What is the Tallest Building in the World?

Here are your hints:

Over 828 meters tall, it is more than twice the height of the Empire State Building (381 meters.)

Location: Arabian Desert, near the shores of the Arabian Gulf

It holds the following world records:

Did you guess it?

How about a photo:

A view of Burj Khalifa from the Palace Hotel

A view of Burj Khalifa from the Palace Hotel

If you guessed the Burj Khalifa, you’re much more knowledgeable than I was.

On our recent layover in Dubai (in the United Arab Emirates) we spent a few days exploring, and were rarely out of eyesight of this landmark.

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Dubai, part of the UAE (United Arab Emirates) is located in the Arabian Desert, on a section of land that juts out between the Arabian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman

If UAE’s Dubai is the new Egypt (for both positive and negative reasons) then the Burj Khalifa is the new Great Pyramid of Giza, at least in the sense of iconography and potential historical impact.

Aerial view of Dubai along the Arabian Gulf. Seriously...just look at the height of this building compared to the rest of the city!

Aerial view of Dubai along the Arabian Gulf. Seriously…just look at the height of this building compared to the rest of the city!

The architectural achievement was built “…layer by layer, like a wedding cake.”

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“Higher” said the Sheik, according to the already growing local lore surrounding the Burj Khalifa. The story goes that when he was given the plans for the world’s tallest building, the architect first suggested a building only nominally taller than the tallest building in the world.

Sunrise and the Burj Khalifa, as seen from the 26th floor of the Radisson Blu Downtown Dubai

Sunrise and the Burj Khalifa, as seen from the 26th floor of the Radisson Blu Downtown Dubai

The Sheik simply looked at the plans and said, “Higher.”

A panoramic of the Burj Khalifa, taken with my cell phone.

A panoramic of the Burj Khalifa, taken with my cell phone.

Responding to the Sheik’s request, the architect came back with a significantly taller building. But the Sheik looked over the plans and again said, “Higher.”

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This continued for a few sessions, and after some argument among the design team about how and if it could be accomplished, they came up with a suitable way to create it, and the plans for Burj Khalifa were approved.

Stories told in taxi cabs and bars around Dubai are the most interesting way to learn the lore associated with a city, or building, and I much prefer these tales to the dry architectural facts on all the websites I’ve found.

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But if you get your geek on by understanding the mechanics behind the art, here are a couple pages dedicated to the engineering marvel that is the Burj Khalifa:

Ritchiewiki.com

BurjKhalifa.ae

And if you want to go up in the world’s tallest building on your next visit to Dubai, be sure to book early, especially if it’s the holidays. We waited until the last minute to book and couldn’t get tickets. I guess that just means we’ll have to make another trip someday…

Love, Marla

Middle East travel

My favorite view of the Burj Khalifa is this one, which I took from the airplane when we were leaving, because it turned out very artsy, with the city looking like a miniature model of a city.

Love, Marla

Oh if only I had realized how the proportions would turn out I would have done a King Kong climbing pose.

Oh if only I had realized how the proportions would turn out I would have done a King Kong climbing pose.

5 Comments on “What is the Tallest Building in the World?

  1. Pingback: Taxi in The Dubai Mall | Marla Sink Druzgal

  2. Pingback: Making Sand Angels in the Arabian Desert, Traveling Marla-Style | Traveling MarLa

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  4. You have accomplished 2 of the things on my “bucket list” in the past few months, so I hope you don’t mind that right now I am living vicariously through you. Seeing the animals of South Africa and the tallest building in the world both seem as awesome as I dreamed they would be. Thanks 🙂

  5. I did know the answer to this one actually, however; I only knew it as “That really tall pointy building in Dubai” haha.

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