Thursday, December 23, 2004

My Building's Bigger Than Yours

Newspaper reports today are talking about proposals to build the world's tallest building on The Palm Jumeirah. Hang on a minute, isn't that supposed to be Burj Dubai in Downtown Dubai? Well, yes, it was. Burj Dubai is being developed by Emaar (a privately-owned property company), and while they have not officially confirmed the height of it, it is expected to be a little over 700 metres. Possibly the architects are now back at their drawing boards trying to tack on another 100 metres after this morning's news.

The new building, which has not been officially announced yet, is being developed by Nakheel, and it will be 750 metres tall. For comparison, the current world's tallest buildings are Taipei101, Taiwan (spire 508m/roof 448m); Petronas Towers, Kuala Lumpur (452m) and Sears Tower, Chicago (442m). Interestingly, the Empire State Building is still in the Top 10 at number 9. Visit this site for more info.

When we arrived in Dubai, the tallest building was the World Trade Centre, and there was an urban myth that said no-one was allowed to build anything taller than that because it would be disrespectful to the late Ruler, Sheikh Rashid. It was one of his sons, Sheikh Mohammed, who blew that myth to bits by building the Burj Al Arab and then the Emirates Towers. Now, it seems, anything goes.

And while we're on the subject of development, a new project called Business Bay was announced last week. This development will fill a large gap between Ras Al Khor (the end of Dubai Creek) and Sheikh Zayed Road. It will be built around an artificial 'creek'. The publicity suggests that this will actually be connected to the existing creek, but I think that's a bit dubious myself.