Burj Dubai: Fact Sheet


Described as both a ‘Vertical City’ and ‘A Living Wonder,’ Burj Dubai, developed by Dubai-based Emaar Properties PJSC, is the world’s tallest building.

Rising gracefully from the desert, Burj Dubai honours the city with its extraordinary union of art, engineering and meticulous craftsmanship.

Burj Dubai4The focal point of Downtown Burj Dubai, the flagship community project of Emaar Properties, Burj Dubai stands as the world’s tallest building and its highest man-made structure.

At over 800 metres (2,625 ft), Burj Dubai has 160 storeys, the most of any building in the world. The tower will be inaugurated on January 4, 2010, to coincide with Accession Day, the fourth anniversary of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum becoming Ruler of Dubai.

Arguably the world’s most prestigious address, Burj Dubai is responsible for a number of world-firsts.

The tower became the world’s tallest man-made structure just 1,325 days after excavation work started in January 2004.

Burj Dubai employs a record-breaking 330,000 cubic m (11.6 million cubic ft) of concrete; 39,000 m/t of reinforced steel; 103,000 sq m (1.1 million sq ft) of glass; and 15,500 sq m (166,800 sq ft) of embossed stainless steel. The tower took 22 million man hours to build.

With a total built-up area of 5.67 million sq ft, Burj Dubai features 1.85 million sq ft of residential space and over 300,000 sq ft of prime office space. That is in addition to the area occupied by the Armani Hotel Dubai and the Armani Residences.

The tower offers luxurious recreational and leisure facilities including four swimming pools, a private library, an exclusive residents’ lounge, health and wellness facilities, and At.mosphere, Burj Dubai, the world’s highest fine dining restaurant at Level 122.

The Armani Hotel Dubai will be home to eight unique dining experiences. The hotel will also include Armani/Privé, an upscale lounge, and the world’s first in-hotel Armani/SPA, measuring 12,000 square feet, where guests can enjoy spa treatments, thermal suites, a fitness centre and an outdoor swimming pool. The hotel will also be home to an Armani/Dolci chocolates boutique; an Armani/Fiori florist; and an Armani/Galleria boutique.

The observation deck on level 124, At the Top, Burj Dubai, is a must-see attraction and offers breathtaking views of the city and the surrounding emirate.

Connected to the tower are The Offices, a 12-storey annex of prime office space; The Club, a four-storey health and wellness centre; and Armani/Pavilion, an outdoor entertainment venue that opens onto the Burj Dubai Lake and The Dubai Fountain, the world’s tallest ‘performing fountain.’

Over 1,000 pieces of art by prominent Middle Eastern and international artists adorn the interiors of Burj Dubai and the surrounding Emaar Boulevard. Many of the pieces have been specially commissioned by Emaar as a tribute to the spirit of global harmony.

Tallest of the Tall

Burj Dubai fulfils all three criteria for tall buildings of the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH). The CTBUH ranks the world’s tallest buildings based on ‘Height to Architectural Top,’ ‘Height to Highest Occupied Floor’ and ‘Height to Tip.’

  • Height to Architectural Top:
    • Burj Dubai – over 800 metres (over 2,625 ft)
    • Taipei 101, Taiwan – 508 metres (1,667 ft)
    • Shanghai World Financial Centre, China – 492 metres (1,614 ft)
    • Petronas Towers, Malaysia – 452 metres (1,483 ft)
  • Height to Highest Occupied Floor:
    • Burj Dubai – over 570 metres (1,800 ft)
    • Shanghai World Financial Centre, China – 474 metres (1,555 ft)
    • Taipei 101, Taiwan – 438 metres (1,437 ft)
    • Willis Tower, Chicago – 413 metres (1,354 ft)
  • Height to Tip:
    • Burj Dubai – over 800 metres (over 2,625 ft)
    • Willis Tower, Chicago – 527 metres (1,729 ft)
    • Taipei 101, Taiwan – 508 metres (1,667 ft)
    • Shanghai World Financial Centre, China – 494 metres (1,622 ft)

World Records

Burj Dubai holds the following world records:

