01/05/2010, 00.00
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New Dubai tower named after Emir of Abu Dhabi: Khalifa Burj

Fireworks and light show for the inauguration. The building includes a mosque, a hotel and a swimming pool. Investors are at a loss because properties are down by 50%. For some, the Burj Khalifa brings "hope and optimism", for others it is a monument to excesses and waste.

Dubai (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The world’s tallest buildings opened its doors yesterday in Dubai with a superb show of fireworks and coloured lanterns. To the surprise of many, the sky scraper measuring 828 meters that was called "Burj Dubai" during the construction, has been called "Burj Khalifa", after the head of the federation of the Emirates, Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahayan, Emir of Abu Dhabi.

Last month, Abu Dhabi came to the rescue of Dubai with over 10 billion dollars to cover part of the debts it had accumulated. Inaugurating the building, Sheikh Mohammed of Dubai, said: "This great project deserves to bear the name of a great man. Today I inaugurated the Burj Khalifa.

The new tower, with its 160 floors, is home to 1044 luxury apartments, 49 floors of office space and an Armani hotel of 160 rooms, a mosque (on the 158th fl), a swimming pool (76th fl).

The project was started in 2004, with the work of 12 thousand workers. Built in record time, it represents the dream of Dubai in wanting to be a cosmopolitan metropolis and world financial centre of luxury and wealth.

Its baptism in the midst of global economic crisis is bringing losses to all investors, given that the value of their properties in Dubai has fallen by up to 50%.

Mohammed Alabbar, head of Emaar, the company responsible for the Burj, says that the building brings "hope and optimism." "I hope that this is the beginning of a gradual move forward [beyond the crisis]." But many think that with the ongoing crisis and the global problems of climate change, the Burj is just a monument to excess and waste.


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