Dubai Tower – A Symbol of What?


Construction of the tallest building in the world that began in Jan. of 2004 was finally completed after six long years and $1.5 billion in development and construction. The Burj Dubai, standing at 2,717 feet tall amidst the deserts of Dubai is now undergoing final preparations for its unveiling.

Building the Burj Dubai was no easy task. Excavation and piling of materials took until April 2005, and in May of that year the building of the superstructure went underway. In thirteen months, the tower had reached fifty levels.

This high-reaching building has 1,210 fire extinguishers on site, and its elevators have the longest travel distance from top to bottom in the world. The concrete used to build the Burj Dubai amasses to the weight of 100,000 elephants, and the tower spires can be seen from 95 kilometers away.

In the eyes of most, such a mammoth structure would be a sign of Dubai’s power and wealth, when in reality it is a symbol of the UAE’s financial irresponsibility. During construction of the Burj Dubai, the nation found itself in debt and was thankfully bailed out by the neighboring nation of Abu Dubai.

Mere weeks before the skyscraper’s premiere, Dubai thanked its oil-rich neighbor by renaming the Burj Dubai after Sheik Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who serves as the president of the United Arab Emirates.

The Burj Khalifa, while a magnificent structure, is not a necessity for previously wealthy Dubai. In the country’s economic recession most buildings in the city are empty, which brings to light Dubai’s severe lack of priorities.

The current global economic meltdown began to effect Dubai at the rapid fall of oil prices, so perhaps they have not gotten the message that frugality “is the new pink.”  Disregarding the possibility that Dubai could simply be behind on the times, there is no excuse to spend over a billion dollars on a revolving tower in the middle of the desert.

While people may call it purposeless, the building is stronger than the glass panels appear. Greg Sang, director of projects for Emaar was quoted, “It’s a lot more robust, a plane won’t be able to slice through the Burj like it did through the steel columns of the World Trade center.”

Though most of the world is criticizing Dubai officials on their priorities and spending, planners and designers of the Burj Khalifa are optimistic, saying that they and the rest of Dubai are trying to focus on the future instead of their past mistakes.


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