  • Tallest building in the world – surpassing Taipei 101 in Taiwan, which at 508 metres (1,667 ft) had held the title of the ‘tallest building in the world’ since it opened in 2004
  • Tallest man-made structure in the world – surpassing the KVLY-TV mast in North Dakota, USA, which stands at 628.8 metres (2,063 ft)
  • Tallest free-standing structure in the world – breaking the 31-year-old record of CN Tower, which stands at 553.33 metres (1,815.5 ft)
  • Largest number of storeys in the world – over 160
  • Highest occupied floor in the world – Level 160
  • Highest outdoor observation deck in the world – Level 124
  • World record for vertical concrete pumping – over 600 metres, beating the previous record held by Taipei 101 (448 metres or 1,470 ft)
  • Tallest service elevator in the world – 504 metres (1,654 ft), more than the height of Taipei 101 (448 metres) and almost one-and-a-half times that of the Empire State Building in New York (381 metres)
  • World record for the highest installation of an aluminium and glass façade
  • World’s highest swimming pool on Level 76 (over 260 metres; over 853 ft)


Excavation started     January 2004

Piling started       February 2004

Superstructure started    March 2005

Level 50      June 2006

Level 100      January 2007

Level 110       March 2007

Level 120      April 2007

Level 130      May 2007

Level 141 (world’s tallest building)   July 2007

Level 150 (world’s tallest free-standing structure) September 2007

Level 160 (world’s tallest man-made structure) April 2008

Completion of spire pipe jacking &

Burj Dubai tops out     January 2009

Cladding completed     September 2009

Grand inauguration     January 4, 2010

Facts at a Glance

Final height Over 800 metres (2,625 ft)

Final number of floors Over 160 storeys

Built-up area 5.67 million sq ft

Weight of empty building 500,000 tonnes

Total concrete used 330,000 cubic m (11.6 million cubic ft)

Total reinforced steel used 39,000 m/t

Total glass used for façade 103,000 sq m (1.1 million sq ft)

Total stainless steel used for cladding 15,500 sq m (166,800 sq ft)

Total man hours 22 million

Developer Emaar Properties PJSC

              • Architects and Engineers Chicago-based Skidmore, Owings and Merrill (SOM)

Designer Adrian Smith

Main Contractor South Korea’s Samsung Corporation

Project & Construction Manager New York-based Turner International

Public Access

The public will have access to At the Top, Burj Dubai; Armani Hotel Dubai, The Park and the amenities offered at The Club. Owners of The Residences, The Corporate Suites and Armani Residences will have unique privileges including access to the many lifestyle amenities within the tower.

Handover Plan

Burj Dubai will receive its first residents as early as February 2010. They will be the first of over 12,000 people to live and work at Burj Dubai. The phased handover of 1,044 residences will start with the Armani Residences and will be followed by The Residences, Burj Dubai. The luxurious Armani Hotel Dubai, which runs from the tower concourse to Level 8 and occupies Levels 38 and 39, will be unveiled to guests on March 18, 2010.

The Corporate Suites, a collection of high-end offices, will open from March onwards. An orientation programme is being conducted for all occupants of the tower.

A Look Inside: The Main Components of the Tower

Total built-up area – 5.67 million sq ft

  • The Residences (900 homes) – 3.1 million sq ft
    • Levels – 19 to 37; 43 to 72; 76 to 108
    • Sky Lobby – Levels 43 to 44; 76 to 77
  • The Corporate Suites ( 37 floors) – 228,000 sq ft
    • Levels – 112 to 121; 125 to 154
    • The Corporate Suites/Residential Lounge – Level 123
  • Armani Hotel Dubai (160 rooms) – 269,000 sq ft
    • Levels – concourse, ground, and Levels 1 to 8; 38 to 39
  • Armani Residences (144 suites) – 219,000 sq ft
    • Levels – 9 to 16
  • At The Top, Burj Dubai
    • Level 124
  • Communication floors – 15,600 sq ft
    • Levels – 156 to 159
  • Leisure and other Amenities
    • Parking – Levels – B1 and B2
    • Swimming pools (four) – The Club, Concourse & Roof, L43, L76
    • Cigar Club – Level 1
    • Library – Level 123
    • Health club – 22,000 sq ft; The Club – annex
    • At.mosphere – 13,500 sq ft; Level 122
    • Armani/SPA – Level 3

The Residences

The world’s most prestigious address will be home to a select few. With 900 residences including studios and one, two, three and four-bedroom apartments, The Residences at Burj Dubai are designed for the connoisseur. The homes are spread over levels 19-108 of the tower.

The lobby reception area will feature World Voices, an intriguing installation by renowned artist Jaume Plensa. Composed of 196 cymbals representing 196 countries of the world, it symbolises the global collaboration that made Burj Dubai a reality.

