By Aarti Nagraj www.kippreport.com
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 ceremony included a massive display of sound, light and water and was put together by experts from France, Britain and the US, according to developer Emaar Properties. The company says 868 high-powered ’stroboscope’ lights were integrated into the facade of Burj Khalifa to create the light effects. The highlight of the event, however, was a spectacular firework display that used 10,000 pyrotechnic devices and left onlookers dazzled.
Excitement in the build-up to the event was obvious; international and local media couldn’t talk about it enough, and a huge number of Dubai residents witnessed the opening. Some gathered at friends’ houses in the surrounding area to watch, while others watched from nearby roads. And, thanks to a live TV broadcast, those who couldn’t be there – and those who couldn’t face the traffic – were able to enjoy the show from home.
The majority of our poll respondents (around 53 percent) admitted to sharing in the excitement of the tower’s opening. The building, which cost $1.5 billion to build and was worked on by approximately 12,000 people, has been in the making for five years, and many believe that the grand opening was a powerful symbol of Dubai’s emergence from the economic slowdown.
The buzz surrounding the event was not enough to convince a large number of our respondents, however; around 32 percent were left wondering if the opening of the tower was indeed worth all the excitement.
And 15 percent were certain it wasn’t; they refused to be bitten by the Burj Khalifa bug, telling Kipp, “It’s just a building.”