Burj Dubai: the view from the top of the world
The tallest tower in the world, Burj Dubai, opened its doors to the media for a sneak preview this morning, as developers continued to be tight lipped about the final height of the building.
''It will be announced tonight. It will be quite a figure,'' said Mohamed Alabbar, Emaar's chairman, who met with journalists from all over the world on the 124th floor of the towering structure.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, the Vice President of the UAE and the Ruler of Dubai will announce the final height and number of floors at the official inauguration of the building tonight. The building has more than 165 floors that would be inhabited by residents, he said.
Describing Burj Dubai as the ''icon of the Arab world'' Mr Alabbar said:'' It is the continuation of the celebration of human achievement.''
The management said they expect a tourist tourist turnout of nealy 300 people an hour, once the tower is opened to the public.
Responding to questions about opening of the tower amid a world economic crises, he said that it was time to be be positive and move on.
It has been more than five years in the making and has tested the limits of architecture. From tonight, after a show of fireworks, lights and water displays, the Burj Dubai, the tallest building in the world, will be open.
Sheikh Mohammed will inaugurate the tower, which at more than 800 metres and at least 160 floors high has come to symbolise the emirate's rapid development and ambition.
The ceremony also marks the fourth anniversary of Sheikh Mohammed's accession as Ruler. A large-scale traditional Emirati festival has been organised to mark the occasion.
Last night, the final touches for the launch were being added as workers cleaned the areas around the tower. Roads leading to the building were tidied up and sign boards put up to guide guests to the venue.
Burj Dubai's developer, Emaar Properties, promised that the show, which starts at 8pm, would be ''a breathtaking sensory journey'', combining fireworks, light beams, choreographed water displays and sound and music effects, illustrating the creation of the building.
Six thousand officially invited guests are expected to attend, while thousands more will be able to watch from various vantage points around the city.
''Burj Dubai touches everyone in Dubai and the UAE, as well as the millions of people who visit this city and country every year,'' said Mohamed Alabbar, the chairman of Emaar Properties.
''The inauguration of Burj Dubai is therefore an occasion for the people, a celebration of their achievements.''
A giant screen has been placed on Burj Park Island, a 29,000 square metre park set on the Burj Dubai Lake, and several television screens have been set up across Downtown Burj Dubai, including at the Waterfront Promenade, so that people may view the inauguration in real time.
Hundreds of international journalists are expected to report live from the scene.
Temperatures of up to 24°C are expected, although it will be as much as 6°C cooler at the top of the tower than at the bottom.
Organisers said 868 high-powered stroboscope lights had been integrated into the façade and the tower's spire.
Each stroboscope will be fired individually to create hypnotic lighting sequences.
Tonight's performance will begin with a short film depicting the story of Dubai and the tower.
A precisely choreographed sound, light, water and fireworks display will follow.
Ahmad al Matrooshi, managing director of Emaar Properties, said ''the performance ... will be a memory to cherish.''
The tower's opening concludes six years of work by thousands of labourers and engineers who put together the tallest man-made, free standing structure in the world.
The tower is expected to eventually house more than 12,000 people.Monday, January 4, 2010