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Dubai

Burj Dubai

I have secured permission to post this photograph of the Burj Dubai Tower from world reknown photographer in Dubai, Jeff Vergara. You can visit his [Blog: Dubai Chronicles – Jeff Vergara] and see the rest of his collection of photos.

We are told that the Tower is still under construction and that its final height is still unknown. Jeff writes:

last Friday, we were able to visit the old town for the first time, the site of burj dubai. i took some details and wide-angled shots of the world’s tallest man-made structure. as of date, the current height stands 700 metres and still increasing. This megastructure is expected to be completed on September 2009.

I had posted already the links to the Burj Dubai Website. It is quite remarkable. Dubai has some of the worlds most amazing buildings and more projects are on the books for the coming future. We thank Jeff for his permission and we look forward to The Burj Dubai to be completed in the coming year.


Dubai aims to top its own world’s tallest tower

By ADAM SCHRECK, AP Business Writer

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – With its world’s tallest building nearing completion, Dubai said Sunday it is embarking on an even more ambitious skyscraper: one that will soar more than 10 American football fields.

That’s about two-thirds of a mile or the height of more than three of New York’s Chrysler Buildings stacked end-to-end.

Babel had nothing on this place.

“This is unbelievably groundbreaking design,” Chief Executive Chris O’Donnell said during a briefing at the company’s sales center, not far from the proposed site. “This still takes my breath away.”

The tower, which will take more than a decade to complete, will be the centerpiece of a sprawling development state-owned builder Nakheel plans to create in the rapidly growing “New Dubai” section of the city. Foundation work has already begun, O’Donnell said.

The area is located between two of the city’s artificial palm-shaped islands, which Nakheel also built. The project will include a manmade inland harbor and 40 additional towers up to 90 floors high.

About 150 elevators will carry employees and workers to the Nakheel Tower’s more than 200 floors, the company said. The building will be composed of four separate towers joined at various levels and centered on an open atrium.

“It does show a lot of confidence in this environment” of worldwide credit problems and a souring global economy, said Marios Maratheftis, Standard Chartered Bank’s Dubai-based regional head of research.

As part of government-run conglomerate Dubai World, Nakheel has played a major role in creating modern-day Dubai, a city that has blossomed from a tiny Persian Gulf fishing and pearling village into a major business and tourism hub in a matter of decades.

Besides the growing archipelago of man-made islands for which it is best known, Nakheel is responsible for a number of the city’s malls, hotels and hundreds of apartment buildings.

The company said the new project is inspired by Islamic design and draws inspiration from sites such as the Alhambra in Spain and the harbor of Alexandria in Egypt.

“This is nothing like it in Dubai,” said Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, Nakheel’s chairman.

Perhaps not quite. But Dubai is already home to the world’s tallest building, even if it remains unfinished.

That skyscraper, the Burj Dubai, or Dubai Tower in Arabic, is being built by Nakheel’s chief competitor, Emaar Properties.

Emaar has kept the final height of the silvery steel-and-glass tower a closely guarded secret, saying only that it stood at a “new record height” of 2,257 feet at the start of last month. It’s due to be finished next September.

The final height of Nakheel’s proposed tower is likewise a secret, as is the price tag. The company would only say it will be more than a kilometer (3,281 feet) tall.

O’Donnell said he was confident that Nakheel could pay for the project despite the financial troubles roiling the world’s economy.

He also brushed aside concerns by some analysts that Dubai’s property market is becoming overheated and due for a potentially sharp correction.

“In Dubai, demand outstrips supply,” he said. “There might be a slowdown, but there definitely won’t be a crash.”


Dubai aims to top its own world's tallest tower

By ADAM SCHRECK, AP Business Writer

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – With its world’s tallest building nearing completion, Dubai said Sunday it is embarking on an even more ambitious skyscraper: one that will soar more than 10 American football fields.

That’s about two-thirds of a mile or the height of more than three of New York’s Chrysler Buildings stacked end-to-end.

Babel had nothing on this place.

“This is unbelievably groundbreaking design,” Chief Executive Chris O’Donnell said during a briefing at the company’s sales center, not far from the proposed site. “This still takes my breath away.”

The tower, which will take more than a decade to complete, will be the centerpiece of a sprawling development state-owned builder Nakheel plans to create in the rapidly growing “New Dubai” section of the city. Foundation work has already begun, O’Donnell said.

