back to article Dubai claims world's tallest building title

Dubai declared on Saturday it now boasts the world's tallest building, with the Burj Dubai (Dubai Tower) scraping the sky at 512.1m (1,680ft) a year before its slated completion. The Burj Dubai at a modest 96 stories earlier this year. Photo: Emaar The Burj Dubai, built by South Korea's Samsung, now stands at 141 storeys, …


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  1. Simon Day

    More useful statistics?

    Like how many seconds of free fall for a base jump from the top of it, the angle of incline on the walls and the size of any open areas for landing in...

    Oh and the name of the building super and how much the local bribe for a one way trip to the roof wouldn't go amiss

  2. Rhys

    And how long before

    the media gets all upset about the prospects of a plane ramming that tower.

    It;s good to see construction projects going ahead, I understand the US office rental figures in towers dropped catastrophicly after the 11th sept attack. should all those property developers who lost their money on tower projects and died brokein the streets be chalked up to Al'Quida too?

  3. Steven


    "the media gets all upset about the prospects of a plane ramming that tower."

    Cannae see Ozzy B shitting in his own back yard and ramming a building in Dubai can you?

  4. Joel Mansford

    Who would want to occupy this?

    I don't just mean after 11/9 (11th September) but what about other threats from fire/hurricane?

    And the lifts might do 10m/s but they will still have to stop which means trips to various parts of the building are going to be slow.

    Generally who is going to want to be 'only' on say the 20th floor?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The obvious question left unanswered by the story...

    ... is how many soccer pitches is 39,000 metric tonnes?

    I'll get me coat.

  6. Matt Milford

    To answer your question

    "Like how many seconds of free fall for a base jump from the top of it"

    That would be about 10.2 seconds, neglecting air resistance. Also that would be about 100m/s when he hits the ground.

    (except it wouldn't, it will be longer, and the max velocity a falling man can ever reach is 55ish m/s, with all that air in the way)

  7. Dougal


    Who would want to occupy this?

    Having been to dubai, one of the things you notice is they really, really don't mess about. You can be fairly sure transport around the building will not be a problem. Besides, if you're loaded enough to occupy the top of this thing, you're probably getting your own lift...

    If this seems nuts, wait till they start on their winter olympic village...

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Call me when it's 1024 meters.

    Honestly, I think it's awesome this is being built. And to the people whining, "Oh, what if a plane runs into it!" - well, what if a plane runs into YOU? What if you slip in the tub, fall out of a tree, or get hit by a bus? The day we start defining our futures in terms of least possible harm rather than greatest possible achievement is the day our hearts die.

    I will gladly sign up to be the first tenant on the top floor of a big-ass building, with a bullseye painted on the side, surrounded by airports, and every one of us should do the same, american, arab, israeli, russian, chinese, whatever.

    The Roman aqueducts might have fallen down and they still built them. The leaning tower might have tipped over but they kept going. Venice sunk, filaments burned out, Apollo 1 burned, and we still have canals, the light bulb, and space travel.

    The goal of terrorism is to force a society to change, to crimp in on itself, to cripple itself from within with fear. Terrorism cannot be fought with guns, words, or politics - it can be fought only one way: When they knock your building down, build it the same way, without a word, without reaction. When they infiltrate your security, don't change a thing. When they scare you half to death, stand straight the f*ck up, look them in the eye, and say, "I will not be intimidated."

    Do not change for them. Do not make your travelers prisoners, do not make your private matters public, do not suspect your neighbors, and when you want to build the tallest building in the world, whether you are american or arab, build it even if they might knock it down tomorrow. To do otherwise is defeat.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's all good fun until somebody gets hurt

    Dubai is a funny old place. It's a nowhere in the middle of nothingness. It has no oil, no natural resources, and so is trying to build up this 'supercity' image, with daft projects like the new islands they build for houses, oversized hotels, blah blah. As they do so, the country is becoming less cheap to operate from (people are wanting a return on their oversized hotels), and so there's a very real chance of the ex-pat workforce (pretty much everyone who gets anything done - the indigenous workforce is small and mostly wealthy traders) moving on to another tax-haven some miles up, down etc the coast.

