Burj beauties reflect tower

Miss Belgium 2006 was in Dubai this week along with Miss Belgium 2005, both with a mutual desire to achieve world peace while wearing swimwear, evening dress and national costume

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By  Sean Cronin Published  November 11, 2006

|~||~||~|Miss Belgium 2006 was in Dubai this week along with Miss Belgium 2005, both with a mutual desire to achieve world peace while wearing swimwear, evening dress and national costume. Visiting celebrities of this calibre are usually intercepted on arrival and whisked away by speedboat for a tour of The World – the Belgian beauties were instead transported to the no less impressive site of the Burj Dubai, where Belgian contractor Besix had invited local journalists on a rare tour of what will be the world’s tallest structure. Ironically, had they been whisked away to The World, they may indeed have achieved ‘World’ peace – as there is not a sinner to be found anywhere on that particular development. But that is to pointlessly digress. The selection of the Miss Belgia (the correct way to refer to more than one Miss Belgium, should you ever need to) was in many ways an apt choice. Like the Burj Dubai, the Belgian beauties were tall, slender and impressively built. And like the Burj Dubai, they were also scantily clad. But even so, they were both wearing a lot more than the building they had come to visit. Eighty storeys high and the tower is still without even a fig-leaf sized piece of cladding on its exterior to spare its blushes. This situation has arisen largely as a result of the demise of global cladding giant, Schmidlin, in February of this year. While the Dubai operation of the company was spared from the insolvency of its now bankrupt Swiss former parent, it has nonetheless had a major impact on the critical path of the world’s tallest building. There are around 115 weeks left until the Burj Dubai is due to complete and in that time there will be around 160 floors to clad. It doesn’t take a Miss World contestant to do the maths. Even if cladding was to start tomorrow morning, they would need to complete nearly one-and a-half floors every week in order to meet the project’s current 2008 year-end deadline. That is a very big ask and there are few, if any, towers currently under construction in Dubai achieving anything like that rate of progress. As things stand, Miss Belgium 2009 might yet make it for a site visit.||**||

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