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World's Tallest Building To Open Monday 360

dtmos writes "The Burj Dubai ('Dubai Tower' in Arabic) is scheduled to open to the public on Monday. Its height, claimed to be 824.55m (2,705.2 feet), but believed to be 818m (2,684 feet) — either way, more than half a mile — makes it far taller than Taiwan's Taipei 101, which had been the world's tallest skyscraper at 509m (1,670 feet)."
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World's Tallest Building To Open Monday

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  • Great timing (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ta bu shi da yu ( 687699 ) on Monday January 04, 2010 @02:33AM (#30637992) Homepage

    Right in time for the Dubai economy to start tanking.

    • by MichaelSmith ( 789609 ) on Monday January 04, 2010 @02:57AM (#30638120) Homepage Journal

      You... want to buy a building? I can get you a great price.

    • Re:Great timing (Score:5, Interesting)

      by thePig ( 964303 ) <rajmohan_h@NosPAm.yahoo.com> on Monday January 04, 2010 @02:59AM (#30638126) Journal

      Not quite. This building already made 10% more than what was spent. The company was hoping at max for break-even, since their whole idea was to make money from the 500 acres near it which is also owned by it.
      That part might have to wait a little, but anything else now is a bonus.

    • The Chrysler State Building was completed in 1930. The Empire State Building in 1931. The WTC completed at the start of the 1970s stagflation.

      Construction hubris and economic crash seem to be close companions.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by amRadioHed ( 463061 )

        Or it could be that every decade sees several new highest buildings erected in various places, regardless of pending economic troubles. Any correlation between ongoing construction hubris and economic crashes is likely coincidental.

        • That reasoning is both specious and incorrect. The Empire State Building, in fact, remained the tallest building in the world from 1931 until the WTC was completed four decades later, then eclipsed by the Sears Tower the very next year, which remained the tallest building in the world until 1998. Of the five buildings that surpass the Sears Tower, four of them were built in the last half decade.

          Perhaps you can spot the correlation now.
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by abigor ( 540274 )

            then eclipsed by the Sears Tower the very next year, which remained the tallest building in the world until 1998

            No, the CN Tower in Toronto was completed in 1976 and was the world's tallest building until 2007, when it was beaten by Burj Dubai. It's still the tallest building in the Americas.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cn_tower [wikipedia.org]

            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by mosb1000 ( 710161 )
              The CN tower was the world's tallest structure, but it's not a building in the conventional sense since it is not filled with floors for people to live/work on. Yes, it is still the tallest structure in the Americas.
      • by Jeeeb ( 1141117 )
        Construction hubris and economic crash seem to be close companions.

        Come on think about it for a bit. They didn't build this in the last few months. Burj Dubai was started during an economic boom. I doubt anyone was predicting that it would be completed in an economic crash.

        Although you are right about construction and economic downturn going hand in hand. It's a great way for government to keep people employed reducing discontent. It can potentially have some follow through stimulus effects. It can b
    • by jcr ( 53032 )

      About two years late for that, actually.


  • by ari_j ( 90255 ) on Monday January 04, 2010 @02:34AM (#30638004)
    This is the tallest manmade structure in the world, freestanding or otherwise. The previous record was held by a TV mast in eastern North Dakota, which took the lead when a mast in Poland fell down if I am not much mistaken about the history. This building has occupied floors higher than the world's tallest TV mast. The only thing possibly taller would be offshore oil rigs, but I can't remember how those stack up against it. A very impressive accomplishment, so long as it stays standing through Monday.
  • Presumably, finishing the building is a good thing, but it doesn't make much of a dent in the fundamentals of the place that it is built in. Even a building this monumental is only going to get so much attention and translating that into revenue will be that much more difficult.

    If their model really is "borrow and build", it definitely is a dangerous basis to start with. Hopefully, they can get their house in order, but that surprise moratorium on payments coupled with the extreme ambitiousness of the pro

    • Why would this building be a target for terrorism? As far as I can tell there's never been a case where a building was targeted by terrorists because of its height.

    • by Xest ( 935314 ) on Monday January 04, 2010 @06:10AM (#30638908)

      Yeah, I've always wondered what sort of people are happy to work at the top of buildings like this.

      I'm not scared of heights in the slightest, but I have to say I'd feel a bit nervous purely because of a lack in the faith of the stability of a building like this with the strong winds and earthquakes the area is prone to coupled with the fact it was built using nigh-on slave labour which isn't exactly going to give you the type of worker that particularly cares about being thorough or doing a good job. Not to mention this is quite a symbol of modern capitalism in a region known to have many people with a severe distaste of capitalism.

      Maybe it's just me, but I can't imagine it'd be easy convincing people to rent or buy the upper floors of this thing.

