By Bradley Hope www.thenational.ae
ABU DHABI // The Burj Khalifa has a towering fascination with the number 8. Not only does it rise 828 metres high, but it was also officially inaugurated at 8pm on Jan 4, 2010. When the date is viewed as 01/04/2010, the digits add up to 8. Even the original sales prices ended with 888.
At first glance, this would appear a superficial analysis, but a closer look at the Burj Khalifa will reveal the number 8 deliberately woven throughout the tower, including the phone numbers.
The number 8 is important in the ancient Chinese system of aesthetics known as feng shui, which seeks to improve quality of life through design and balance. The developer behind Burj Khalifa, Emaar Properties, is known as a strong proponent of the system.
Adrian Smith, the designer of the tower, confirmed that feng shui played a role in early discussions.
“[Emaar] brought in a feng shui expert to look at the tower when it was being designed,” Mr Smith said last week.
“It’s also a lucky number in Chinese culture. It brings good fortune. So at one point we were shooting for 808 metres, then 818, then finally 828.”
The Chinese organisers of the 2008 Summer Olympics set the opening ceremony for 8:08pm on August 8 to imbue the events with prosperity.
In feng shui, the number 8 represents “money and success”, said Priya Khanna, the founder of Elements Feng Shui General Trading in Dubai.
“That’s why you see the building is 828 metres high,” Ms Khanna said. “It is a very auspicious and lucky number.”
The entire development surrounding Burj Khalifa also incorporates feng shui, from the fountains to the way the buildings are arranged in relation to each other, she said.
Ms Khanna added that Emaar had become one of the biggest promoters of feng shui in Dubai through its developments.
Emirates Towers and Dubai Media City also utilise elements of feng shui, she said.
“You will also see the telephone numbers in the Burj Khalifa will incorporate lots of 8s. This is because it is significant for the energy of success and money.”