The world’s tallest tower, developed by Emaar Properties, was unveiled to a crowd of thousands and the world in a crescendo of fireworks, lasers and fountain displays.
The official height of the tower, unveiled as ‘Burj Khalifa’, was announced as 828 metres (2,716.5 ft).
A closely guarded secret, the official height of Burj Khalifa was flashed onto a giant screen before an estimated crowd of more than 400,000, as lasers and fireworks lit up the night sky.
Fireworks cascaded from the tower’s spire to the base and lasers blazed out from all levels leaving the crowds awestruck.
The height was disclosed in arithmetic progression, with the numbers being flashed onto the screen, one after another. The tower’s height breaks all existing world records for tall buildings.
Burj Khalifa is the tallest building in the world according to the three main criteria of the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH). The CTBUH ranks the world’s tallest buildings based on ‘Height to Architectural Top,’ ‘Height to Highest Occupied Floor’ and ‘Height to Tip.’
At 828 metres (2,716.5ft), Burj Khalifa is 320 metres taller than Taipei 101, which at 508 metres (1,667 ft) had held the record for the world’s tallest building measured to the architectural top since 2004, the year the project was announced.
Burj Khalifa achieved the distinction of being the world’s tallest structure – surpassing the KVLY-TV mast (628.8 metres; 2,063 ft) in North Dakota , USA – 1,325 days after excavation work started in January 2004.
The tower also beats the 31-year-old record of CN Tower, which at 553.33 metres (1,815.5 ft) had been the world’s tallest free-standing structure on land since 1976.
Burj Khalifa employs a record-breaking 330,000 cubic metres of concrete, 39,000 metric tonnes of steel re-bar and 142,000 square meters of glass; and it took 22 million man hours to build.
Other world records for Burj Khalifa include the highest occupied floor in the world, at over 550 meters (1,800 ft); the highest outdoor observation deck in the world – At the Top on Level 124; and the tallest service elevator, which travels to a height of 504 meters (1,654 ft).
Mr. Mohamed Alabbar, Chairman, Emaar Properties, said that with the unveiling of the final height of Burj Khalifa, the world now had a new reference point for high-rise developments.
“Burj Khalifa is an example of collaboration on a global scale, and the tremendous positive energy that can be generated when people from all over the world come together to work towards a common goal. Thousands of professionals and skilled workers from around the world worked on this once-in-a-lifetime project.”
“More than 60 of the world’s leading consultants including South Korea ’s Samsung Corporation and New York-based Turner Construction International realized the design for Burj Khalifa of Chicago-based Skid-more, Owings and Merrill (SOM),” he said.
Burj Khalifa employed the latest advances in wind engineering, structural engineering, structural systems, construction materials and methods. All design considerations took into account the 12,000 people who will live and work in the tower. The handover to residents of the various components of Burj Khalifa will begin in February.
With a total built-up area of about 6 million sq ft, Burj Khalifa features nearly 2 million sq ft of residential space and over 300,000 sq ft of prime office space, in addition to the area occupied by the keenly awaited Armani Hotel Dubai and the Armani Residences. The tower also features modern lifestyle amenities including clubs, health and fitness facilities, gourmet restaurants and the 124th floor observation deck, ‘At the Top.’
Burj Khalifa is the focal point of the 500-acre ‘mega-project’ by Emaar Properties, described as the new heart of Dubai .
Fireworks marked at Burj Khalifa inauguration:
The inauguration of Burj Khalifa , the world’s tallest building, developed by Emaar Properties, feature a spectacular display of sound, light, water and fireworks on the evening of Jan 4, 2010.
A combination of dazzling fireworks, light beams, choreographed water displays, and sound & music effects will describe the evolution of the world’s most iconic new building in a breathtaking sensory journey.
In all, 868 high-powered ‘stroboscope’ lights will be integrated into the facade of Burj Khalifa and the tower’s spire – and each stroboscope will be fired individually to create a series of hypnotic lighting sequences.
The entire display is controlled by a sophisticated arrangement of ultra high-tech IT systems, which choreograph at least 50 different sequences of lighting, fireworks, water and sound effects.
Event experts from France , Britain and the United States collaborated on the project, demonstrating the global spirit of teamwork which defines Burj Khalifa itself.
Powerful strobe lights will be fixed near the pinnacle of the tower, and six ‘narrow beam’ search lights will be positioned 700 metres up the tower.
The entire inauguration show consists of a pre-show and three themed acts – From the Desert Flower to Burj Khalifa , Heart Beat, and From Dubai & the UAE to the World – and a firework finale.
A giant screen on Burj Park Island, as well as several television screens placed across Downtown Burj Khalifa including the Waterfront Promenade, will broadcast the inauguration in real-time. Hundreds of international media, including Dubai TV, report live from the scene.
The public watched at the inauguration ceremony from the Waterfront Promenade adjacent to The Dubai Mall.
The inauguration performance begins with a short film which depicts the story of Dubai and the evolution of Burj Khalifa as the world’s tallest building. A precisely choreographed sound, light, water and fireworks display then follows.
The first act in the light & sound show, themed ‘From the Desert Flower to Burj Khalifa ,’ is a co-ordinated water, light and firework display. Guests can watch the unfolding of the desert lily, Hymenocallis, the design inspiration of Burj Khalifa . The segment ends with a rhythmic water and fireworks show.
The second act, ‘Heart Beat,’ captures the construction of the tower in a dynamic light show. An astonishing example of technological innovation, the display recreates the effect of a beating heart and uses no fewer than 300 ‘space canon projectors’ to generate a shadow-like image of the tower.
In the third act, ‘From Dubai and the UAE to the World,’ sky tracers and space canons envelop the tower in a strong halo of white light before reproducing the sun beams of the Emaar corporate logo. These then expand in all directions as the lighting rig on the tower’s spire activates.
In its spectacular finale, the show featured an impressive show of 10,000 firework effects on and from the tower, envisaged as the highest in the world. The sparkling display illuminated the entire Downtown Burj Khalifa area.
Ahmad Al Matrooshi, Managing Director, UAE, Emaar Properties, said that the performance would be unprecedented and symbolic of Burj Khalifa ’s pioneering status.
“Just as Burj Khalifa leaves an indelible impression on the mind’s eye, so the performance dedicated to the tower’s inauguration on January 4 was a memory to cherish.”
Standing at more than 800 metres (2,625 ft) high and with over 160 storeys, Burj Khalifa is the world’s tallest building developed by Emaar Properties. The tower anchors the 500-acre Downtown Burj Khalifa community, described as the new heart of the city.
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