Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Pic(k) of the week 9: Burj Dubai - sorry, Burj Khalifa

On January 4th the world witnessed the opening of the tallest tower on Earth. Prior to its inauguration it was called Burj Dubai, now it is the Burj Khalifa, named after the UAE president, Sheik Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan. This has been viewed by observers as an attempt to boost confidence and to show that the capital Abu Dhabi is backing up Dubai.
I'm sure that most people in Dubai will keep it calling Burj Dubai for some time to go. And so do I...

Image details:
Nikon D700, 14-24mm 2.8 lens
ISO 200, 20mm, f8, 3 exposures for HDR -2EV, 0EV, +2EV
HDR processed in Photomatix, details enhanced with Topaz Detail

Early February, the Burj (arabic for "tower") has been in the news again. The viewing platform on the 124th floor has been closed for an undetermined time due to people being stuck in one of the elevators. The building developer is blaming "unexpectedly heavy visitor traffic" and "technical issues with the power supply". I think, I'll go with the second one!

There is speculation that the opening of the Burj Khalifa might have been brought forward in order to bring some good "Dubai news" after all the financial troubles that were spread around the world, end of 2009... I do not know anybody who has moved into the building and I'm sure there is still a fair amount of work going on inside the tower.

Beside all of the above, the building remains quite an achievement. It has world records for the following:
  • Tallest building in the world
  • Tallest free-standing structure in the world
  • Highest number of stories in the worl
  • Highest occupied floor in the world (not yet, I suppose)
  • Highest outdoor observation deck in the world (for a while at least)
  • Elevator with the longest travel distance in the world 
  • Tallest service elevator in the world 

Some facts:
  • Opening ceremony 1325 days after the excavation work was started
  • 828m tall (2716ft), compared to second tallest tower Tapei 101, 508m (1666ft)
  • 1044 luxury apartments, 49 floors of offices
  • 160 room Armani hotel supposed to open shortly ?!
  • Elevator speed 18m/s (59ft/s) faster than Tapei 101
  • 160 floors, more floors seem to be there but not for living/working in
  • Worlds highest mosque on 158th floor
  • Worlds highest swimming pool on 76th floor
  • Building has 2909 stairs up to the 160th floor
  • Proud to be Belgian, it was largely built by the Belgian company, "Besix" 

Happy shooting,

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