Dubai is not one of the states in the Middle East with vast oil reserves. Its prosperity required diversification and that had to be man made; nothing comes much larger than the Burj Khalifa, the tallest skyscraper in the world at 829.8 meters.
It is just one of the projects that the Government has developed to attract overseas visitors. Dubai is known for its horse racing even though gambling is forbidden and its extremely rich end of the season Professional Golf Tournament.
Shoppers flock to Dubai for many fashions, precious metals, especially gold and the latest technology while the Burj AI Arab Hotel has stood for many years as the ultimate of hotels. Burj Khalifa certainly adds to Dubai’s appeal. Dubai has a very modern airport and its airline, Emirates, is amongst the most popular in the world.
Dubai is part of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the building was named after the ruler of another of the Emirates, Abu Dhabi, Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan who is President of the UAE. It was Abu Dhabi who bailed out Dubai when the recession caused financial turmoil within the country.
The design of this modern building incorporates elements of traditional Islamic architecture. It opened in January 2010, six years after construction began on the site of almost 500 acres. The whole development includes homes, 9 hotels, 19 residential towers, garden areas and a large lake. It is a stunning addition to Dubai and has certainly made an impact on the skyline that was already full of impressive modern buildings.
The Armani Hotel has over 300 rooms, with suites on the 38th and 39th floors. There are many residential floors and others containing corporate suites much higher, the highest on the 154th floor.
The recession meant that the Burj Khalifa struggled in its early days, both with companies wanting to rent office space but also with buyers for its apartments. Prices dropped, but gradually things improved and investors realized the potential of owning one of the 900 apartments in this stunning complex.
Visiting the Burj Khalifa
The Burj Khalifa restaurant on the 122nd floor is the highest in the world and just 2 floors higher there is the world’s highest outdoor observation deck; 22 more floors and there is an indoor observation deck. No structure has more floors; 211 which require 504 meter elevators.
The Burj Khalifa has become part of Dubai tour itinerary. Many enjoy shopping in Dubai, the gold souk for example, play golf or join a desert safari. Burj Khalifa tickets are available for those wanting to go up to the observation decks, then enjoy lunch in the Armani restaurant to think of what they have seen.
Staying in the Burj Khalifa
The Burj Khalifa hotel room prices reflect the quality of the place. As an example, the Armani Hotel which has its own entrance occupies 11 floors of Burj Khalifa would offer a double room at around $1,000 a night. There are several grades of suite including the top quality, with a balcony which can cost up to $7,000 a night.
A building of this size obviously attracts attention. There have been base jumpers, unauthorized and authorized, the latter being a Guinness Book of Records achieved by French jumpers, Vince Reffet and Fred Fugen. They were allowed to jump from a special platform on the Burj Khalifa at the top, 828 meters; it was a sponsored event that got Burj Khalifa plenty of good publicity. Alain Robert, nicknamed ‘’Spiderman’’ was allowed to climb to the top of the spire though he had to agree to a rope and harness.