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February move-in date set for Burj

People who own properties at Burj Dubai will be able move in a month after its inauguration on Monday, the project developer announced yesterday.

DUBAI // People who own properties at Burj Dubai will be able move in a month after its inauguration on Monday, the project developer announced yesterday. The first batch of residents will be allowed to occupy the world's tallest building from February, the developer Emaar said in a statement. How many residents would move into the tower in the first phase was not clear, however. The 818-metre tower is to be inaugurated on Monday to mark the fourth anniversary of the accession of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, the Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. The tower will eventually house more than 12,000 residents. Tourist and public access will start on Tuesday, Emaar said. People will be able to access 'At The Top, Burj Dubai,' the world's highest observation deck on level 124 of the tower. Emaar said following the inauguration, it will immediately take charge of the property from various consultants, contractors and suppliers. Emaar also said the Armani Residences on levels nine to 16 would be opened first, to be followed by the highly anticipated Armani Hotel Dubai. More than 1,000 security personnel, including snipers and scores of plainclothes officers, will oversee the opening of the Burj Dubai, a senior officer said yesterday. Officers have also taken the extraordinary step of asking for all construction around the world's tallest tower to be halted that day. While security forces are not expecting any trouble, the security team will include officers from several police departments, including the bomb squad, commandos and state security personnel. Four teams of snipers will also be deployed, and most of the policemen will be in plain clothes."The majority of our men will be wearing civilian clothes so people would not feel that they are in a military camp," said Major Gen Mohammad Eid al Mansouri, director of the protective security and emergency department at Dubai Police. About 6,000 people received official invitations to the opening, but police said they were expecting a much higher turnout. Traffic police will attempt to keep cars moving, but no roads will be closed, according to Gen al Mansouri. "But if the situation gets out of hand on some of the roads," he said, "the police will be directing traffic away from these roads." More than 7,000 parking spaces will be available, including the Dubai Mall car park. The Burj Dubai Metro station will open the same day, and there will be buses transferring passengers to the area, Gen al Mansouri said. "We want people to enjoy this event, and we want them to feel safe and it is why we have taken all these different security measures," he said. The hotel, which occupies the concourse to level eight and levels 38 and 39, will open in March. More than 900 apartments in The Residences, as well as The Corporate Suites, a collection of high-end offices, will be handed over to customers from March. The handover could take from two to six months, Emaar said in its statement. Abdulla Lahej, the executive director of Dubai Project Management, Emaar Properties, said the delivery of the various components of Burj Dubai had been carefully structured to accommodate a smooth transition. He added that phased delivery was normal for a project of this magnitude. The first residents of the tower will live and work there. Emaar said that it had written to all of its customers to inform them of the handover schedules, as the interiors of homes and offices receive their finishing touches. Orientation programmes for residents on the use of various facilities are also being conducted, Emaar said. Burj Dubai is the world's tallest building and has 160 storeys. The Armani Residences have been designed by Giorgio Armani. The tower will also have convenience stores, common meeting areas, sky lobbies, swimming pools and fitness facilities. pmenon@thenational.ae wisssa@thenational.ae

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