The area is located between two of the city’s artificial palm-shaped islands, which Nakheel also built. The project will include a manmade inland harbor and 40 additional towers up to 90 floors high.

About 150 elevators will carry employees and workers to the Nakheel Tower’s more than 200 floors, the company said. The building will be composed of four separate towers joined at various levels and centered on an open atrium.

“It does show a lot of confidence in this environment” of worldwide credit problems and a souring global economy, said Marios Maratheftis, Standard Chartered Bank’s Dubai-based regional head of research.

As part of government-run conglomerate Dubai World, Nakheel has played a major role in creating modern-day Dubai, a city that has blossomed from a tiny Persian Gulf fishing and pearling village into a major business and tourism hub in a matter of decades.

Besides the growing archipelago of man-made islands for which it is best known, Nakheel is responsible for a number of the city’s malls, hotels and hundreds of apartment buildings.

The company said the new project is inspired by Islamic design and draws inspiration from sites such as the Alhambra in Spain and the harbor of Alexandria in Egypt.

“This is nothing like it in Dubai,” said Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, Nakheel’s chairman.

Perhaps not quite. But Dubai is already home to the world’s tallest building, even if it remains unfinished.

That skyscraper, the Burj Dubai, or Dubai Tower in Arabic, is being built by Nakheel’s chief competitor, Emaar Properties.

Emaar has kept the final height of the silvery steel-and-glass tower a closely guarded secret, saying only that it stood at a “new record height” of 2,257 feet at the start of last month. It’s due to be finished next September.

The final height of Nakheel’s proposed tower is likewise a secret, as is the price tag. The company would only say it will be more than a kilometer (3,281 feet) tall.

O’Donnell said he was confident that Nakheel could pay for the project despite the financial troubles roiling the world’s economy.

He also brushed aside concerns by some analysts that Dubai’s property market is becoming overheated and due for a potentially sharp correction.

“In Dubai, demand outstrips supply,” he said. “There might be a slowdown, but there definitely won’t be a crash.”


Big, Bigger, BIGGEST …

The Burj Dubai Official Site

The Burj Dubai some 150 + floors now, was on Discovery’s:  Big, Bigger, Biggest… The Tallest Skyscraper/Apartment/Conference/Commerce/Dining/Entertainment/ Building in the World.

From the Burj Dubai Official Site:

The goal of the Burj Dubai is not simply to be the worlds highest building, it’s to embody the world’s highest aspirations.

Burj Dubai looks different depending on where you are standing. For those living nearby, it is a shining accomplishment – tangible proof of Dubai’s central role in a growing world. For those standing in other global capitals, it is a shining symbol – an icon of of the New Middle East: prosperous, dynamic, and successful.

In fact, Burj Dubai is both. It is a fact – an unprecedented example of international cooperation – and a symbol – a beacon of progress for the entire world.

It is not by chance that it is being built in Dubai. In less than thirty years, this city has transformed itself from a regional center to a global one. This success was not based on oil reserves, but on reserves of human talent, ingenuity and initiative.

A vision this bold requires visionaries. Creating the centerpiece for a new world capital attracted the world’s most esteemed designers, developers and builders. One of them is the tower’s architect, Adrian Smith.

As a consulting design partner at Skidmore, Ownings and Merrill – the global leader leader in creating supertall structures – Adrian Smith has had a hand in several of the world’s tallest buildings. With Burj Dubai, he – and the world – will surpass them all.


World’s tallest building just got taller

AFP Online Article

DUBAI (AFP) – The world’s tallest building just got taller — the Burj Dubai tower in the booming Gulf emirate of Dubai has now reached a height of 688 metres (2,257 feet) and is still growing, developers Emaar said on Tuesday.

It now boasts 160 storeys, the highest skyscraper in the world, Emaar said in a statement.

The skyscraper, set for completion in September 2009, is one of several mega projects taking shape in Dubai, which is a member of the oil-rich United Arab Emirates (UAE) federation.

Burj Dubai, which was started in 2004, overtook Taiwan’s Taipei 101 tower as the world’s tallest building when it reached 512 metres (1,533 feet) in April 2007.

It became the tallest man-made structure on the planet, when Emaar announced in April that it has surpassed the 629-metre (2,063-foot) KVLY-TV mast in the United States.

