The Ninth Wonder of the World: World’s Tallest Skyscraper – The Dubai Tower
First Published: ADawnJournal.com February 7, 2010
For those who are scared of heights, the Dubai Tower, also known as Burj Khalifa, is something they do not want to be anywhere near. Built in Dubai, UAE, the tower is the tallest structure ever built by humans, coming in at 2,717 feet, or 1,000 feet above the previous record holder in Taipei. Construction began in 2004, with it officially opening to the public and businesses in 2010 . Through those six years of work, it took $1.5 billion to build the structure, which has now taken over several records. One interesting piece of information relating to the Dubai Tower is that it has returned the title of the world’s tallest structure to the Middle East after 700 years. Previously, the world’s tallest structure was the Great Pyramid at Giza, which stood as the tallest for 4,000 years until 1311 when it was pushed down the ranking by the Lincoln Cathedral in England.
Some other records this amazing building now holds include:
– Tallest extant structure.
– Tallest freestanding structure.
– Building with the most floors.
– World’s highest elevator installation.
– World’s fastest elevators (40 miles per hour).
– Highest vertical concrete pumping.
– First world’s tallest structure to include residential space.
– Highest outdoor observation deck.
– World’s highest mosque.
– World’s highest installation of an aluminum and glass façade.
– World’s highest swimming pool.
The design of the Dubai Tower was centered on Islamic architecture, with the design of the building incorporating the historical and cultural elements of the region. As well, the Y-shape of the building allows for the building to have a hotel and residential space in it. This is because the shape allows for both outward views that are unobstructed, as well as the maximum available inward natural light. The Y-shape of the building is actually inspired by the Hymenocallis flower. The tower features 27 terraces, with a spire at the top of the building pushing far into the air. The tower was built in order to provide excellent views of the Persian Gulf, and onion domes that are very popular in architecture of the Middle East have also been incorporated.
In order to provide maximum stability for the building, something that many who hate heights will worry about, the building actually twists 120 degrees from its base, giving it almost a cork-screw type of design to maximize strength. Of course, that does not stop swaying. At the top of the tower, there is a sway of about five feet.
In total, the Dubai Tower will hold 35,000 people at any time. There are a total of 57 elevators in the building, as well as eight escalators. Each elevator can carry as many as 14 people, and there were plans to install the first triple-deck elevators on Earth. Instead, double-deck elevators were chosen. If you were to walk from the bottom of the building to the top on the stairs, you would have to walk up 2,909 stairs from the ground floor to the top floor, 160 stories above.
Things are just beginning for the tower and area around it though. There are plans for a large-scale development that will include nine hotels, 30,000 homes, over seven acres of park, 19 residential towers, a mall and a man-made lake that stretches for 30-acres. Dubai is trying to push away from an oil economy and more into a tourist economy, hence the incredible focus on providing luxury to those who visit this wealthy nation.