Burj Dubai
Burj Dubai

It seems that the Emirate state of Dubai is continuing to construct projects that are not only grand but totally unique as well.

Not only do they have world’s first indoor snow ski slope, the world’s most modern and advanced airport, and most luxurious hotel The Dubai Atlantis (with “Bridge” suites going for $25,000 per night), Dubai now can boast the world’s tallest building the 2,684 foot Burj Dubai Tower (pictured left).

Not only is this unique building special for its architectural design (it was built in sections over a 4 and half year period, beginning in September, 2004), it was constructed to withstand the extreme temperature ranges of this Persian Gulf city-state, where external temperatures during the summer can average more than 50 degrees C (122 degrees F).

Although only a portion of the building is actually composed of either offices or residential properties, that portion alone is higher than what used to be known as the Sears Towers in the American city of Chicago.

The building has been specially designed to withstand both moderate earthquake tremors as well as wind resistance to its upper portions. Even so, the top portions of the more than half a mile high edifice have a wind sway of 1.2 meter or 3.9 ft. (And previous reports we’ve covered suggest that no serious environmental impact assessments have been done prior to undertaking these massive land-altering construction projects.)

One might wonder why such a building was built, especially since office suites in the tower go for $4,000 a sq. ft. and residential apartments for a mere $3,500 a sq. ft. But this is just part of the entire scope of this location, which is trying to be the most modern and unique in the world.

The Burj Dubai Tower is part of a 2 sq. km, $20 billion project in the center of Dubai which includes an entertainment complex, a man-made lake, and numerous parks and fountains. The tower will only be ready for occupancy sometime in 2011, if all goes well. The construction has been beset with problems due to hiring foreign construction labor at ridiculously low wages, including skilled carpenters and other craftsmen at $7.60 a day and laborers for only $4 a day! Most of these come from very poor countries such as India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh.

The environment ramifications of such a project have also sparked a bit of controversy, as the entire Dubai construction boom, including the artificial Palm Islands has become a matter of concern for those involved in preserving the ecological future of the Persian Gulf shoreline. The current world economic crises has also had a great effect on the possible future of this project, as well as others, and real estate values have already started to decline.

The purpose of building such a grand structure in the first place was made when economic times were much better, and planners wanted to use it to help draw attention to Dubai as a leader in world trade, business services and tourism. The big concern now is whether the current low price of crude oil, together with a growing world trade slump not seen in years will have a serious effect on the future of Burj Dubai, as well as other luxurious building projects.

More environment news on Dubai:
Dubai’s Wind-Powered Skyscraper Is Energy In Motion
Environmental Survey of Dubai and the United Arab Emirates
UAE Green Tax Needed Now
Mega Urban Developments in Middle East Disasters Waiting to Happen

Mar 21st, 2009 by Maurice Picow www.greenprophet.com