The Burj Dubai (Arabic: برج دبي "Dubai Tower") is a supertall skyscraper currently under construction in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. When Burj Dubai is completed in late 2008, it is predicted to be the tallest man-made structure in the world. Scheduled for occupancy in September 2009, the building is part of a 2 km² (0.8 sq mi) development called 'Downtown Dubai' and is located at the "First Interchange" along Sheikh Zayed Road at Doha Street.
Construction began on September 21, 2004. The total budget for the Burj Dubai project is about $4.1 billion US and for the entire new 'Downtown Dubai', $20 billion US.
As of 27 December 2007, Burj Dubai has reached a height of 598.5 m (1,964 ft), with 158 completed floors.
Currently it holds the unofficial records for:
- Tallest freestanding structure: 598.5 meters (1,964 ft) (previously CN Tower - 553.3 m (1,815 ft))
- Building with most floors: 158 (previously Sears Tower / World Trade Center - 110)
- Vertical concrete pumping (for a building): 601.0 m (1,972 ft) (previously Taipei 101 - 449.2 m (1,474 ft))
- Vertical concrete pumping (for any construction): 601.0 m (1,972 ft) (previously Riva del Garda Hydroelectric Power Plant - 532 m (1,745 ft)
Burj Dubai's last two milestones will be to surpass the 628.8 m (2,063 ft) height of the KVLY-TV Mast in North Dakota, United States to become the world's tallest structure and to pass the Warsaw radio mast in Gąbin, Poland (646.4 m (2,121 ft) until it collapsed in 1991) to become the world's tallest structure of any type ever built.
The projected final height of Burj Dubai is officially being kept a secret due to competition from other buildings under construction or proposed; however, figures released by a contractor on the project have suggested a height of around 818 m (2,684 ft). Based on this height, the total number of habitable floors is expected to be around 160. However, when pressed for a more precise figure, the project manager merely repeated that he was able only to guarantee that the final height would be higher than 700 m (2,297 ft).
Burj Dubai has been designed to be the centerpiece of a large-scale, mixed-use development that will include 30,000 homes, nine hotels such as the Burj Dubai Lake Hotel & Serviced Apartments, 0.03 km² (0.01 sq mi) of parkland, at least 19 residential towers, the Dubai Mall, and the 0.12 km² (0.05 sq mi) man-made Burj Dubai Lake. Burj Dubai will cost US$ 800 million to build and the entire 2 km² (0.77 sq mi) development will cost around US$ 20 billion.
The silvery glass-sheathed concrete building will give the title of Earth's tallest free-standing structure to the Middle East — a title not held by the region since 1311 AD when Lincoln Cathedral in England surpassed the height of the Great Pyramid of Giza, which had held the title for almost four millennia.
The tower is being constructed by a South Korean company, Samsung Engineering & Construction which also built the Petronas Twin Towers and the Taipei 101. The tower is designed by Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, who also designed the Sears Tower in Chicago and the Freedom Tower in New York City, among numerous other famous high-rises. The building resembles the bundled tube form of the Sears Tower, but is not a tube structure. The design of Burj Dubai is reminiscent of the Frank Lloyd Wright vision for The Illinois, a mile high skyscraper designed for Chicago, Illinois. Burj Dubai is expected to rise to 150% of the height of the Sears Tower. Emaar has also engaged GHD, an international multidisciplinary consulting firm, to assist with the design, review and assessment involved in the construction process.
Engineers rotated the building 120 degrees from its original layout to reduce stress from prevailing winds. Over 45,000 m³ (58,900 cu yd) of concrete, weighing more than 110,000 tonnes (121,000 ST/108,000 LT) were used to construct the concrete and steel foundation, which features 192 piles buried more than 50 m (164 ft) deep.
The design of Burj Dubai is ostensibly derived from the patterning systems embodied in Islamic architecture, with the triple-lobed footprint of the building based on an abstracted version of the desert flower hymenocallis native to the region. 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. At the top, the central core emerges and is sculpted to form a finishing spire. A Y-shaped floor plan maximizes views of the Persian Gulf. Viewed from above or from the base, the form also evokes the onion domes of Islamic architecture.
An Armani Hotel (the first of its kind) will occupy the lower 37 floors. Floors 45 through 108 will have 700 private apartments on 64 floors (which, according to the developer, sold out within eight hours of going on sale). Corporate offices and suites will fill most of the remaining floors, except for a 123rd floor lobby and 124th floor (about 440 metres (1,444 ft)) indoor/outdoor observation deck. The spire will also hold communications equipment. An outdoor zero-entry swimming pool will be located on the 78th floor of the tower.
It will also feature the world's fastest elevator, rising and descending at 18 m/s (40 mph). The world's current fastest elevator (in the Taipei 101) travels at 16.83 m/s (37.6 mph). Engineers had considered installing the world's first triple-decker elevators, but the final design calls for double-deck elevators. A total of 56 elevators will be installed that can carry 42 people at a time. It is scheduled for occupancy by September 2009.
(Information comes courtesy of the Wikipedia amongst other sources.)