Could Dubai build an even taller tower than Burj Khalifa
Dubai, part of the United Arab Emirates, is already home to the world’s tallest tower – Burj Khalifa, the region’s biggest shopping mall, an indoor ski slope, and man-made islands shaped like palm trees. However, known for its ambition, the city is always looking to surpass its own achievements. Now, after holding the top position for housing the tallest building in the world, it is considering breaking its own record and that of neighboring Saudi Arabia.
Emaar Properties, developer of Burj Khalifa, is mulling the idea of a taller tower that will beat Saudi Arabia’s rival project – currently under construction in the city of Jeddah – known as the Kingdom Tower. According to remarks in local media made by Mohamed Alabbar, chairman of Emaar Properties, Dubai is one of the locations being considered for the potential development.
After successfully monetizing Burj Khalifa, Alabbar indicated it made sense to build another tower especially with current advances in technology that enable constructing taller buildings that can be commercially viable.
Standing at 829.8 meters high, Burj Khalifa was finalized in October of 2009 when it beat the world record for tallest tower, a title it still holds today. Now, Saudi Arabia is constructing the kilometer-long Kingdom Tower, slated for completion in five years’ time. Given Emaar’s experience in developing the world’s tallest tower, the company is involved in the Kingdom Tower by mobilizing 25 engineers to help with development.
Burj Khalifa, known prior to its opening as Burj Dubai, was constructed using more than 110,000 tons of concrete and 39,000 tons of steel, while utilizing in excess of 380 experienced engineers and technicians. The weight of aluminum used in the construction of the Burj is the same as that of five A380 Airbus planes.
Prior to mentioning Dubai, Alabbar hinted at Asia as a possible location for his next venture. His confidence to target such an undertaking is not surprising. His company has benefited from the recent recovery in the emirate’s real estate sector and has recently sold units within a number of new projects like pancakes.
In April, Emaar witnessed a chaotic day of sales, as it launched Mira, an affordable housing project that features townhouses. However, a day after the sale, units were posted for resale online with an increase of more than 35 percent to the original price. This trend, known as flipping, has re-emerged alongside the recent recovery in the market and has caused worry among analysts and government officials about the possibility of another property bubble.
Alabbar, however, suggested that risk on the back of increasing appetite in the market is under control as lending institutions require buyers to make large deposits in exchange for loans or mortgages.
Property prices across Dubai have increased significantly over the past year, as investors from across the region and beyond identified the market as an attractive investment option. Prices in some areas have even rebounded close to pre-crisis levels, after a crash in 2009 that sent rates crashing more than 65 percent on the back of the global financial crisis.
(Photo Credit: Weijie~)
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