    To my mind, the place feels hollow, there's no slow evolution of the city as with (say) Europe, and so it hasn't got layer upon layer of history and culture of its own, just brash new 'features' like those nonsense islands for the terminally tasteless. It's grown so fast - soooo fast (go back just to the Eighties, there's nothing there but a pretty but small old town, sand dunes and lots of now displaced flamingoes), and things that grow quickly usually have shorter lives than the slow-growers - compare Elder and Oak trees for instance. It's a city built on sand (metaphorically and literally - see what I did there?) and I could imagine fairly small societal changes (eg more stay-at-home holidays, a European recession, oil running out/prices spiralling, whatever) having a major impact - it could become the world's most impressive ghost town.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    'how many soccer pitches is 39,000 metric tonnes?'

    Approximate 0.03 attoWaleses at standard pressure and temperature (adjusting for local treacle viscosity).

    Hope that's clear.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not the tallest

    Worlds tallest building?

    The CN tower in Toronto claims to be the worlds tallest building at 553 meters.

    Last time I checked 553 > 512

  12. Daniel Silver badge


    "The tower will have 56 elevators travelling at 1.75 to 10 metres/sec...'

    Shouldn't that read 0 to 10 metres/sec? I'd be slightly concerned about a lift that never stops at floors, just expects you to jump out when it's travelling at it's slowest speed of 1.75m/s...


  13. Ben Norris

    not the tallest

    The CN tower is still taller so far, it'll be news when they finally beat that and end the controversy.

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  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Guinness disagrees.

    Guinness claims the world's tallest building is the CN Tower @ 553.3m. So now the debate begins; Is the CN Tower the tallest building or merely a free-standing structure?

  16. Andrew Thomas

    The environment

    "It has no oil, no natural resources"

    That's a strange thing to say - Dubai's weath was built on it's huge gas and oil resources! Though they are starting to run low.

    I just wonder how environmentally unfriendly this tower was to build, all that concrete. The whole city must use so much air conditioning. They just don't give a toss about the environment

  17. Dillon Pyron

    Who would want to rent space?

    How about Halliburton? Last I heard, they were set to rent 10 floors there.

    And yes, Ozzy bin (love that name, thanks) would probably love to drop a tower built by infidel Dubai, which has so embraces the ways of the Satan lovers. The Westerners only beaches where women not only wear bikinis, but sometimes even go topless!!!! Would you believe they still accept the dollar? Even though I can no longer call it "the almighty dollar". Heck, at one point, Disney was rumored to be planning an Islamic friendly park. But still a Disney park, complete with representations of humans. With "the Three Mountains".

  18. Charles

    Re: Lifts

    I think that means some elevators will only go 1.75 max, where others will go 10 max...

    This is how I would design it: The slower elevators would cover a few floors, where the fast ones get you to the top. If you want to go to, say, floor #87, you must ride a fast elevator to 80, get off there, and take a slow one from 80 to 87. That way, the fast ones only stop every 10 stories or so, and the slower ones get you to the exact floor you want.

    Kind of like our interstates in the US...If there was an exit at every crossing street, there would be constant slowdowns rather than a steady flow of traffic...OK, sometimes there still are anyway, but that's not the point. :)

  19. Roger Lipscombe

    Express lifts versus local lifts

    Charles has it about right. Tall buildings these days have express lifts that go to every tenth floor with slower lifts serving the floors in between.

    It's not just for speed; it also uses less space in the core of the building. See Wikipedia:

  20. Slaine

    for Matt Milford

    Terminal Velocity = 54m/s (120 mph)

    From wiki I read it takes 8 seconds to reach 90%, 15 seconds to reach 99%

    However, even a simplistic mathematical approach tells us...

    time (sec) - average speed (m/s)

    1 - - - - - - - 5.1

    2 - - - - - - - 15.3

    3 - - - - - - - 25.5

    4 - - - - - - - 35.7

    5 - - - - - - - 45.9

    6 - - - - - - - 54 (Terminal velocity)

