Monday, 4 January 2010

Burj dubai , burj khalifa live video opening ceremony

This is a live video from the opening ceremony of Burj Dubai (or Burj Khalifa as it is called now) - this is a ust to watch this week.

Burj Dubai / Khalifa - The World's Tallest Skyscraper - Dubai, United Arab Emirates
828 m | 2716 feet

Burj Dubai is now Burj Khalifa

Dubai’s Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum opened the world’s tallest tower today and renamed it after the ruler of neighboring Abu Dhabi, which bailed out Dubai during the country’s debt crisis last year.

The 200-story Burj Khalifa cost $1.5 billion to build, said Mohammed Alabbar, chairman of developer Emaar Properties PJSC. The tower takes it name from Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who is also president of the United Arab Emirates. While mainly residential, the building will have 37 floors of office and retail space.

During the five years of the tower’s construction the sheikhdom’s debt-fueled property market went from the world’s best performing to the worst, forcing officials to renegotiate loans and seek bailouts from Abu Dhabi. The Burj’s occupancy rate may reach 75 percent this year, with office leasing proving the biggest challenge for investors, said Roy Cherry, an analyst at investment bank Shuaa Capital PSC.

“Those who bought with the intention of leasing will face a difficult time because few companies today can justify paying premiums for luxury,” Cherry said.

Burj Khalifa has a height of 828 meters (2,717 feet), Alabbar said in a telephone interview today. Apartment prices in the tower, formerly known as Burj Dubai, have fallen to less than half of the 10,000 dirhams ($2,700) a square foot that they reached at the 2008 peak.

Burj Dubai -World's tallest building

The 828 metre (2,717 ft) supertall skyscraper in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, is being opened with much fanfare despite the doom and gloom that has surrounded the emirate's economy in recent weeks.

Crews of cleaners today rushed to finalise preparations for the grand inauguration of the Burj Dubai, the tallest building in the world. With batteries of fireworks and an invited crowd of 6,000 guests, the rulers of the Gulf emirate will tonight attempt to convince the world that their financial troubles have been overstated with a lavish celebration of a glass and steel building that tapers almost a kilometre into the sky.

Dubai's ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, is expected to make a triumphal ascent of the spire-shaped tower which rises over 800m from the Arabian desert. He will announce the exact height this evening in a move intended to draw a line under the country's financial crisis, which has left a trail of outstanding creditors.

"Crises come and go, and cities move on," said Mohamed Alabbar, chairman of Emaar Properties, the state-owned developer of the building. "You have to move on. Because if you stop taking decisions, you stop growing."

With swimming pools on floors 43 and 76 and plans for the world's highest mosque on the 158th floor, the $1bn "superscraper" dwarfs both the world's previous tallest building, the 508m tall tower 101 in Taipei, and the 629m KVLY-TV mast in North Dakota, the tallest man-made structure. It is so high, the temperature is said to be 10C cooler at the zenith than at the base.

But with many investors in the building's 1,044 apartments already facing losses after property prices in Dubai slumped, the Burj's owners are struggling to present their architectural achievement as anything but a pyrrhic victory. The offices and most of the flats are still an estimated two months from completion and the emirate's neighbours in Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi, which provided Dubai with a £15bn bailout last year, are also understood to be unimpressed at the ostentation of the building.

The fountain outside cost a reported £133m and the 160 room hotel was designed by fashion designer Georgio Armani and boasts a nightclub, two restaurants and a spa. Meanwhile, labourers on the project, including many immigrants from Pakistan, India and Bangladesh, earned low wages. Skilled carpenters took home just £4.34 a day and labourers, £2.84.

Security is expected to be tight. Local newspapers quoted Major General Mohammed Eid al-Mansouri, head of the protective security and emergency unit for Dubai police, saying more than 1,000 security personnel, including plainclothes police and sharpshooters, will be deployed to secure the site for the opening.

But even by the standards of an emirate which has created miles more beach front by building vast islands from millions of tonnes of sand in the shapes of palms, the tower stands out as Dubai's most remarkable achievement. Around 12,000 people are expected to live and work in the tower which is part of a 500-acre development known as "downtown" Burj Dubai.

Alabbar said Burj Dubai was "another demonstration of Dubai's ability to achieve what few people thought possible".

"The tower is a global icon," he said. "It represents the determination and optimism of Dubai as a truly world city. It is a powerful symbol for the entire Arab world."