The naming of the world's tallest building after President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan was a great gesture. This act by His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, during the spectacular opening ceremony on January 4 can only be described as blessed.
We covered the grand opening ceremony of Dubai’s Burj Khalifa Tower, formerly called Burj Dubai. But amidst all the fireworks and fanfare, does this 818 meter high monument to human engineering achievement represent any innovations towards combating global warming, climate change, or other environmental breakthough – or is it simplyanother “Tower of Babel,” constructed by misguided human beings still trying to build us a city and a tower with its top in heaven?
Dubai defies logic. Skyscrapers rear up out of the pitiless desert where, a generation ago, there was only wind-blown litter. This city-state confected from subsistence has now witnessed the opening of the world's tallest building – the Burj Khalifa, steel-ribbed, glass-clad and completely unsustainable.
More than 2 billion people are estimated to have seen the glittering, colorful ceremony that marked the opening of the world’s tallest building in Dubai on January 4. The height of the building, which was renamed Burj Khalifa during the inauguration by Dubai’s ruler Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid al-Maktoum, was revealed to be 828 meters.
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.
High-flying businessmen will be able to host their board meetings on the uppermost floors of the Burj Khalifa when the commercial space opens this year. Emaar Properties has reserved 10 per cent of the space in the tower for its own use, including three floors at the top that it will rent out for events and meetings, the chairman Mohamed Alabbar said last week.
The public in the UAE can attend the opening of Burj Dubai on Monday, the fourth anniversary of the accession of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum as Ruler of Dubai.
There was still no mention of the Burj Khalifa moniker in the vicinity of the tower two days after its historic opening. Emaar Properties, which spent US$1.5 billion (Dh5.51bn) on the structure, had yet to make a statement on the name change or its implications, nor had the Roads and Transport Authority announced whether the Burj Dubai Metro station would have its name changed.
Burj Dubai, the world's tallest building by Emaar Properties, will receive its first residents as early as February 2010. They will be the first of over 12,000 people who will live and work in the mixed-use tower comprising luxurious apartments, prime office space and the world's first Armani Hotel, amongst other modern lifestyle amenities.