Its eventual height remains a closely-guarded secret, though there is speculation it will reach a final height of 900 metres (2,953 feet).

It had been due for completion in the bustling city state at the end of 2008, but Emaar said in June that “finishing touches” had pushed back the date until September next year.

The skyscraper is being built by a consortium involving Arabtec Construction LLC of the UAE, Samsung of South Korea and Besix of Belgium.

Many building projects in Dubai, which is going through a construction frenzy, have been facing delays caused by shortage of building materials and skilled labour.


World's tallest building just got taller

AFP Online Article

DUBAI (AFP) – The world’s tallest building just got taller — the Burj Dubai tower in the booming Gulf emirate of Dubai has now reached a height of 688 metres (2,257 feet) and is still growing, developers Emaar said on Tuesday.

It now boasts 160 storeys, the highest skyscraper in the world, Emaar said in a statement.

The skyscraper, set for completion in September 2009, is one of several mega projects taking shape in Dubai, which is a member of the oil-rich United Arab Emirates (UAE) federation.

Burj Dubai, which was started in 2004, overtook Taiwan’s Taipei 101 tower as the world’s tallest building when it reached 512 metres (1,533 feet) in April 2007.

It became the tallest man-made structure on the planet, when Emaar announced in April that it has surpassed the 629-metre (2,063-foot) KVLY-TV mast in the United States.

Its eventual height remains a closely-guarded secret, though there is speculation it will reach a final height of 900 metres (2,953 feet).

It had been due for completion in the bustling city state at the end of 2008, but Emaar said in June that “finishing touches” had pushed back the date until September next year.

The skyscraper is being built by a consortium involving Arabtec Construction LLC of the UAE, Samsung of South Korea and Besix of Belgium.

Many building projects in Dubai, which is going through a construction frenzy, have been facing delays caused by shortage of building materials and skilled labour.


Alleged sex assault of boy shakes Dubai

From: Gay.com

The mother of a 15-year-old French-Swiss boy who was allegedly sexually assaulted by several Emirati men accused authorities Thursday of lying about a defendant’s HIV status to cover up the fact that AIDS exists in this booming Arab city-state.

The case has exposed deep rifts over attitudes toward homosexuality and what critics call an outmoded legal system, mixing religious and tribal values.

Dubai officials have defended their handling of the case and said the teenager and his family were treated fairly. They have refused to comment publicly on the mother’s accusations, and the United Arab Emirates Embassy in Washington also had no immediate comment.

The mother, Veronique Robert, a French journalist, told The Associated Press in Paris that she had obtained an official document, dated 2003, indicating authorities in the United Arab Emirates knew one defendant was HIV positive then.

Nevertheless, Emirates authorities told her and French diplomats on four separate occasions after the July attack that none of the three defendants was HIV positive, she said.

“This was a lie of the state,” Robert said. “They willfully prevented us from getting treatment for our son so that, above all, nobody would find out that AIDS exists in the Emirates.”

The boy and his mother also accuse a police forensic doctor of calling the boy a homosexual while examining him after the assaults.

Robert said she and her son, who previously had attended school in Dubai, where his father works, had left the country in early October because French diplomats told her that her son might be prosecuted for homosexual acts, a crime here.

The AP is using Robert’s name with her agreement, but is not identifying her son.

French officials have not commented publicly on the case, but a French diplomatic official in Paris, who spoke on condition of anonymity as is customary, said French officials had asked Dubai to do everything possible so that the attackers are held responsible in court.

Two Emirati men, age 18 and 35, are on trial in Dubai, charged with kidnapping Robert’s son and another French boy, who were headed home from a shopping mall at the time, and sexually assaulting Robert’s son.

A third defendant, also accused of taking part in the assault and also Emirati, is being tried in a juvenile court, where the proceedings are closed to the public.

Last week, the two adult defendants pleaded not guilty to charges of kidnapping with deceit and illicit sexual intercourse. The Emirates’ legal system prohibits the media from naming the defendants until a verdict is reached.

The case has garnered much controversy in this affluent tourist hub, which boasts a prosperous economy and where European tourists and expatriate workers mingle with a more conservative Arab society.

Some expatriates — both European managers and low-paid laborers, mostly from Asia — have long complained that foreigners, who far outnumber Emirati citizens, have few legal rights here.