For the convenience of homeowners, the tower is divided into sections with exclusive Sky Lobbies on Levels 43, 76 and 123. There are state-of-the-art fitness facilities including jacuzzis on Levels 43 and 76.

The Sky Lobbies on 43 and 76 both have swimming pools and a recreational room that can be utilised for special gatherings and receptions.

Other facilities for residents include a private library, an upmarket convenience store, The Gourmet Market, and a meeting place. Valet parking will be provided for guests and visitors alike.

The Corporate Suites

The Corporate Suites are located on the highest levels of the tower. They occupy 37 floors, with the top three floors merged into a single office. The entrance lobby is at the Concourse of the tower. In addition to valet parking, express lifts take office visitors directly to a lounge lobby at Level 123.

Armani Hotel Dubai

The world-first Armani Hotel Dubai opens to the world on March 18, 2010. From the room designs to the carefully selected textiles and fabrics, to the impeccable service, every aspect of the Armani hotel experience will bear the signature of fashion legend Giorgio Armani.

Armani Hotel Dubai targets connoisseurs, who value excellence, understated style and elegance. Offering 160 guest rooms and suites, restaurants and a spa, and covering more than 269,000 sq ft, Armani Hotel Dubai brings to life the Stay with Armani promise, an exceptional experience defined by the highest standards of aesthetics and service excellence.

Armani Residences

Armani Residences Dubai has been designed personally by Giorgio Armani, and is a reflection of his personal approach to elegance and style. Located on levels 9 to 16, the 144 one and two-bedroom suites, highlight Armani’s smooth, understated style combined with space and furnishings that focus on the compatibility of materials, form and lighting, in a superb, softly luminous setting. In addition to the full access to services offered by the Armani Hotel Dubai such as concierge, 24/7 room service, housekeeping, library, spa, gym and swimming pool, residents of Armani Residences will also have access to recreational facilities and entertainment venues within Burj Dubai.

At the Top, Burj Dubai

At the Top, Burj Dubai, located on Level 124, will not only offer visitors majestic, sweeping vistas of Dubai, but will also be an evocative and interactive journey through the history and evolution of Dubai and Burj Dubai.

A ten-part journey, At the Top, Burj Dubai starts at The Dubai Mall, where visitors can buy timed tickets at an elegant welcome area featuring monumental fields of LED displays reflecting the three-core design inspiration of Burj Dubai.

Visitors can enjoy several interactive features including ‘Burj Dubai Among the Greats,’ Burj Around the World’ and ‘Dubai Then and Now’. These displays chart the evolution of modern Dubai and reveal how Burj Dubai dramatically alters the city skyline.

Travelling at a speed of 10 metres per second, the journey to Level 124 takes approximately 60 seconds. The last stop of the journey is the At the Top, Burj Dubai boutique, where visitors can indulge in shopping for some unique Burj Dubai-inspired souvenirs.

Leisure and Retail

Burj Dubai has a variety of lifestyle amenities offering a myriad of choices for residents, guests and visitors. The recreational facilities and entertainment venues include four luxurious swimming pools, a library, exclusive residents’ lounge, serviced residences, a wellness facility and healthclub.

Moreover, residents can shop at the upmarket gourmet convenience stores – The Gourmet Market – and at the Sky Lobbies located on Levels 43 and 76. The Sky Lobbies will also have state-of-the-art fitness facilities and elegant meeting spaces.

Offering fine dining at the world’s tallest building, the tower will also be home to At.mosphere, an exclusive restaurant on Level 122.


For the convenience of residents and visitors, Burj Dubai has 3,000 car parking spaces on two basement levels.

The Park

Burj Dubai stands tall amidst The Park, an 11-hectare green oasis that surrounds the foot of the tower. The Park has six spectacular water features, lush green gardens and colourful flowering trees.

As part of Burj Dubai’s ‘green’ initiative, the landscaping is irrigated using a unique condensation collection system. Water condensation from the tower’s cooling equipment is recovered, providing an estimated 15 million gallons of water a year, enough to fill 20 Olympic-sized swimming pools.

Celebrating the theme ‘A Tower in a Park,’ the landscaping of Burj Dubai has distinct divisions that serve the tower’s hotel, residential, spa and corporate office areas.

At the core of The Park’s design is a ‘water room’ located at the base of the tower defined by walls of dancing jets and pools.

