You only get to ride halfway to the top of the world's tallest tower in Dubai for your Ł20 ticket, despite the newly opened tourist experience being billed At the Top. Even so, take it. It sure beats the slow climb up the Empire State Building. After an ear-popping 55-second ride, the lift opens onto the 124th-floor viewing platform. From 1400 feet up, you can gaze down in wonder at the hundreds of becalmed tower cranes and the dozens of half-finished buildings.
Buildings that end up in the Guinness Book of Records are standard in the UAE. They come in all shapes and sizes from the world's tallest tower, Emaar's Burj Khalifa in Dubai, to the world's roundest office building, Aldar's circular HQ in Abu Dhabi, and "iconic" is the default description for every major new project.
As part of the Education Without Borders conference's World Forum, held at the Armani Hotel in Dubai recently, Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT) and Pearson, an international company with market-leading businesses in education, business information and consumer publishing, have signed an MoU to further boost science and technology in Pan Arab society.
The architect: George Efstathiou. The building is shaped like a Y, because this is a good model for residential layouts: it allows the maximum amount of perimeter for windows in living spaces and bedrooms. Tall buildings must be very efficient in their planning so that costs can be kept down. The pointed ends of the Y also resemble Islamic archways and there is Islamic patterning in the paving and floor patterns.
"In the meantime, with construction continuing on site, people can now see the superstructure rising above the bridges and roads that surround the Dubai Pearl site which is located at the base of Palm Jumeirah. Dubai Pearl will begin to have a physical impact so everyone driving past the site will be able to follow its construction from now until completion."
The improbably thin shaft of the 828-meter (2,717-foot) Burj Khalifa, a tour de force of architecture and engineering, is a reflective-glass icon ofDubai's triumphant arrival on the world scene. Or it's a towering monument to easy-money hubris. Take your pick. Changing expectations is the perilous fate of architecture that strives to be the biggest, the most lavish, the most significant. Now pundits galore predict the end of spectacle and glitz. The post-crash reality is looking more complex.
It beat off Dubai's Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest building, at a ceremony organised by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH). Broadcasting Place, on Woodhouse Lane, was shortlisted for the award after being voted Europe's best tall building by the CTBUH in June.