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The Grand Burj Dubai

Burj Dubai in the morning on March 15th 2009. (Still under construction)
Burj Dubai in the morning on March 15th 2009. (Still under construction)
Today,  Dubai has become one of the wealthiest and most industrialized cities in the world,  with its mega structures and amazing skyscrapers.  Now it will become even more progressive and more recognized with the near completion of the tallest building in the world –  the Burj Dubai.

Standing at the heart of downtown Dubai,  Burj Dubai has been designed not only to be the world’s tallest building but to embody the greatest aspirations of the Middle East which are dynamic,  successful and prosperous.
Burj Dubai started its construction on September 21, 2004 and projected its completion in September 2009.    Its total budget originally amounted to US$ 4.1 billion and for the entire ‘Downtown Dubai’ project was US$ 20 billion.

The building is part of the 2 km2 property development called ‘Downtown Burj Dubai’  along Sheikh Zayed Road at the Financial Centre Road (formerly known as Doha Street).

As of January 17, 2009,  Burj Dubai has become the world’s tallest freestanding structure with 818 m (2,684 ft)  in height.   It is the tallest structure in the world with the most floors of 160,  highest vertical concrete pumping for a building with 601 m (1,972 ft)  and the first world’s tallest structure in history that includes a residential space.

It has surpassed the 553-metre- (1,824.9 ft )  CN Tower in Toronto Canada which recorded the world’s tallest standing structure in the world since 1976.  Burj Dubai has also surpassed the Warsaw Radio Mast in Konstantynow,  Poland and Taiwan’s Taipei 101 which is 508 meters (1,676.4 ft)  in height.

Burj Dubai tower’s architect is Adrian Smith who partners with Skidmore,   Owings and Merrill,  the world-renowned leader in constructing mega structures.   The traditional Islamic Architecture has been incorporated by Smith in the creation of Burj Dubai.   The Burj Dubai Tower’s design is inspired by a flower Hymenocallis that can be found in Dubai,  India and throughout the region.   Smith has drawn his inspiration from the flower’s harmonious structure into the making of the tower’s design.

Burj Dubai is a collaborative effort of immigrant engineers and workers from Pakistan,  India,  China, Bangladesh and the Philippines.   There has been a delay in the construction way back in 2008 when migrant construction workers staged a demonstration due to very low wages.   It has captured worldwide attention after the protests turned violence,  causing damage to property.   Some 500 migrant workers have been arrested for the violent protests.

This incident involving the plight of migrant workers employed at Burj Dubai construction site prompted Human Rights Watch group to publish a report on the UAE’s unjust treatment and exploitation of migrant workers such as low wages,  years of indebtedness to recruitment agencies for fees under UAE law,   the withholding of employee’s passports,  and the extremely hazardous working conditions resulting to deaths and injuries of workers.

The Human Rights Watch also presented some recommendations to the UAE government to improve the working conditions of migrant workers and they lauded the government’s swift response on making efforts to better the plight of migrant workers in the region.

However,   migrant workers still receive $106 to $250 monthly while the national average wage is over $2,000 per month until now.   Forming of trade unions in the UAE is highly prohibited in the UAE.

Burj Dubai and the thought process behind its elevator



Description:

The desert sands of Dubai has contributed to one more amazing invention, the tallest man made structure on earth; Burj Dubai. A city that reaches half a kilometer in the sky, the Burj Dubai is zenith of skyscraper engineering. The success of Burj Dubai is wholly dependent on seven key inventions. These seven historic skyscrapers contributed to a new engineering technology during their construction. The skyscrapers:Equitable Life Building, Fuller Flatiron, United Nations HQ, World Trade Towers, Sears Tower, 101 Taipei and the Burj Dubai itself  have been the inspiration for the construction of Burj Dubai to become the world’s biggest building.
Dubai is the fastest growing city in the world and Burj Dubai is the apple of its eye as the world’s biggest skyscraper till today. Team of a number of workers and cranes are on their toes to make this project successful and an invention that the world will take pride in.
To be acquainted with how the elevator of Burj Dubai will be installed we will have to travel a century back when skyscrapers began emerging in the 19thcentury. The first elevator came into being for the Equitable Life Assurance Building which was just 43 meters tall. Elevator was an option for stairs which was a necessity before skyscraper engineering could proceed further. Buyers would lose clients just because they were on a higher floor and clients were unwilling to climb stairs. But the obvious solution i.e. the elevator had a major fault, crashing if its rope broke. In 1854 Elisha G.Otis from Vermont invented a mechanism by which a powerful wagon spring mounted on top of the cab and metal prongs stopped the elevator from crashing. He displayed his invention at the World's Fair in New York. This was world's fully automated safety elevator. The invention of elevator reversed the economics of real estate as higher floor accommodations were being sought for more price being airy and away from noise. Also they were easily accessible by elevators. But in case of Burj Dubai, the engineering behind elevators goes a step further as it has to climb 160 stories with an average traffic of 35,000 people on an everyday basis. The Burg Dubai consists of 53 elevators of which some climb 120 floors under 50 secs at 35 kms per hour. The biggest lift is able to accommodate 46 people at a time.

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