  • This particular building is an extreme example; it's more of a publicity stunt than an approach to urban planning. The principle of building up is right, however. Higher population density makes for better public transportation, more services available within walking distance, and nicer, more pristine outdoors spaces. It also makes more efficient use of land, hence reducing its price.
    • by TubeSteak ( 669689 ) on Monday January 04, 2010 @02:56AM (#30638116) Journal

      The principle of building up is right, however. Higher population density makes for better public transportation, more services available within walking distance, and nicer, more pristine outdoors spaces.

      50 years ago, Dubai (and Abu Dhabi) was nothing more than a small mud brick & stone town in the desert.
      Once oil was discovered, the revenues were used to fund explosive development...
      BUT the emirates did a terrible job of planning.

      There are highrise apartment buildings everywhere, but no parking.
      They have incredible population density, but no sewage system to speak of.
      Anything you see that is green must be watered constantly or it'll die.
      Dubai is a rather good example of how not to build a city.

      • by MichaelSmith ( 789609 ) on Monday January 04, 2010 @03:03AM (#30638156) Homepage Journal

        They have incredible population density, but no sewage system to speak of

        Gee thats interesting. So how...

        Never mind.

      • by l2718 ( 514756 )

        I'm well aware of the artificial life that is a Gulf city. As I said, building up Dubai is mostly an extravaganza. Yes, building skyscrapers in Dubai is a bad idea -- but that's because building anything there is inefficient -- not because of a particular problem with skyscrapers.

        The principle still holds: building up is a good approach to urban planning. Yes, you need appropriate infrastructure: a skyscraper needs a lot of public transport around it (potentially a deep parking facility), as well as mass

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by tsa ( 15680 )

        Just as Phoenix, Arizona is. Building cities in deserts is just not a good idea, and exploiting the environment to the absolute maximum it can take is bound to fail in the long run.

        • by c6gunner ( 950153 ) on Monday January 04, 2010 @09:11AM (#30639718)

          Building cities in deserts is just not a good idea, and exploiting the environment to the absolute maximum it can take is bound to fail in the long run.

          Tell that to the Israelis. Either they really DO have Yahweh on their side, or it's not as hard as you're implying. I'm gonna go with the latter.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by AbRASiON ( 589899 ) *

        Would it be cynical of me to say "I KNEW IT!" - I've been pondering /theorising over the past few months when I think of Dubai of how quickly the place has boomed, everything is an incredible, ridiculous rush to try and convert their economy from oil to tourism.
        Surely correct planning is being simply thrown to the wayside. I mean I have no facts at all to back me up here, however - I have to at least ask the question, how well built is the Burj Dubai?
        Is it safe? Are the facilities reliable? - for example my

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by z0idberg ( 888892 )

          The entire place really is just an insane example of how to spend cash, it's totally not self sufficient (They have an indoor ski slope, how much energy does it take? Seriously.... is it on sustainable energy?) I don't mean to throw chip here, because western culture is pretty stupid and wasteful often but I see some real tacky shit over there, it seems like 'we have money, let's do the biggest!!!!!!!!!' (exclamation marks required)

          You could just as easily be describing this place. [wikipedia.org]

    • Higher population density makes for better public transportation

      And because the public transportation is vertical it can be totally free without offending the free marketers.

    • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

      Wait a minute, building high-rises REDUCES the price of land? Sorry buddy, I'm not sure which alternate dimension you came from, but that doesn't happen in our shard of reality. Are you one of those "new urbanists" who think creating traffic jams is a great idea [theonion.com]?
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by vadim_t ( 324782 )

        In case you haven't noticed, The Onion only publishes fictional news as a form of satire. Nothing in it should be taken seriously.

    • by ls671 ( 1122017 ) *

      I though that some analysts expressed concerns about building extremely high buildings after the twin towers incident. I do not see this point mentioned in the comments yet.

      Back then, I took for granted that USA would not try to hold that record again for obvious reasons.


      • This is a primarily muslim country. At this exact moment in history, I don't know of an organized terrorist group that would be both capable and interested in knocking it over.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by jcr ( 53032 )

          I don't know of an organized terrorist group that would be both capable and interested in knocking it over.

          Are you kidding? Haven't you heard about the various muslim factions that consider each other heretics?


      • The US hasn't held the record for highest building since 1998, and the World Trade Center was still attacked in '93 despite the Sears Tower having been taller than it for two decades. The WTC was not targeted because of it's significant height, more likely it was targeted for being the most significant landmark in America's financial center.

        • by ls671 ( 1122017 ) *

          > was not targeted because of it's significant height

          It made more victims than in Washington because of its significant height although...

          That was my point and I remember listening to similar concerns. Very high buildings are more vulnerable in almost any event.

          Could you imagine a government holding its daily meetings or a military command housed at the 150th floor of a building ?

