Soaring high at 555 meters, At the Top, Burj Khalifa SKY is fittingly Dubai’s most iconic destination. Get ready to enjoy exclusive access to the redefined, highest outdoor observatory in the world, spread across levels 148 and 125 of Burj Khalifa. Your journey begins when you step into the At the Top, Burj Khalifa SKY lounge, from where you will be personally escorted to a dedicated elevator. Inside, watch in amazement as specially designed projections give you the feeling of flying over global landmarks as you ascend to Level 125.
Burj Khalifa stands as an anchor to the world’s most prestigious square kilometer – Downtown Dubai which is also described as ’The Centre of Now,’. Downtown Dubai is AED 73 billion (US$20 billion) flagship project of Emaar Properties. It is a mixed-use, 500-acre development featuring world-class assets including commercial, residential, hotel, entertainment, shopping and leisure components set in open green spaces dotted
with lakes and other distinct water features.
Burj Khalifa was designed to be the centerpiece of a large-scale, mixed-use development that would include 30,000 homes, nine hotels (including The Address Downtown Dubai), 3 hectares (7.4 acres) of parkland, at least 19 residential towers, the Dubai Mall, and the 12-hectare (30-acre) man-made Burj Khalifa Lake. The decision to build Burj Khalifa is reportedly based on the government’s decision to diversify from an oil based economy to one that is service and tourism based. According to officials, it is necessary for projects like Burj Khalifa to be built in the city to garner more international recognition, and hence investment. “He (Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum) wanted to put Dubai on the map with something really sensational,” said Jacqui Josephson, a tourism and VIP delegations executive at Nakheel Properties. The tower was known as Burj Dubai (“Dubai Tower”) until its official opening in January 2010. It was renamed in honor of the ruler of Abu Dhabi and president of the United Arab Emirates, Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan; Abu Dhabi and the federal government of UAE lent Dubai tens of billions of USD so that Dubai could pay its debts – Dubai borrowed at least $80 billion for construction projects. In 2000s, Dubai started diversifying its economy but it suffered from an economic crisis in 2007–2010, leaving large scale projects already in construction abandoned.
Burj Khalifa was designed by Adrian Smith then of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill (SOM), whose firm also designed the Willis Tower and the One World Trade Center. Hyder Consulting was chosen to be the supervising engineer with NORR Group Consultants International Limited chosen to supervise the architecture of the project. The design of Burj Khalifa is derived from patterning systems embodied in Islamic architecture, incorporating cultural and historical elements particular to the region such as the spiral minaret. The Y-shaped plan is designed for residential and hotel usage. A buttressed core structural system is used to support the height of the building, and the cladding system is designed to withstand Dubai’s summer temperatures. A total of 57 elevators and 8 escalators are installed, with the elevators having a capacity of 12 to 14 people per cabin.
Critical reception to Burj Khalifa has been generally positive, and the building received many awards. However, the labor issues during construction have been controversial, since the building was built primarily by workers from South and East Asia, who earned low wages and were reportedly housed in poor conditions.
Floors: 163Construction started: September 21, 2004
Contractors: Laing O’Rourke, Turner ConstructionFloor area : 309,473 m2
Top floor : 584.5 m
Top floor : 584.5 m
Opening : 4 January 2010