Discover the tallest

things in the world.

The Tallest Building in the World: Burj Khalifa

Burj Khalifa

Burj Khalifa was known as Burj Dubai prior to its inauguration. It is a skyscraper in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and is the tallest building in the world, at 829.8 m or 2,722 ft. Construction on the building started on 21 September 2004. The exterior of the structure completed on 1 October 2009, but the building did not officially open until 4 January 2010. And, it is part of the new 2 km squared (490-acre) development called "Downtown Dubai" at the 'First Interchange' along Sheikh Zayed Road, near Dubai's main business district.

The tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa skyscraper, is a world-class structure and the magnificent centerpiece of "Downtown Dubai", Dubai's new urban masterpiece. The world's tallest building is surrounded by hotels, must-visit shopping destinations and many entertainment options.

Burj Khalifa

The tower's architecture and engineering were performed by Skidmore, Owings and Merrill of Chicago. The chief architect was Adrian Smith. The chief structural engineer was Bill Baker. The primary contractor was Samsung C&T of South Korea.

In total, the world's tallest building project cost approximately $1.5 billion; and for the entire "Downtown Dubai" development, $20 billion. In March 2009, Mohamed Ali Alabbar, chairman of the project's developer, Emaar Properties, said office space pricing at Burj Khalifa reached $4,000 per sq ft (over $43,000 per sq m). Also, in Burj Khalifa, the Armani Residences sold for $3,500 per sq ft (over $37,500 per sq m).

Burj Khalifa

The project's completion coincided with the global financial crisis of 2007-2012. This combined with vast overbuilding in the country, led to high vacancies and foreclosures. Dubai, not too dissimilar from the United States, is mired in debt from its huge ambitions. The government was forced to seek multibillion dollar bailouts from its oil-rich neighbor Abu Dhabi. Subsequently, in a surprise move at its opening ceremony, the tower was renamed Burj Khalifa. This was said to honor the UAE President Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan for his crucial support toward the completion of the skyscraper project.

The financial woes of Dubai have caused a slump in demand in Dubai's property market. The rents in the Burj Khalifa plummeted 40% some ten months after its opening. Out of 900 apartments in the tower, 825 were still empty at that time. The Dubai market has rebounded. And by October 2012, Emaar reported that around 80% of the apartments were occupied, a much improved figure from January 2010, when the building opened.