    7 - - - - - - - 54

    8 - - - - - - - 54

    9 - - - - - - - 54

    10 - - - - - - 54

    11 - - - - - - 54

    12 - - - - - - 54

    time (sec) distance covered (m)

    1 - - - - - - - 5.1

    2 - - - - - - - 20.4

    3 - - - - - - - 45.9

    4 - - - - - - - 81.6

    5 - - - - - - - 127.5

    6 - - - - - - - 181.5

    7 - - - - - - - 235.5

    8 - - - - - - - 289.5

    9 - - - - - - - 343.5

    10 - - - - - - 397.5

    11 - - - - - - 451.5

    12 - - - - - - 505.5 which roughly = splat!

    Given that the natural parabolic shape of your average base jump will extend this journey time, you should be good for a full 12 seconds, but how long does it take your chute to open and how quickly does it slow and control your descent.

  21. Brad


    Nope, the CN tower isn't a 'building' which is defined as having actual floors along its entire height. When completed the Burj Dubai should even surpass the tallest man-made structure, that giant TV mast in North Dakota.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    CN tower is not a true "building"

    From wikipedia:

    "Emporis and the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat both list the CN Tower as the world's tallest free-standing structure on land, and specifically state that the CN Tower is not a true building, therefore awarding the title of world's tallest building to Taipei 101, which is 44 m (144 ft) shorter than the CN Tower"

    Just so everyone knows....

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    barefooted ones...

    ...So he said, "Well, inform me about the signs thereof (i.e. of its coming)." Said he, "They are that the slave-girl will give birth to her mistress, that you will see the barefooted ones, the naked, the destitute, the herdsmen of the sheep (competing with each other) in raising tall buildings." Thereupon the man went off.

    ... well blow me down :)

  24. david

    Wait and see

    We really need to wait another to see whether it reaches planned height. Taipei 101 was taller when blue-printed; I don't remember actual measurement, but it was shorter than its design. (Same situation happened to China's tallest building.) Maybe when measured in the winter, cold weather caused certain shrinkage...

  25. Ronny Cook

    R: Call me when it's 1024 meters.

    > When they knock your building down, build it the same way, without a word, without reaction.

    You almost certainly want to fix any engineering weaknesses found due to the attack (several were found from the collapse of September 11th). There's a difference between being stubborn and being stupid.

    Other than that I can only cheer your sentiment. The overreaction against "terror" tactics risks destruction of those values that supposedly differentiate the Western world from the terrorists that oppose it.

    "The one thing you can't trade for your heart's desire is your heart." -- Miles Vorkosigan (From "Memory" by Lois McMaster Bujold).

  26. Gavin Watkinson

    Burj Dubai Height

    Supposedly its being built in such a way that if someone in the world builds a taller building they can add a few more floors on top.

    >You can be fairly sure transport around the building will not be a problem.

    Oh yes it will, dubai traffic makes the M25 look positively fast.

  27. Scott Mckenzie

    Glass Floor

    Christ i hope they don't stick a glass floor on the Burj too, i nearly wet myself at the CN Tower!

    Oh and a random fact Dubai does have oil, but it's predicted to run out in 2016, hence the huge development in order to retain an income for the place... the Burj Hotel cost over $2 Billion to build, the Palm Island was nearer $7 Billion and the World Islands expected to be in excess of $14 Billion.... but the problem is getting the hugely wealthy people in the world to build on them and invest in the investment by Dubai.... the "cheapest" island on "The World" is $20 Million... and that's just for the big pile of sand, there is an awful lot of it as yet unsold as the developer is very particular about the kind of developments that can be built.. it's mostly going to be hotels and complexes now too....

    Anyone else in the UK see Megastructures last night :D

  28. Dax Farrer


    No Dubai never had much, which is why its trying to turn itself into a holiday destination. Its real problem is water rather than power.

    Good luck to em

  29. alan lovedog


    I'm reliably informed that on buildings such as these, they are built in such a way as to allow movement in wind and the like - and the higher the building, the more they do it - to such an extent that if you had the penthouse on a building such as this you would be able to both see and feel the sway - not one for those who dislike boats on the sea!

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