x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Burj Dubai not quite a 'tower' but a 'free-standing structure'

The Burj Dubai's name may translate as Dubai Tower, but the publishers of the Guinness World Records book say the structure is not a tower at all.

The Burj Dubai's name may translate as Dubai Tower, but the publishers of the Guinness World Records book say the structure is not a tower at all. Instead, the 818m building has the distinction of being the world's tallest free-standing structure. The biggest "tower"? That honour goes to Toronto's 553m CN Tower, which this week was re-presented with the award in that category. Less than half of the CN Tower is usable floor space, in contrast to the Burj Dubai, which will contain flats, offices, shops and a hotel.

"We're very appreciative of the title that's been bestowed on us," Jack Robinson, the tower's chief operating officer, told Canadian media. "Maybe it will bestow a little extra tourism." The Canadian National Tower, as it was originally known, sits above downtown Toronto and Lake Ontario and has held the record for the world's tallest tower since 1975. It is made of 40,524 cubic metres of concrete and 129km of tensioned steel, giving it a weight of 117,910 tonnes - about 2,000 times as much as the average family home. Although the CN Tower still retains its record for now, it may not for much longer.

The Guangzhou TV and Sightseeing Tower in China, currently being built, will reach 610 metres next year. As well as taking the CN Tower's record as the world's tallest free-standing structure, the Burj Dubai has also surpassed the 629m KVLY-TV mast in the US state of North Dakota, to be the world's tallest man-made structure of any kind. dbardsley@thenational.ae