Burj Dubai is a supertall skyscraper under construction in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and is the tallest man-made structure ever built, at 2,684 ft. Construction began on 21 September 2004, and the tower is expected to be completed and ready for occupancy on 4 January 2010.
Towering high above the Dubai skyline, Burj Dubai, the world's tallest man-made construction, edges closer to completion.
These stunning aerial and exclusive interior images provide a glimpse into the lavish creation which has cost an estimated UD$1 billion to build, with a further three billion budgeted for the entire complex.
Standing at a reported 818 m (the official height will not be revealed until next year) and consisting of 162 floors above ground, the giant tower - described as the 'jewel of the Gulf regions' - is an awesome sight to behold.
But while the exterior of the building has taken shape, interior shots suggest there is still some way to go before the official unveiling in January 2010.
Taken in November, interior images display giant office spaces from the lofty 125th floor with vertigo-inducing views.
On floor 39, a luxury bathroom and entertainment area from the Armani Hotel provide an insight into what the rich and famous can expect upon their lavish stay.
Made up of 175 rooms, the 40,000 sq. m Armani Hotel, will be the first of its kind to open in the world.
Reports have suggested that Giorgio Armani himself will oversee all aspects of content, design and style, including interiors and amenities. And the fashion guru will be incorporating the his exclusive label's designs into the furnishings.
The statistics behind the mega structure are as impressive as the building itself. The rods that reinforce the structure weigh a total 31,400 tonnes alone. Laid end to end they would stretch more than a quarter of the way around the world.
The water system will supply 250,000 gallons each day and the tower's external surface is the size of 17 football fields. The building will have the worlds fastest elevators at speeds of 64 km/h (40 mph) or 18 m/s (59 ft/s)
The tower will include 800 private apartments and an observatory 442 metres above the ground on the 124th floor - the highest public observation deck in the world. There will be a club on floors 144 to 146.
Sitting at the foot of the tower is the 500 acre Downtown Burj Dubai development, which when completed is expected to cost around US$20 billion, offering 30,000 homes and the world's largest shopping mall - the Dubai Mall - covering 836,000 square metres. The Burj Dubai Mall will have areas for leisure, including a world-class aquarium, fashion show arena, a souk and an ice rink.
The Burj Dubai has been designed to be the centre of a large-scale, mixed-use development that will include 30,000 homes, 9 hotels, 6 acres of parkland, 19 residential towers, and the 12 hectare Burj Dubai Lake.
The mega structure has already achieved the distinction of being the world's tallest, surpassing the KNLY-TV mast (628.8m, 2,063ft) in North Dakota, USA.
However, Dubai has been hit hard by the global downturn. This week, Dubai World, one of the emirate's main state holding companies, said it was asking for a delay on major parts of its debt repayments until at least May 30.
Dubai was among the most dramatic victims of the credit crunch, with property prices halving from their highs in September 2008, leaving a huge overhang of debt.
Dubai borrowed $80bn in a four-year construction spree designed to turn its economy into a Middle Eastern powerhouse of finance and tourism.
Burj Dubai has also been hit by press reports of the poor conditions faced by its labourers, mostly immigrants from South Asia.
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