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Dubai's Burj Khalifa celebrates 10th anniversary

Saman Haziq
Filed on January 4, 2020 | Last updated on January 4, 2020 at 12.05 pm
burj khalifa, celebrate, anniversary, dubai, 10 years

The country marks the 10th anniversary of the skyscraper that has become synonymous with the image of Dubai worldwide.

Heralded as Dubai' crowning achievement, the Burj Khalifa, which is the world's tallest building, changed the skyline of the city forever, adding to its growth and grandeur. With great pride, the country marks the 10th anniversary of the skyscraper that has become synonymous with the image of Dubai worldwide.

Twice as tall as the Empire State Building and three times as tall as the Eiffel Tower, the Burj Khalifa opened its doors to the public on Januray 4, 2010, and has till date known to be the most popular attraction in the city that is frequented by thousands of excited tourists every day and can be seen from as far as 92km. Since completion, the iconic structure has become the centerpiece of the city, housing the ultra-luxurious Armani Hotel, residential units, restaurants and bars, as well as the At the Top Burj Khalifa SKY experience, taking visitors to the 148th floor for jaw-dropping views of Dubai.

Another fact that will leave you scratching your head is that apparently the building is so high that one can watch two sunsets from it. One from the base of the building, and the other from the top of the 828-metre high tower. In fact, it is said that if anyone observing the Ramadan fast is present at the top of the Burj Khalifa, then he or she will have to fast longer during the holy month because of the time difference, which is said to be about three minutes between the time of the sunset on the ground and the sunset on the top.

The tower was inaugurated on January 4, 2010, to coincide with the fourth anniversary of the Accession Day of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE, as the Ruler of Dubai and its inauguration was fraught with surprises ranging from its height to its name.

While the exact height was not disclosed till the inauguration, what came as a bigger surprise was the last minute rebranding of Burj Dubai to Burj Khalifa. The tower, which had all along been referred to as Burj Dubai was renamed the Burj Khalifa, in honour of the President, His Highness Sheik Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

Gearing up to mark the tenth anniversary of the cloud-piercing landmark of Dubai, the Burj Khalifa will be putting out massive celebrations with three special LED light shows today at 7pm, 8pm and 9pm. Adding to the festivities, we hear there will be gifts distributed to visitors to At the Top, the Burj Khalifa's observation deck, and The Dubai Mall. There will also be some celebrations at The Dubai Fountain Boardwalk with plenty of other surprises that visitors can take part in.

Fun facts

The highest post office - A post office corner was opened at the 125th floor of the Burj Khalifa to mark the sixth year of the opening of the iconic tower. Here, visitors can drop postcards at the world's highest mailbox at 555 metres above sea level.

It was prominently featured as a location in the 4th Mission Impossible film, Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol. For the role of Ethan Hunt, actor Tom Cruise did his own stunts, including rappelling down, running on, climbing, and "flying" around on a rope. Cruise almost got injured slamming into the side of the building while moving around in his harness.

Aside from holding the world record for being the tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa holds six other world records - the tallest freestanding structure in the world, the highest number of stories, the highest occupied floor, the highest outdoor observation deck, the elevator with longest travel distance and the tallest service elevator.

One of the most mind-blowing Burj Khalifa facts is how much the materials weigh.

The weight of the concrete is equivalent to 100,000 elephants. The total weight of aluminium used on the Burj Khalifa is equivalent to that of five A380 aircraft.

Sustainability and reuse of resources: Every year, 15 million gallons of water are collected sustainably. The water is used to water the landscaping and plants, for the cooling system and to supply the Dubai Fountain.

One of the lesser known and more interesting facts about Burj Khalifa is that the tip of the sphere of the Burj Khalifa can be seen from up to 95 kilometres away.

Burj Khalifa elevator travels at a speed of 10 metres per second. Its elevator goes from the ground floor to the obversation deck on the 124thfloor in just one minute.

Facts about the tallest building

. The tower was inaugurated on January 4, 2010

. At 828 metres (2,716.5ft), the 200 plus storey Burj Khalifa has 160 habitable levels, the most of any building in the world.

. The building was originally named Burj Dubai but was renamed in honour of the President, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

. The design was inspired by the Hymenocallis flower and it took six years to construct it.

. The Burj Khalifa utilised a record-breaking 330,000 cubic metres of concrete, 39,000 tonnes of steel reinforcement, 103,000 square metres of glass, and 15,500 square metres of embossed stainless steel.

. The tower took 22 million man hours to build.

. Over 1,000 pieces of art by prominent international and Middle Eastern artists adorn the interiors of the Burj Khalifa and the surrounding Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard.

saman@khaleejtimes.com 


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