Burj Khalifa also known as Burj Dubai before its inauguration, is a skyscraper in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. It is the tallest man-made structure in the world, standing at 829.8 m (2,722 ft) Development Construction began on 6 January 2004, with the exterior of the structure completed on 1 October 2009. The building officially opened on 4 January 2010, and is part of the new 2 km2 (490-acre) development called Downtown Dubai at the ‘First Interchange’ along Sheikh Zayed Road, near Dubai’s main business district. The tower’s architecture and engineering were performed by Skidmore, Owings and Merrill of Chicago, with Adrian Smith as chief architect, and Bill Baker as chief structural engineer. The primary contractor was Samsung C&T of South Korea. The tower’s construction was done by the construction division of Al Ghurair Investment group.
Conception Burj Khalifa was designed to be the centerpiece of a large-scale, mixed-use development that would include 30,000 homes, nine hotels (including The Address Downtown Dubai), 3 hectares (7.4 acres) of parkland, at least 19 residential towers, the Dubai Mall, and the 12-hectare (30-acre) man-made Burj Khalifa Lake. The decision to build Burj Khalifa is reportedly based on the government’s decision to diversify from an oil based economy to one that is service and tourism based. According to officials, it is necessary for projects like Burj Khalifa to be built in the city to garner more international recognition, and hence investment. “He (Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum) wanted to put Dubai on the map with something really sensational,” said Jacqui Josephson, a tourism and VIP delegations executive at Nakheel Properties. The tower was known as Burj Dubai (“Dubai Tower”) until its official opening in January 2010. History of height increases There are unconfirmed reports of several planned height increases since its inception. Originally proposed as a virtual clone of the 560 m (1,837 ft) Grollo Tower proposal for Melbourne, Australia’s Docklands waterfront development, the tower was redesigned by Skidmore, Owings and Merrill (SOM). Marshall Strabala, an SOM architect who worked on the project until 2006, in late 2008 said that Burj Khalifa was designed to be 808 m (2,651 ft) tall. 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 current 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 Delay Emaar Properties announced on 9 June 2008 that construction of Burj Khalifa was delayed by upgraded finishes and would 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 was then announced. However, Burj Khalifa was opened on 4 January 2010, more than a month later. Interesting Facts about the Burj Khalifa 1. Standing an impressive 828 meters tall and consisting of 164 floors, this building is an impressive sight. 2. This beautiful building cost a total of 1.5 billion dollars at its completion and was part of a 20 billion dollar reconstruction project for Dubai. 3. The name was changed from Burj Dubai to Burj Khalifa to honor Sheik Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan in recognition of his contribution of 10 billion dollars to Dubai. 4. The first ever Armani hotel occupies 160 rooms and 144 private residences for sale. Many times this luxury hotel may be compared with the sumptuous Burj Al Arab hotel. 5. The building was designed by Skidmore, Owings and Merrill of Chicago, IL. 6. There were 12,000 workers employed during construction and three died while working on the structure. 7. One of the little-known interesting Burj Khalifa facts is that the condensation from the AC Unit for one year is enough to fill twenty Olympic size swimming pools which is recycled and used to irrigate the landscaping. 8. The tower sits on a man-made lake which wraps around the building and offers dramatic and breathtaking views of the building. 9. For the 1st time since prehistoric times the “world’s tallest building” includes residential space. 10. One of the most interesting Burj Khalifa facts is that the triple lobed footprint of the building is based on a desert flower from the region, called the Hymenocallis.