Earlier this week, about 4,000 south Asian workers were jailed for several days for going on a labor strike to ask for higher wages — also against the law.

But many Emirati citizens defend their legal system.

Khalifa al Shaali, a former Dubai police chief now dean of the law faculty at the University of Ajman, Dubai’s neighboring emirate, said foreigners who come to the Emirates are mostly ignorant of the complex legal system, a combination of Islamic and tribal laws.

Al-Shaali said Emirates judges are fair and “don’t look at religion or nationality” but that the judges, often deeply religious, “are under intense pressure, not from the political system but from their consciences.”

“Some of us are afraid of newcomers, because we feel that social changes might slip beyond our control,” al-Shaali said.

Dubai is one of seven semiautonomous city-states that make up the UAE. It, like much of the Arab world, remains largely hostile to homosexuality.

The boy’s mother, on a Web site she set up, called for pressure on Dubai to take basic steps to protect underage rape victims, such as ensuring they are tested for infectious diseases and get psychological help after an attack.

According to court documents, the alleged attack began when the juvenile defendant offered the two French boys, one of whom he knew slightly, a ride home from a Dubai mall. The two boys got in the car and were later joined by the other two adult defendants.

The group drove to the edge of the Dubai desert, where the three defendants allegedly threatened the boys and took turns sexually assaulting Robert’s son in the car, while the other boy was told to stay behind a sand dune, according to the court documents.

The 15-year-old told police that one defendant threatened him, saying he would “burn down your house and burn your parents after I’ve had sex with your mother.”

After the attack, the two boys managed to get a taxi home. They reported the assault to police who arrested all three defendants the same day, court documents said. (Angela Doland And Barbara Surk, AP)


RUN

run

My friend has two incredible blogs, Here and Here, go check them out, and enjoy the time lapse video, from Jeff in Dubai.

we started from al barsha (near mall of the emirates) and went to bur dubai via sheikh zayed road and back to jebel ali gardens (also thru sheikh zayed road). it took us almost an hour drive with 300+ shots (with flashes), 10-sec intervals for each shot and three sets of drained batteries. it was controlled by nikon capture from lillian (my laptop) and connected via usb and mounted on a tripod.


Builder: Dubai high-rise world's tallest

070907_burj01.jpg

 Photo courtesy of: The Dubai Chronicles

By BARBARA SURK, Associated Press Writer 

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – Developers of a 1,680-foot skyscraper still under construction in oil-rich Dubai claimed Saturday that it has become the world’s tallest building, surpassing Taiwan’s Taipei 101 which has dominated the global skyline at 1,667 feet since 2004.

The Burj Dubai is expected to be finished by the end of 2008 and its planned final height has been kept secret. The state-owned development company Emaar Properties, one of the main builders in rapidly developing Dubai, said only that the tower would stop somewhere above 2,275 feet.

When completed, the skyscraper will feature more than 160 floors, 56 elevators, luxury apartments, boutiques, swimming pools, spas, exclusive corporate suites, Italian fashion designer Giorgio Armani‘s first hotel, and a 124th floor observation platform.

After North American and Asian cities marked their 20th century economic booms with skyscrapers, the Gulf grew eager to show off its success with ever taller buildings. In Dubai, long an oil-rich Gulf symbol of rapid economic growth, the building reflects the city’s hunger for global prestige.

“It’s a symbol of Dubai as a city of the world,” said Greg Sang, the project director for Emaar Properties.

Mohammed Ali Alabbar, chairman of Emaar, said it will be an architectural and engineering masterpiece of concrete, steel and glass. Dubai has “resisted the usual and has inspired to build a global icon,” he said.

“It’s a human achievement without equal.”

The $1 billion skyscraper is in the heart of downtown Dubai, a 500-acre development area worth $20 billion. Construction, which began just 1,276 days ago, has been frenzied — at times, one storey rises every three days.

The tip of the Burj’s spire will be seen for 60 miles, developers say. But Sang knows it will not dominate the world’s skyline forever.

“It’s a fact of life that, at some point, someone else will build a taller building,” he said. “There’s a lot of talk of other tall buildings, but five years into Burj Dubai’s construction, no one’s started building them yet,” he said.

Previous skyscraper record-holders include New York’s Empire State Building at 1,250 feet; Shanghai’s Jin Mao Building at 1,381 feet; Chicago’s Sears Tower at 1,451 feet; and Malaysia’s Petronas Towers at 1,483 feet.

