After almost five years of construction, the world's tallest building - the Burj Dubai, was finally declared opened amidst much fanfare today. In his opening ceremony speech, Dubai'sruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, not only revealed its final height, but also, its new name.
Soaring at an astonishing height of 828m (2,717ft.), the Burj Khalifa as it is now called, is an impressive 1,046 ft. taller than Taiwan's, Taipei 101, the world's highest occupied building and 654 ft. higher than the tallest man-made structure, the KVLY television tower in North Dakota.
The $1.5 billion USD structure has a total of 200 floors, which will house residential apartments, commercial offices and a beautiful hotel. A gym and an indoor and outdoor pool occupy the 122nd floor, while the 143rd floor will be home to world's 'highest' nightclub.
Visitors wishing to see a panoramic view of the beautiful city of Dubai can zoom up an elevator, that zips up at an amazing speed of 30 feet a second, to the 124th floor, which houses a viewing platform and a gift shop.
As with everything in Dubai, the souvenirs here are a little over-the top. Even the water comes in a bottle that has a picture of the building and its name embossed in diamante, and costs a mere 299 dirhams or about $75 USD!
Now that this 'engineering miracle' is complete, the developers will have to face the next challenge - maintenance. While this may sound simple, it will be interesting to see how they keep the windows clean, supply the more than 250,000 gallons of water that will be needed daily and, . . . . . the biggest challenge of all - Who will be brave enough to change the light bulb that sits at the tippy-top tower of the building to alert airplanes of the Burj Khalifa's height?
To read more about this amazing building, check out its website at www.burjdubai.com.