The Burj Khalifa claims the title of being the world’s tallest building – an honour that was brought back to the Middle East after nearly four centuries, during which the Lincoln Cathedral in England held the title after usurping it from the Great Pyramids of Giza in the fourteenth century.
During the course of its construction, it claimed three titles of ethereal significance. It broke several records as it slowly carved a silhouette of significance in the Dubai skies: the tallest building (829.8 metres, 2,722 feet), tallest structure (an honour previously held by the KVLY-TV mast in the city of Blanchard, North Dakota), tallest free-standing structure (previously held by the CN tower in Toronto), highest number of stories (160), highest outdoor observation deck, highest occupied floor, the tallest service elevator and elevator with the longest travel distance.
According to the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitats (CTBUH) based in Chicago, three sets of criteria have to be met in order to qualify as a “tall” building, because it is not just about effectively blocking the sunlight anymore! It is about proving yourself as the point master in the age-old swordfight to the stars that has defined every attempt at rising above the competition – literally.
The CTBUH has outlined the following elements for any structure wishing to be crowned on top of the world: 1) Height to architectural top, which measures the distance from the lowest pedestrian entrance to the highest architectural point not including functional or technical equipment such as antennae, flagpoles or signage. 2) Highest occupied floor, which measures the distance from the lower pedestrian entrance to the highest continually occupied floor. 3) Height to tip, which measures the distance from the lower pedestrian entrance to the highest point on the building.
The Burj Khalifa has swept all these elements in a landslide victory that makes it, unequivocally and undoubtedly, the tallest and most impressive feat of manmade ingenuity on the planet.
High on level 124, you will discover the observation deck, which presents a stunning 360 degree view of the Dubai skyline and the Arabian Gulf. Descend two floors down to level 122, where you can have your moment of dining at Olympus as you sample the cuisine of At.mosphere, your gateway to fine dining amidst the stars (of a celestial, not celebrity nature). The entire building sees the deployment of sheet architectural ingenuity to unfold in all its splendour, but perhaps one of the most innovative elements comes in the form of The Park, a verdant expanse of green that retains its healthy pallor year round, owing to a drawing of moisture from the humid atmosphere that condenses into all the liquid gold needed to enliven this Eden escape in the desert. No matter what brings you into the city of Dubai, a visit to the Burj Khalifa will propel you to new heights of discovery and wonder.
Whatever your hospitality preferences, Dubai serves up an elegant array of hotels that are sure to make your stay here about as decadent as a sultan’s summer retreat, now possible at the fine range of hotels in Palm Jumeirah. With sumptuous interiors and a gracious hospitality, you will feel thoroughly pampered at a finePalm Jumeirah hotel within one of the city’s most dazzling locales, such as The Palm.
Angela Fernando is an impassioned travel writer who composes pieces under the pen name Sumaira Narayan. She loves writing about new and exciting places around the world and hopes to visit them all someday. Google+