Burj Khalifa: Launch of the Tallest Skyscraper in the World

“We built the high-rise for people with strong will and determination. The highest point in the world should be linked to the big names and I announce today: the opening of Burj Khalifa.” ~ Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

Like a lot of people residing here in the U.A.E., I pass the tallest building in the world every single day to and from work.  So I had to be there when it opened last night.  I went with my Mom and sister.  We didn’t have the courage to brave the traffic on Shaikh Zayed road, so we took Al Khail road.  We were still driving when it was announced on the radio that fireworks will start in five minutes.  And we were nowhere near the Burj!

We couldn’t get too close to the Burj, but from where we were, we could see the fireworks very clearly.  Within minutes, we were joined by several other spectators.  I saw a few of them setting up their DSLRs on the tripods (I noticed 8 out of 10 were using Nikon, mwah ha ha).  Anyway, since I was camera-less (on one of those occasions where I shouldn’t be), I decided that I should just simply enjoy.

And so the fireworks started.  I don’t have the right words to describe it.  Instead, here are a couple of pictures from Gulf News:

It was only when we got home last night did we learn that Burj Dubai had been renamed Burj Khalifa.  Mom has named it ‘Tallest’.  They had put out the building’s lights before the opening, so while we were looking for that ‘spot’ to watch the fireworks, Mom kept asking, “Where is it?  I don’t see the Tallest yet.”

It definitely came as a shock, but then whatever name the Burj will be known as, for me it is still an engineering marvel.  If you Google ‘Burj Khalifa’ you will notice a lot of negative news about Dubai, its ruler and how this building is a sort of payment for the debts Dubai took.  And most of the ‘interesting’ comments are from people who haven’t even been to Dubai.

This city is not perfect.  As a matter of fact, it is far from being perfect.  But for those of us who live here with our families and feel safe, we love Dubai and we respect its ruler.


  1. This building has been all over the news these past few days. It really looks amazing, m’A! Dubai is so impressive, even with its current economic problems. I can’t wait to visit!

    Yes, it is definitely impressive, yet people can only see the bad (and Dubai’s downfall). If only the international media also cover all the charity work that the leader of Dubai organizes all the time. He reaches out to people himself.

  2. Its pretty awesome!

    [email protected] re-naming it Burj Khalifa… I remember someone from Facebook who had a good laugh about how the Burj Arab could become Burj Khalifa with $10 bn 😉 LOL

    LOL, yeah! Even suggestions about renaming Dubai to Abu Dhabi.

  3. Whatever Dubai’s faults and mistakes are/were, the construction and opening of this building is something they can be proud of. They really achieved a technological and design marvel and something people will now visit Dubai for.

    Just read that the observation deck was designed by a Canadian company for $12.5 million! (and that’s just design!)

    Yes, that is right. They had a dream and made it come true. But seriously, out of the total cost of $1.5 billion, $12.5 went to pay the ‘design’ of the observatory deck?!

  4. I agree – there’s a lot of negativity from people around this building, especially those that haven’t even BEEN to Dubai and for them all the Middle East is the same. Ignorant fools.

    At the same time, I’m sure these same people are curious to visit Dubai to see this building with their own eyes.

  5. Have been hearing on the news for the past 2 days how our CN Tower is not the tallest anymore 🙁

    I must see this tower that has beat ours…

    The fireworks look spectacular!

    ‘liya, according to this article, “Toronto’s CN Tower, at 553 metres, retains its Guinness World Record as the world’s tallest tower. Guinness defines the Toronto landmark as a building in which less than 50 per cent of the construction is usable floor space. By that definition, the Burj is definitely not a tower.” I think Burj Khalifa is classified as the world tallest skyscraper.

  6. i got to know of the renaming from my bro :p and i hve been living away from all the ‘rola shola’ / happenings of the world around me :p

    happy new year!

    Mubi jee, you’re back! I missed you so much. Yes, it has been renamed without your consent :p

  7. salam,

    its so nice n awesome!! felling like wanna visit dubai one day..

    insya allah..

    Walaikum Assalam. Yes, sis, we had a great time watching those fireworks. Do come to Dubai; I’ll show you around, inshaAllah 🙂

  8. I heard the fireworks were fabulous, and that they continued for about 30 minutes. Must have been great to witness it all right in front of you…

    Oh, yes, the fireworks were great. They always organize such spectacular fireworks here. But this wasn’t as extravagant as the one organized during the opening of the Atlantis Hotel. And yes, it felt wonderful to witness the event 🙂

  9. I can’t help but fathom about how long it would take to clean every window pane. I hope the base is stable since the building was made to flex at about 4 feet.

    Frankly, I have no idea how long it would take to clean every window, but they have that pretty much organized and you can read about it here.

    Regarding the structure’s stability, well, it took an entire year just to build its foundation. Plus they had extensive seismic and wind tunnel testing (new words I learned a couple of days ago) carried out to perfect the design of the tower. You can find more details here.

  10. I think Dubai has its charms… I think which can only be better appreciated if you are there 🙂

    Exactly! It took me some time (primarily because of the horrible summer heat), but now I love this place so much 🙂

  11. Hello Nadia,

    It was nice to see your posts on the day of the opening of the Burj Khalifa.

    I just thought of sharing some of the pictures I took that evening before the opening ceremony and during the ceremony. (I’ve posted them on my facebook page).

    Me and some of my friends were lucky to have a great view from the 30th floor of a nearby building in Burj Down Town.



      1. Thanks Nadia. I’m just trying to improve my self to get to the next level in photography.

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