Burj Dubai, the world’s tallest building, will influence and inspire future generations of architects and engineers, said Mr Mohamed Ali Alabbar, Chairman of Emaar Properties. Speaking on the second day of the 8th World Congress of the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH), Alabbar said that Emaar’s landmark tower epitomizes the can-do spirit that has led to Dubai’s emergence as a thriving global city.
Participating in a panel discussion on the ‘Vision for the World’s Tallest,’ Alabbar insisted that Burj Dubai is not just about building the tallest tower in the world but an expression of the vision that Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President & Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, has for Dubai and its rightful place in the global scene.
“When Burj Dubai was first planned, it was to be a 90-storey structure, but Sheikh Mohammed asked us, ‘Why stop there?’” Alabbar said. “As Dubai and its economy expand, as our achievements grow, we must constantly ask ourselves: ‘Why stop there?’ Sheikh Mohammed has inspired us to dare, to dream and to achieve what would once have been considered impossible.”
With Dubai playing a leading role, Alabbar said, the Middle East has the potential to reclaim its age-old role as a global source of scientific and engineering innovation, a fact underscored by the vastly sophisticated building rising from Dubai’s desert sands. “In every aspect of Burj Dubai, there is a new set of learning. No one has ever tried to construct a building like this,” he said.
“This learning will be vital for the next generation of enterprising individuals.” And while Alabbar said he had little doubt that someone would eventually build a tower higher than Burj Dubai, he insisted that such an outcome would not bother him. “This is not a race or competition,” he said. “What’s important is that Dubai has provided a platform for humanity to push the boundaries of what can be achieved.”
The panel discussion was chaired by Mark Amirault, Managing Director, Emaar International Global Design & Development Studio. Adrian Smith, the designer of Burj Dubai, spoke on ‘Designing the Burj Dubai’ and William Baker of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill – architects of Burj Dubai – outlined the challenges of ‘Engineering the World’s Tallest.’
The 2008 World Congress of CTBUH, themed, “Tall and Green: Typology for a Sustainable Urban Future,” is intended to explore the role of tall buildings in future sustainable urban development. Emaar Properties is the Platinum Sponsor of the event, which concludes on March 5 at Grand Hyatt Dubai.
Upon completion Burj Dubai will be the tallest structure in the world in all four of the criteria listed by CTBUH. The council measures height to the structural top, the highest occupied floor, to the top of the roof, and to the tip of the spire, pinnacle, antenna, mast or flag pole.