Burj Khalifa a 'name to reflect greatness'
DUBAI // In a glittering ceremony punctuated with skydivers and fireworks, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, tonight officially opened the tallest building in the world and also revealed its new name. The tallest tower in the world, its feet anchored in the UAE and its crown floating in the clouds, was inaugurated in an eruption of fireworks last night. In a theatrical twist worthy of a memorable night, the skyscraper received a new name: Burj Khalifa. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed, President of the UAE, was not among the hundreds of dignitaries who attended the event, but it is his name that will be affixed to the tallest building ever built. Sheikh Mohammed told the cheering crowds that the "Burj Khalifa" name was one that "reflected greatness". The glass-and-steel structure is now, officially, the tallest in the world, at 828 metres, and will welcome tourists from today. A multimedia presentation riveted thousands of spectators who gathered at the base of the tower, as well as millions who watched on television. The presentation featured 10,000 pyrotechnics devices and a show so spectacular that the tower appeared to be exploding. The tower's height was later confirmed by the developer, Emaar. The final height had been kept a secret until the inauguration. The number of floors to be inhabited was left at "more than 160". Motorists parked their vehicles on Sheikh Zayed Road and all along the tower to take pictures of an unforgettable event.
Updated: January 5, 2010 04:00 AM