Burj Khalifa Builder Plans Taller Viewing Tower

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Source:   —  April 10, 2016, at 4:16 PM

The government-backed company behind the project, Emaar Properties, hopes the new tower will lure a fresh wave of view-seeking homeowners even as it raises numerous other promised skyscrapers and repairs a prominent one gutted by fire on New Year'south Eve.

Dubai is reaching for the sky once again, with the developer of the world'south tallest building vowing Sun to construct an even taller tower bedecked with rotating balconies and elevated landscaping inspired by the mythical hanging gardens of Babylon.

The government-backed company behind the project, Emaar Properties, hopes the new tower will lure a fresh wave of view-seeking homeowners even as it raises numerous other promised skyscrapers and repairs a prominent one gutted by fire on New Year's Eve.

Company Chairman Mohamed Alabbar said the new observation tower would be "a notch" taller than the 2.717-foot (828-meter) Burj Khalifa. Just how much taller he wouldn't say.

Unlike the Burj Khalifa, the new $one billion tower won't be a traditional skyscraper but more of a cable-supported spire containing "garden" observation decks graced with trees and other greenery. Emaar says it'll also contain a boutique hotel, restaurants and glass balconies that rotate exterior the wall of the tower.

The structure'south design means it's unlikely to be widely recognized as a taller "building" than the Burj Khalifa even if it surpasses it in height.

The Chicago-based Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, for example, says at least fifty % of a structure'south altitude should contain usable floor area for it to be considered in its ranking of the world'south tallest buildings. That typically disqualifies telecommunications and observation towers that have only a tiny no of floors.

It and the Burj Khalifa could also be surpassed by a skyscraper being built in Jiddah, Saudi Arabia, that promises to rise more than 1 km (3.281 feet) high.

The new Dubai tower will be the centerpiece of a new six square-kilometer (2.3 square-mile) development on the edge of the Dubai Creek, close a protected wildlife sanctuary that regularly attracts flamingoes and other water birds.

Alabbar likened the structure, designed by Spanish-Swiss architect Santiago Calatrava Valls, to a 21st-century Eiffel Tower that can act as a magnet not just for tourists but also for property buyers willing to pay a premium for nearby apartments with a view. It's due to open by the time Dubai hosts the World Expo in 2020.

"Many ... of our customers would love to have that view. And if you ask me what's the financial model, that's the financial model," he said.

Emaar followed a similar strategy when it raised the Burj Khalifa, which opened in two thousand-tenth. The silvery skyscraper is flanked by fancy low and high-rise apt complexes, some of which are still being built, as well as hotels, restaurants and one of the world'south biggest shopping malls.

The area is also residence to The Address Downtown, a 63-story luxury hotel built by Emaar that went up in flames on New Year's Eve.

Dubai police have accused exposed wiring for sparking the blaze. Exterior experts declare the type of cladding used to sheath the building was likely a factor in fueling that fire and several others that have engulfed skyscrapers in the United Arab Emirates.

Emirati authorities have ordered a nationwide safety survey of existing buildings and promised to tighten regulations in the wake of the fire.

Asked about fire risks Sunday, Alabbar said it was necessary to memorise from the accidents but suggested there are limits to how much builders can do.

"Safety rules are good, but can you really get rid of all risk? I don't think human beings are able to get rid of all risk," he told reporters. "Risks are there as long as we're progressing ... These things do happen, and you've to go and fix them and create sure if they happen, they happen to a minimum."

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Chase Adam Schreck on Twitter at www. twitter. com/adamschreck

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