          • by tsa ( 15680 )

            THE WTC WAS TARGETED BECAUSE it was the ultimate icon that represented all that is wrong with the Western world, according to the muslims. Its height didn't have anything to do with that. Hadn't there been an attempt to blow the towers up before the plane attacks?

  • Impressive.. (Score:5, Informative)

    by Entropy98 ( 1340659 ) on Monday January 04, 2010 @02:39AM (#30638030) Homepage

    Too bad it was built with slavery [independent.co.uk]...

    • Re:Impressive.. (Score:4, Insightful)

      by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Monday January 04, 2010 @03:21AM (#30638244) Journal
      I suspect that that was largely seen as a bonus. Dubai is like the Disney World of unbridled global neoliberalism(the "warts and all" version, not the idealists' version).

      Having a bunch of not-quite-slaves-because-we-said-we-would-pay-them to build the scenery and fill drinks for the people who matter is just part of the "charm".
    • by 7-Vodka ( 195504 )
      No shit, that is really sad. Shame on anyone who even mentions dubai while being ignorant of this.
    • That's one of the most shocking news items I've read in a while! Thanks for posting.
  • Wow (Score:5, Funny)

    by DemonBeaver ( 1485573 ) on Monday January 04, 2010 @02:40AM (#30638036)
    They sure put a lot of effort in the Citadel and City 17 sets for the upcoming Half-Life movie...
  • by Anonymous Coward

    The three sides of the building have different heights due to the differing ground levels.

    For a long time, the unofficial height was 808m. However this then switched to 818m, and now finally 824m as different entrances were chosen as "ground level".

    The problem is that the building is part of a massive development that includes quite a bit of landscaping. Thus the definition of ground level is somewhat fuzzy. The real base of the building is an enormous concrete slab a few stories underground.

  • dirty money (Score:2, Interesting)

    by astar ( 203020 )

    more real estate bubble

    dubui is the british replacement for hong kong for dirty money transfers. hah, every government agency has a worthless prince at the top and the second in command, who actually runs things, is always a brit. when the drug lords disneyland resorts started going under, it tended to set off a wave of soverign defaults, of which greece is the leading example. so this building is not anything to admire, but something to condemn

  • My hopes (Score:4, Funny)

    by nicc777 ( 614519 ) on Monday January 04, 2010 @02:50AM (#30638082) Homepage Journal
    That the building is more stable than their web server... Damn request time out every time.
  • Impressive (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Animats ( 122034 ) on Monday January 04, 2010 @02:51AM (#30638088) Homepage

    It's an impressive achievement. I'm glad they got it finished before the economy tanked. Dubai is overbuilt, and many of the sillier projects there will never be completed, but Burj Dubai is a prestige location and will probably be rented out successfully. It's partly a hotel and residential building, not just an office tower.

    The Empire State Building was built during the Great Depression and wasn't fully rented for years.

    • Truly sad (Score:4, Insightful)

      by mcrbids ( 148650 ) on Monday January 04, 2010 @03:43AM (#30638336) Journal

      The USA once was dominant in metrics like this. Now, our leadership position, being pissed away for so many years by inept leadership and increasily divisive politics, has been compromised in many areas.

      In education, we rival the 3rd world. There is actually serious discussion about teaching so-called "Intelligent-Design" as a part of our Science curriculum! Our math and science scores are near the bottom, and are actually beaten by 3rd world countries in many cases.

      Our production and manufacturing idustries have been bleeding red ink for decades. Once the pinnacle of the 1st world, we now sardonically compliment our own quality. Our upper-middle and upper classes don't buy our American-made cars.

      Our leadership in Science development is tanking fast. From our until-recent ban on stem cell research funding, and our generally soft support for "basic Science" research, to our cancelling funding for the SSC supercollider [wikipedia.org], we've sent the message to the scientific community - support is elsewhere!

      Tallest building in the world is a pissing contest, that we led for a long time in the last century. We've not only lost it, but our vain attempt to regain it in the so-called "Freedom tower" is mired in controversy, bad design, and travesty, bungled so badly that it's the architectural equivalent of the "mission accomplished" poster of GWB notoriety.

      I'm an American, and it's really, really sad to watch my nation slowly collapse in on itself.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Trepidity ( 597 )

        In a symbolic way this seems vaguely a symptom of decline, but the U.S.'s disinterest in this particular metric---building really tall office buildings---dates back a few decades. The U.S. was still unquestionably the world superpower through the 1990s at least, but the spurt of building tall buildings stopped by the mid-1970s, since they weren't particularly economical compared to just building two or three shorter (but still pretty tall) buildings.

        If anything there's a minor tall-building resurgence in th

        • they weren't particularly economical compared to just building two or three shorter (but still pretty tall) buildings

          We need a new "tallest building" metric to account for this. Something along the lines of average-building-height per geographic-square-mile. Or better yet, to stop cheaters building a solitary building in a vacant square mile, maybe we should use total-habitable-square-feet per geographic-square-mile (taller buildings will naturally have more habitable square feet). Or maybe total-building-volume per geographic-square-mile (this avoids the trouble with variable floor heights).

