur at each element in an
upward spiralling pattern, decreasing the cross section of the
tower as it reaches toward the sky. There are 26 terraces in Burj
Dubai. At the top, the central core emerges and is sculpted to form
a finishing spire. A Y-shaped floor plan maximizes views of the
Viewed from above or from the base, the
form also evokes the onion
of Islamic architecture. During the design process,
engineers rotated the building 120 degrees from its original layout
to reduce stress from prevailing winds. At its tallest point, the
tower sways a total of .
To wash the 162 floors of habitable space of Burj Dubai, a
horizontal track has been installed on the exterior of Burj Dubai
at three levels 40, 73 and 109. Each track holds a 1,500 tonne
bucket machine which moves horizontally and then vertically using
heavy cables. The first of the 18 buckets is being tested on the
south side of the Burj Dubai at level 40. The top of the spire,
however, is reserved for specialist window cleaners, who brave the
heights and high winds dangling by ropes to clean the top
More than 1,000 pieces of art will adorn the interiors of Burj
Dubai, while the lobby of Burj Dubai will have the artwork of 196
cymbals representing the 196 countries of the world. The visitors
in the lobby will be able to hear a distinct timbre as the cymbals,
plated with 18-carat gold
, are struck by
dripping water, intended to mimic the sound of water falling on
A total of 24,348 pieces of cladding have been installed, with the
last piece, spanning six metres in length, yet to be
The exterior cladding of Burj Dubai consists of of reflective
glazing, and aluminium
stainless steel spandrel
panels with vertical tubular fins. The
cladding system is designed to withstand Dubai's extreme summer
temperatures. Additionally, at its projected height the exterior
temperature at the top of the building will be 6 °C (11 °F) cooler
than at its base.
The interior will be decorated by Giorgio
. An Armani Hotel
, the first of
four by Armani, will occupy the lower 37 floors. Floors 45 through
108 will have 700 private apartments
floors (which, according to the developer, sold out within eight
hours of being on the market). An outdoor zero-entry swimming pool
located on the 78th floor of the tower. Corporate offices and
suites will fill most of the remaining floors, except for a 123rd
floor lobby and 124th floor (about ) indoor/outdoor observation deck
. The spire, itself over
tall, will hold communications
equipment. . Burj Dubai is expected to hold up to 35,000 people at
any one time. A total of 56 elevators will be installed, the
fastest rising and descending at up to . Engineers had considered
installing the world's first triple-deck elevators, but the final
design calls for double-deck
The graphic design identity work for the Burj Dubai is the
responsibility of Brash Brands
, who are
based in Dubai. Design of the global launch events, communications,
and visitors centers for the Burj Dubai have also been created by
as well as the roadshow
exhibition for the Armani
are part of the Armani Hotel within the Burj Dubai, which toured
Milan, London, Jeddah, Moscow and Delhi.
and at a cost of Dh 800 million (US$217 million), a record-setting
fountain system was designed by WET
Design, the California-based company responsible for the fountains at the
Hotel Lake in Las Vegas.
Illuminated by 6,600 lights and 50 colored
projectors, it is long and is shooting water into the air,
accompanied by a range of classical to contemporary Arabic and
world music. On 26 October 2008 Emaar announced that based on
results of a naming contest the fountain would be called the Dubai
is being constructed by a South Korean company, Samsung Engineering
& Construction, which also built the Petronas
Twin Towers and the Taipei 101. Samsung Engineering
& Construction is building the tower in a joint venture with
Besix from Belgium and Arabtec from UAE. Turner
Burj Dubai aerial closeup in March
is the Project Manager on
the main construction contract.
The primary structural system of Burj Dubai is reinforced concrete.
Over of concrete, weighing more than were used to construct the
concrete and steel foundation, which features 192 piles buried more
than deep. When completed, Burj Dubai's construction will have used
of concrete and of steel rebar, and construction will have taken 22
As construction of the tower progressed, it became increasingly
difficult to vertically pump the thousands of cubic metres of
concrete that were required. The previous record for pumping
concrete on any project was set during the extension of the Riva
del Garda Hydroelectric Power Plant in Italy in 1994, when concrete
was pumped to a height of . Burj Dubai exceeded this height on 19
August 2007, and as of 8 November 2007 concrete was pumped to a
delivery height of .
In Burj Dubai, concrete was pumped to the 156th floor, while the
remaining structure was built of lighter steel
. Burj Dubai is highly compartmentalised, with
refuge floors built every 30 floors, where people can shelter on
their long walk down to safety in case of an emergency.
Special mixes of concrete are made to withstand the extreme
pressures of the massive building weight; as is typical with
reinforced concrete construction, each batch of concrete used was
tested to ensure it could withstand certain pressures.
The consistency of the concrete used in the project was essential.
difficult to create a concrete that could withstand both the
thousands of tonnes bearing down on it and Persian Gulf temperatures that can reach .
To combat this
problem, the concrete was not poured during the day. Instead, ice
was added to the mixture and it was poured at night when the air is
cooler and the humidity is higher. A cooler concrete mixture cures
evenly throughout and is therefore less likely to set too quickly
and crack. Any significant cracks could have put the entire project
The unique design and engineering challenges of building Burj Dubai
have been featured in a number of television documentaries
, including the Big,
series on the National Geographic
channels, and the Mega
series on the Discovery
The following is a breakdown of floors as noted by
||Hotel, lobby, restaurant
Burj Dubai is being built primarily by immigrants from South Asia.
Press reports indicated in 2006 that skilled carpenter
at the site earned UK£
4.34 a day, and labourers earned
On 21 March 2006, about 2,500 workers upset over buses that were
delayed for the end of their shifts rioted, damaging cars, offices,
computers, and construction equipment. A Dubai Interior Ministry
official said the rioters caused almost UK£500,000 in damage. Most
of the workers involved in the riot returned the following day but
refused to work.
As of 17 June 2008 there are 7,500 skilled workers employed in the
construction of Burj Dubai.
Dubai has been designed to be the centerpiece of a large-scale,
mixed-use development that will include 30,000 homes, nine hotels
such as the Burj Dubai Lake Hotel & Serviced
Apartments, of parkland, at least 19 residential towers, the
Mall, and the man-made Burj Dubai Lake.
building has returned the title of Earth's tallest free-standing
structure to the Middle East—a title not
held by the region since 1311 when Lincoln Cathedral in England surpassed the height of the Great
Pyramid of Giza, which had held the title for almost four millennia.
The decision to build Burj Dubai is reportedly based on the
government's decision to diversify from an oil-based economy to one
that is service- and tourism-oriented. According to officials, it
is necessary for projects like Burj Dubai to be built in the city
to garner more international recognition, and hence investment. "He
wanted to put Dubai on the map with something really sensational,"
said Jacqui Josephson, a tourism and VIP delegations executive at
Progression of the construction of Burj Dubai
1 February 2006
29 August 2006
21 March 2007
File:Burj Dubai 20071204.jpg|
4 December 2007
11 March 2008
File:Burj_Dubai_20081019.jpg|19 October 2008File:2008-10-26
26 October 2008
File:Burj Dubai 20090104.jpg|
4 January 2009
20 March 2009
File:Burj Dubai 29 June 2009.jpg|
29 June 2009
- Dubai skyscraper world's tallest. BBC News. 22 July 2007.
- Cityscape, 18 September 2005. Retrieved on 5 May
- Baldwin, Derek (25 August 2009). A tall order: Burj Dubai all set to come clean.
- Burj Dubai will officially open for the UAE
National Day. Dubai Chronicle. 29 July 2009
- The Burj Dubai: Glass Steel and Stone