The Burj will let the Middle East reclaim the world’s tallest structure. Egypt’s Great Pyramid of Giza, built around 2500 B.C., held the title with its 481 feet until the Eiffel Tower in Paris was built in 1889 at a height of 985 feet, or 1,023 feet including the flag pole.

The company says the Burj will fulfill the Chicago-based Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat’s four criteria for the tallest building: the height of the structural top, the highest occupied floor, the roof’s top, and the spire’s tip, pinnacle, antenna, mast or flag pole.

For now, the unattractive brownish concrete skeleton jutting into Dubai’s humid skies lacks any aura of a masterpiece. Rising 141 floors with a mass of surrounding cranes and girders, it has no windows, glass or steel yet.

The architects and engineers are American and the main building contractor is South Korean.

Most of the 4,000 laborers are Indian. They toil around the clock in Dubai’s sizzling summer with no set minimum wage. Human rights groups regularly protest against labor abuse in Dubai, but local media rarely report such complaints.


Builder: Dubai high-rise world’s tallest

070907_burj01.jpg

 Photo courtesy of: The Dubai Chronicles

By BARBARA SURK, Associated Press Writer 

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – Developers of a 1,680-foot skyscraper still under construction in oil-rich Dubai claimed Saturday that it has become the world’s tallest building, surpassing Taiwan’s Taipei 101 which has dominated the global skyline at 1,667 feet since 2004.

The Burj Dubai is expected to be finished by the end of 2008 and its planned final height has been kept secret. The state-owned development company Emaar Properties, one of the main builders in rapidly developing Dubai, said only that the tower would stop somewhere above 2,275 feet.

When completed, the skyscraper will feature more than 160 floors, 56 elevators, luxury apartments, boutiques, swimming pools, spas, exclusive corporate suites, Italian fashion designer Giorgio Armani‘s first hotel, and a 124th floor observation platform.

After North American and Asian cities marked their 20th century economic booms with skyscrapers, the Gulf grew eager to show off its success with ever taller buildings. In Dubai, long an oil-rich Gulf symbol of rapid economic growth, the building reflects the city’s hunger for global prestige.

“It’s a symbol of Dubai as a city of the world,” said Greg Sang, the project director for Emaar Properties.

Mohammed Ali Alabbar, chairman of Emaar, said it will be an architectural and engineering masterpiece of concrete, steel and glass. Dubai has “resisted the usual and has inspired to build a global icon,” he said.

“It’s a human achievement without equal.”

The $1 billion skyscraper is in the heart of downtown Dubai, a 500-acre development area worth $20 billion. Construction, which began just 1,276 days ago, has been frenzied — at times, one storey rises every three days.

The tip of the Burj’s spire will be seen for 60 miles, developers say. But Sang knows it will not dominate the world’s skyline forever.

“It’s a fact of life that, at some point, someone else will build a taller building,” he said. “There’s a lot of talk of other tall buildings, but five years into Burj Dubai’s construction, no one’s started building them yet,” he said.

Previous skyscraper record-holders include New York’s Empire State Building at 1,250 feet; Shanghai’s Jin Mao Building at 1,381 feet; Chicago’s Sears Tower at 1,451 feet; and Malaysia’s Petronas Towers at 1,483 feet.

The Burj will let the Middle East reclaim the world’s tallest structure. Egypt’s Great Pyramid of Giza, built around 2500 B.C., held the title with its 481 feet until the Eiffel Tower in Paris was built in 1889 at a height of 985 feet, or 1,023 feet including the flag pole.

The company says the Burj will fulfill the Chicago-based Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat’s four criteria for the tallest building: the height of the structural top, the highest occupied floor, the roof’s top, and the spire’s tip, pinnacle, antenna, mast or flag pole.

For now, the unattractive brownish concrete skeleton jutting into Dubai’s humid skies lacks any aura of a masterpiece. Rising 141 floors with a mass of surrounding cranes and girders, it has no windows, glass or steel yet.

The architects and engineers are American and the main building contractor is South Korean.

Most of the 4,000 laborers are Indian. They toil around the clock in Dubai’s sizzling summer with no set minimum wage. Human rights groups regularly protest against labor abuse in Dubai, but local media rarely report such complaints.