Construction Week Newsletter 10th September 2005

The emergence of this 700m-plus tower is enough to grab anyone's attention, however cynical or disinterested we pretend to be.

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By  Sean Cronin Published  September 10, 2005

Burj continues long climb into history|~||~||~|So the Burj has reached the fifth floor, which we are told by way of parenthesis will be the first level of a hotel co-owned by a fellow in the Italian rag trade by the name of Armani. Armani shmarni. We don't need a designer label slapped on the side of what will become the tallest structure in the world, to excite our interest. The visible emergence of this 700m-plus mother of all towers is enough to grab anyone's attention, however cynical or disinterested we may pretend to be. The tag line for the Burj is ‘History Rising’ and although we do like to poke fun at the superlative-strewn sloganeering of developers, this is pretty spot on. The emergence of the tower on the Dubai skyline comes at a pretty exciting time in the history of both the emirate and the local construction industry. Of course it is not just the Burj taking shape that is historically significant. We are now rapidly approaching the point where the mega-projects that we have all known only through newspaper and magazine articles, are fast becoming realities. The first ski slope in the Middle East is just a few weeks from opening (we think); the first Palm island is fully reclaimed with thousands of villas under construction; work has started on the monster excavation that will extend the Creek into the new Business Bay development; Festival City is fast taking shape, as are the scores of tower blocks under construction at Dubai Marina and Jumeirah Beach Residence. At the fulcrum of this historical change is the Burj Dubai - rising one level per week. It really is history rising because when the tower is finished in only three years time, the shape, size and population of the Dubai we know today will be vastly expanded. I would guess that more large scale building and civil engineering projects will reach completion during the construction period of the Burj Dubai, than at any other point in the history of the emirate. One way or another, the questions we are all asking now should be answered by then. Will there be enough tenants for all the apartments currently under construction? Will there be enough shoppers for all the record-breaking malls? Will the price of property have risen or fallen? Exactly how the market will look from the top floor of the finished building three years from now is difficult to say, but there will at least be a lot to look at. Sean Cronin Editor||**||

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