x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Burj Dubai moves closer to completion

The developer building the world's tallest skyscraper in Dubai says cladding work on the shiny silver-coloured tower's outside is complete.

DUBAI // The developer building the world's tallest skyscraper in Dubai says cladding work on the shiny silver-coloured tower's outside is complete. Completion of the aluminium and glass facade marks a milestone for Emaar Properties, which is racing to meet a self-imposed deadline to have the Burj Dubai complete by the end of the year. The builder said the amount of aluminium used on the building's face weighs as much as five double-decker Airbus A380 airliners, while the more than 103,000 square meters of glass panels could cover 14 football fields.

The Burj Dubai is thought to have topped out earlier this year at 818 metres. Some reports have suggested the building could reach 888 metres, although Emaar has yet to confirm its final height. The Burj, the centrepiece of Emaar's Downtown Burj Dubai development, was originally designed to be 160 storeys tall, but plans for a spire and additional floors to house a communication centre made it even taller.

However, the revisions pushed back the completion date from December last year, and then April this year to this December. Burj Dubai became the world's tallest building in July 2007 at over 636 metres, and the world's tallest self-supporting structure two months later. The total height is expected to be well over 808 metres. The building is the product of a joint venture between Arabtec Construction, Samsung of South Korea and Besix of Belgium.

The construction schedule required contractors to complete one floor every three days, meaning a team of about 7,000 construction workers was on site 24 hours a day. Last year "base" jumpers illegally scaled the building and parachuted from the 160th floor, 650 metres up, on two separate occasions. Two men were arrested over the stunts and fined Dh2,000 (US$544). *AP and The National