Sunday, May 16, 2010

Burj Khalifa - The Tallest Man-Made Structure

I visited Dubai this past Friday. Dubai is a large, sprawling metropolis with many skyscrapers. Construction is ongoing on many buildings, as well as highways, roads, and other infrastructure. Abu Dhabi (AD) also has scores of ongoing construction, but it pales in comparison to the amount in Dubai. It will be awhile until a majority of the construction is completed due to the quantity and the slow down in the economy. Since I was there for only a day, I focused on a few sites to see. It will probably be a city that I will visit about once a month on a day trip or a entire weekend trip. Dubai is a much bigger and much more westernized city than AD, but I am glad that I live in AD rather than Dubai. It was almost like when I lived outside of LA back in the late 80's thru mid-90's. I had many family and friends visit. Their comments were always the same: It's a nice place to visit, but I would not want to live there.

Anyway, one of the site I got to see was Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world. It's fairly impressive. I wanted to go up to the observation deck, but all the spots were already reserved. Every 30 minutes, a group of people is taken up. Next time, I will need to schedule a time and reserve via online. The building is not yet fully open. There are a few offices, a hotel, and obviously, the observation deck that have been opened. Many areas have not officially opened. None of the residential spaces have been moved into. The skyscraper is next to Dubai Mall, the largest (area-wise) mall in the world. The visit to the observation deck starts in the lower level of the mall. I assume there is a passageway from there to get you to the Burj Khalifa. The building is also a walking distance from the Dubai Mall stop of the newly opened Red Line Metro, a driverless fully automated transport system.

The building is 2717 ft. high. It is almost 2/3 the elevation of Jebel Hafeet (the mountain described in my previous post), one of the higher points in the UAE which is about 4000 ft. For another comparison, Columbia Tower, the tallest building in Seattle, rises 937 ft. So Burj Khalifa is essentially three times taller than Columbia Tower.

I asked a fellow Filipino to take me a picture with the building in the background. The top of the building is cut off.

Here are a few more pictures.

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