Fino International managing partner Talal Saeed describes fitting out the Armani Hotel and the private offices of Emaar as "enlightening". Working on the interior fitout of the Burj Khalifa was both "enlightening" and "surprising," according to Talal Saeed, managing partner of Fino International. The four year old, Dubai-based interiors specialist was appointed to work on three separate areas of the world's tallest building.
On Jan. 4, the new decade's first day of business, grand openings of two extraordinary real estate projects were widely reported: the $8.5 billion, 18.5 million square-foot City Center complex in Las Vegas; and the $1.5 billion Burj Khalifa in Dubai, the world's tallest skyscraper, standing more than a half-mile high on the east coast of the Arabian peninsula. Media commentators noted that both celebrations seemed like punctuation marks signaling the end of a decade of real estate investment excess and architectural extravagance.
While thousands braved traffic and crowds to catch a glimpse of the opening ceremony of the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world, Karim Al Bassatne simply walked to the balcony of his three-and-a-half-bedroom apartment in Burj Residences to witness history in the making. He even invited some friends over, giving them all a moment to remember for the rest of their lives.
Jesse Downs, director of research and advisory services at Landmark Advisory says, "Lower-limit rents for high-end units in Downtown Burj have increased by 13 per cent." Meanwhile Landmark's latest report found that prices for one- and two-bedroom units in the Downtown Burj area increased by about 5 per cent (lower limit) between July and December.
Burj Khalifa is a source of pride for Dubai and the UAE, said a huge majority (90 per cent) of respondents in an online survey. Of the 811 UAE residents who took part in YouGov Siraj's online Omnibus survey, 61 per cent said they watched the inauguration of the Burj Khalifa.
In the first three days after Dubai opened the tallest building in the world, about 10,600 people paid a total of more than $280,000 to ride an elevator to the observation deck on the 124th floor. Outside, day after day, revelers jockeyed for position to be photographed standing before the shimmering tower that reaches 2,717 feet straight up into the steely blue sky.
When the 818-metre Burj Khalifa tower, the world’s tallest building, opened for occupancy with lots of fanfare on January 4, it was proclaimed to be a crowning achievement of the emirate of Dubai, with its bold plans to establish itself as a regional trade and services hub. The $4 billion tower included an Armani hotel, an observation deck, homes, offices and more, and was nothing less than “a symbol of Dubai’s can-do spirit,” according to the building’s owner, state-owned Emaar Properties.
Building towers is risky business. In fact, the very dynamics of the architecture of towers and their historical symbolism suggest acts of defiance. Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, now the world’s tallest building, takes the act of rebellion against physical limitations to new levels — literally. Over 100 storeys, it boasts the world’s highest swimming pool and perhaps as expiation also the world’s highest mosque. Its golf course requires over four million gallons of water a day. Last week, amid much fanfare, the legendary tower finally threw open its majestic doors to the public.
Emaar Properties is still finalising the rebranding process of the Burj Khalifa and will shortly announce whether there will be a new name for the Downtown Burj Dubai area, the developer told Arabian Business on Tuesday. “Sheikh Khalifa is one of the UAE’s symbols,” said Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman of Dubai’s Supreme Fiscal Committee and an uncle of Dubai’s ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.