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by sp3d2orbit ( 81173 )

          The U.S. was still unquestionably the world superpower through the 1990s at least

          No set of comments on Slashdot is complete without at least one pointing out how the article reflects America's decline.

      • Re:Truly sad (Score:5, Interesting)

        by ThrowAwaySociety ( 1351793 ) on Monday January 04, 2010 @04:29AM (#30638506)

        You're right, it is a pissing contest, and there's really no point in it. The US does not need to build that high. For that matter, western Europe does not have a single building in the top 100 for height. This is a huge white elephant for the UAE, and white elephants are something the US already has plenty of.

        Building a building that goes to 11 is not a technological challenge. Heck, Burj Dubai was designed by a US firm. There are a dozen firms in the US and around the world that could build a building a hundreds of feet taller than the Burj Dubai if there was a need. There isn't. Pursuing a giant national phallic symbol is not what the US should be spending its resources on.

      • The US should have responded to 9/11 by building a stupendous building on the WTC site. By that I mean they should build something which anybody else in the world considers utterly impossible. Five or 10 kilometres tall. The upper floors would of course belong to NORAD, with a big primary radar on the roof.

  • by majid_aldo ( 812530 ) on Monday January 04, 2010 @03:14AM (#30638214)

    - dubai doesn't have oil
    - dubai is very western-oriented
    - dubai is not a country
    - dubai has been largely isolated from regional tensions

    got that?

    • by Trepidity ( 597 )

      - dubai doesn't have oil

      It does actually have oil, though you're correct that oil is no longer a major part of their economy, as the fields are mostly now depleted. However oil was very important to it being built up as the prosperous emirate it is now--- most of the current business was initially financed with oil money. At one point, Dubai's oil exports accounted for over 50% of GDP, though that number's now down under 10%.

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by imakemusic ( 1164993 )

        It does actually have oil

        Isn't that's why "dubai doesn't have oil" comes under the heading "misconceptions"?

  • Does anyone else suddenly feel the urge to play SimTower? Is it just me?
  • Nowdays I'd prefer my buildings to be as *low* as possible. Having a nice *deep* underground bunker would be best.

    Tall buildings, as well as other major attractions like stadiums, are a status symbol. Every time the building is mentioned you name either the company, the city, or the country in question. Tall building are a brand image. In these times companies prefer a more conservative (and some may argue greener) profile. Tall buildings in this respect are not useful. It is easier to get the same name-re

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Digging holes is WAAAAYYYYY more expensive than building stories (with "normal sized buildings").

      A 10 story building costs more than a 5 story building mainly because the taller building needs a deeper fundamentum in the ground.

    • by xaxa ( 988988 )

      A tall building can be "green", for instance you can face it with solar panels [co-operative.coop] (even in the north of England!) and you can use its height like a chimney to provide ventilation [wikipedia.org]. An underground building is going to require even more ventilation, and lots more artificial light.

      A small bomb detonated in an underground building would likely cause more damage/injuries, as the explosion is confined to the building rather than blowing out through windows.

      Anyway, how tall is tall? 14 stories, or 40, or 80, or more?

  • Given a proper infrastructure in the surrounding area, tall buildings can certainly lead to a more efficient transportation system. When a building reaches a certain size however, the transportation system inside the building starts to become a problem. How tall can a building be built before all the space gets eaten up by elevator shafts?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Chrisq ( 894406 )
      The proposed solution for this is in effect a vertical reailway; multiple fifts per shaft, express elivators (only stopping on every 20'th floor for you to change to a "local" elivator), etc.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Animats ( 122034 )

      How tall can a building be built before all the space gets eaten up by elevator shafts?

      That's the real problem. The World Trade Center towers had "sky lobbies", with big express elevators to intermediate floors, and local elevators from there. Local elevator shafts could then be above each other.

      The World Trade Center was unique in that all the floors were the same size. Most other tall buildings are pointy, so the higher floors are smaller and traffic to the top is less. Burj Dubai is also resident

  • by PCWizardsinc ( 678228 ) on Monday January 04, 2010 @10:30AM (#30640336) Homepage
    Kaspersky AV when going to http://www.burjdubaiskyscraper.com/ [burjdubaiskyscraper.com] shows the following: "detected: Trojan program Trojan-Downloader.JS.Agent.ewi" Be careful...
  • by Quiet_Desperation ( 858215 ) on Monday January 04, 2010 @11:49AM (#30641438)

    scheduled to open to the public on Monday.

    And scheduled to enter receivership on Tuesday.

We gave you an atomic bomb, what do you want, mermaids? -- I. I. Rabi to the Atomic Energy Commission