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How was Dubai's 828m-tall Burj Khalifa built?

by CW Staff on Jan 4, 2018


Burj Khalifa opened on 4 January, 2010.
Burj Khalifa opened on 4 January, 2010.

On 4 January, 2018, Dubai celebrates two momentous occasions.

For starters, the date represents 12 years of HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum's leadership as the Ruler of Dubai.

The date also marks the eighth anniversary of the world's tallest tower, Burj Khalifa.

In the years since its 2010 opening, Burj Khalifa has put Dubai on the world map, and become a core ingredient of the Emirate's global brand identity

Its 148th floor observation deck, unveiled in 2014, was officially declared as the world’s highest when opened.

In March 2016, a spiral staircase that takes Burj Khalifa's 555m-high observation deck to another level was revealed. 

Level 125 is now part of the At the Top Burj Khalifa Sky journey that takes visitors to the world's highest observation deck on Level 148. 

The spiral flight is built with 60 metric tonnes of steel, 700sqm of glass, and 350sqm of stainless steel cladding.

Replicas of Burj, created by chocolatiers, LEGO players, and 3D model designers, have also garnered attention over the years. 

Understandably, the landmark has also attracted competitors keen to overtake its record as the world's tallest, the most recent of such claims emerging from Korea and India in 2015. 

While the UAE and indeed, the GCC, has witnessed the development of numerous other landmark towers since the Burj Khalifa's launch, the global design, architecture, and construction spotlight has remained firmly fixated on the 828m Dubai landmark for the engineering marvel it is

As Burj Khalifa celebrates its eighth anniversary, Construction Week takes a look at the tower's key statistics and achievements since its opening. 

2010: The Grand Opening

Vision is a word you hear a lot in the GCC. But just imagine if you will, sitting down in a meeting and deciding to construct the world’s tallest building in your city. Not one that is going to be the tallest by a few dozen metres, and relinquish its title to another tower, in another city, within a few years, but the tallest by a massive margin.

If you can imagine that, then you can get a feeling for the vision that went into coming up with the Burj Khalifa, officially the world’s tallest tower, a whopping 200m-plus taller than the next nearest rival. More than six years in the making and not fully-finished just yet, the project was and is a massive undertaking, one that has paired bold vision with a brave leap into the engineering unknown.

Making it happen not only needed vision, but cash as well as design and engineering genius. Pushing at the envelope of engineering means trying new things, developing new techniques and carrying out rigorous rounds of testing.

And while it’s hard to find a construction contractor or supplier who doesn’t claim to have been involved in the making of the Burj Khalifa, CW takes a look at what those who were really there had to do to build an icon.

Next page: Finance, Design, and Foundations



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