As Burj Khalifa completes its first 10 days of operation since its inauguration, the 'Burj effect' continues to benefit surrounding hotels that have capitalised on the iconic tower's brand value in recent days.
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.
With a year that saw some hospitality heavyweights facing construction delays, tight financing and cancelled projects, 2010 is ushering in renewed hope to the industry. Burj Khalifa's Armani Hotel, which opens on March 18, is one of the many iconic hotel properties in the UAE that will stretch the vertical limits of the country, changing its landscape to embrace the hotels market with flair and investments.
Imagine the scene: we’re amid one of the worst recessions the world has ever seen. We’ve just crossed into a new decade and are clutching at the very short straws of hope that things might get better in 2010. Four days in, the world’s tallest building opens in our home town. It meets its third deadline and has been constructed in just five years, with one fatality and 23 million hours of labour completed without injury. Its true height is kept secret right until the launch, and is 10 metres higher than everyone thought. Its new name is announced right at the last minute.
Hyder Consulting has denied claims that the Burj Khlaifa could be a ‘storm machine’, despite recent speculation. Last month, CWO reported that various architectural blogs have claimed that the temperature at the pinnacle of the Burj Khalifa is eight degrees lower than at the base, which could ultimately lead to the collapse of the building.
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.
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?
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.
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.