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French Spiderman conquers the Burj Khalifa

Alain Robert scales the world's tallest building in six hours

Robert stood atop the Burj Khalifa just after midnight on Monday, having conquered the 828m tower. Photo: Getty
Robert stood atop the Burj Khalifa just after midnight on Monday, having conquered the 828m tower. Photo: Getty

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French specialist climber Alain Robert succeeded in conquering the world’s tallest tower, Dubai’s Burj Khalifa on Monday night, completing the 828m climb in around six-hours.

Robert, known as the French Spiderman, began the climb at 6pm and reached the top of the spire of the building just after midnight. Thousands of spectators gathered to watch Robert reach the tower’s tallest point.

Known for climbing unassisted, Robert agreed to use a harness as stipulated by officials prior to the climb. He also used climbing equipment to scramble up the tower's spire as there is nothing to grip on to on the sheer surface of the spire.

Robert was supposed to begin the climb at 4.30pm, but the wind picked up in Dubai and delayed the start of the climb.

The Burj is the latest in a long line of famous structures conquered by Robert. He has already scaled over 100 skyscrapers and structures including the Eiffel Tower, the Sydney Opera House, Taipei 101. He was arrested and fined after climbing the Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in 1997 – and has since gone on to climb the Willis Tower, in Chicago, One Canada Square in London, and was arrested and expelled from China for scaling the Jin Mao building in Shanghai.

He is no stranger to the UAE either. In February 2003, he legally climbed the 200-metre (656 ft) National Bank of Abu Dhabi, UAE, watched by about 100,000 spectators, and has also tackled the Etisalat building in Abu Dhabi, the ADIA headquarters building.

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Construction Week - Issue 738
Apr 21, 2019