Measuring over 2,722 feet (828 meters) tall and boasting over 200 (habitable) stories, Burj Khalifa is nothing but the pinnacle of Dubai’s beauty. Completed in the year 2010, the Burj is the true definition of cloud-piercing height. It offers its people stunning views of the entire city.
Located in downtown Dubai, the Burj super building takes center stage in the popular skyline, where millions of tourists flock every year.
Aside from being the tallest building in the world, the Burj holds six other incredible records. It also has the highest number of stories in the world, has the highest outdoor observation deck in the world, has the highest occupied space in the world, has the tallest service elevator in the world, has the elevator with the longest travel distance in the world, and ranks as the tallest freestanding structure in the world.
The Burj Khalifa is three times the Eiffel Tower’s height in France and twice the height of New York’s Empire State Building. It even boasts the world’s fastest elevator speed at ten meters per second, adding to Burj’s already impressive facts. The Burj elevator time to reach the observation podium on the 124th floor is only 60 seconds!
What was previously known as the Burj Dubai was renamed Burj Khalifa to honor the ruler of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nayan, who chipped in to build the iconic structure.
Burj’s design is based on a flower called Hymenocallis (Spider Lily), which is native to South America, Mexico, and America’s southern states. US architect Adrian Smith, who assisted in the design, has contributed to many other majestic buildings such as the Jeddah Tower in South Arabia.
The Burj’s design plays a key role in the reduction of wind forces on the building. A hexagonal central core is supported by a sequence of wings, each with its perimeter columns and concrete core. As the structure grows in height, the wings step back in a spiral layout, changing Burj’s shape at each level and so reducing the impact of the wind on the tower.
The central core rises at the building’s top and is completed with a spire, reaching more than 200 meters (700 feet). A buttressed concrete mat supports the building at the foundational tier at nearly 4 meters (13 feet) thick, itself reinforced by concrete piles 1.5 (5 feet) in diameter. Burj’s exterior cladding comprises perpendicular steel tubular fins, aluminum and steel panels, and more than 28,000 chopped glass boards!
What purpose does the Burj Khalifa serve anyway? It is a multi-purpose structure that plays host to hotels, restaurants, office spaces, and residential apartments. It also doubles up as a tourist magnet with its unique observation decks.