The Offices

A complement to The Corporate Suites is The Offices, a 12-storey annex with direct access to Burj Dubai and The Dubai Mall. Parking spaces for The Offices will be offered at the mall and the tower for the convenience of tenants. The Offices have a total area of 337,000 sq ft.

The Club

The Club is a four-storey health and recreation annex to Burj Dubai spread over 22,000 sq ft. Although priority is given to Burj Dubai residents, it is also open to the public. The extensive facilities include two luxurious indoor and outdoor pools, two gymnasiums with a dedicated ladies-only gym and a contemporary spa facility.


An open-air gallery designed to host live entertainment events, the Armani/Pavilion opens onto the Burj Dubai Lake and affords spectacular views of The Dubai Fountain.

Design, Construction and Engineering


The contract to design the world’s tallest tower was awarded to the global leader in creating ultra-tall structures, the Chicago office of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM) with Adrian Smith as consulting design partner.

The architecture features a triple-lobed footprint, an abstraction of the six-petalled desert flower, Hymenocallis. The tower is composed of three elements arranged around a central core.

The modular, Y-shaped structure, with setbacks along each of its three wings, provides an inherently stable configuration for the structure and provides attractive floor plates for residential space. Twenty-six ‘helical’ levels decrease the cross section of the tower incrementally as it spirals skyward.

The central core emerges at the top and culminates in a sculpted spire. The Y-shaped floor plan maximizes views of the Arabian Gulf.


The interior design of Burj Dubai’s public areas was done by the Chicago office of SOM and was led by award-winning designer Nada Andric. It features glass, timber, stainless steel and polished dark stones, together with silver travertine flooring, Venetian stucco walls, handmade rugs and stone flooring.


Burj Dubai is truly the product of international collaboration; over 60 consultants including 30 on-site contracting companies from around the world were involved in the project.

At the peak of construction, over 12,000 professionals and skilled workers from more than 100 countries were on site every day. The world’s fastest high-capacity construction hoists, with a speed of up to 2 m/sec (120 metres/min), were used to move men and materials.

Over 45,000 cubic metres (1.59 million cubic ft) of concrete, weighing more than 110,000 tonnes, were used to construct the concrete and steel foundations, which feature 192 piles buried more than 50 m (164 ft) deep.

Burj Dubai employs a record-breaking 330,000 cubic m (11.6 million cubic ft) of concrete; 39,000 m/t of reinforced steel; 103,000 sq m (1.1 million sq ft) of glass; 15,500 sq m (166,800 sq ft) of embossed stainless steel; and the tower took 22 million man hours to build.

The amount of reinforced steel used at the tower, would if laid end to end extend over a quarter of the way around the world. The concrete used is equivalent to a sidewalk 1,900 kilometres (1,200 miles) in length, and the weight of 100,000 elephants. The weight of the empty building is 500,000 tonnes.

Work on the exterior cladding of Burj Dubai began in May 2007 and was completed in September 2009. The vast project involved more than 380 skilled engineers and on-site technicians. At the initial stage of installation the team progressed at the rate of about 20 to 30 panels per day, before increasing to as many as 175 panels per day.

The tower accomplished a world record for the highest installation of an aluminium and glass façade, at a height of 512 metres (1,679.8 ft). The total weight of aluminium used on Burj Dubai is equivalent to that of five A380 aircraft, and the total length of stainless steel ‘bull nose’ fins is 293 times the height of the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

Burj Dubai’s high performance exterior cladding system is designed to withstand the UAE’s summer temperatures. In all, the 24,348 cladding panels cover a curtain wall area of 132,190
sq m, and Burj Dubai’s shimmering exterior minimises heat transmission and saves energy.

In November 2007, the highest reinforced concrete core-walls were pumped using 80 megapascals (MPa) concrete from ground level. The concrete was pumped to a height of 605 metres (1,971.8 ft), breaking the previous pumping record held by Taipei 101. The concrete pressure during pumping to this level was nearly 200 bars.

Structural Elements

Burj Dubai pushes the frontiers of engineering, construction and design expertise. Its structure employs the latest advances in wind engineering, structural engineering, structural systems, construction materials and construction methods.


The superstructure is supported by a large reinforced concrete mat, which is in turn supported by bored reinforced concrete piles. The mat is 3.7 metres thick, and was constructed in four separate pours totalling 12,500 cubic metres of concrete.


The podium provides a base anchoring the tower to the ground, allowing access from three different sides to three different levels of the building. Fully glazed entry pavilions built with a suspended cable-net structure provide separate entries for the Corporate Suites at B1 and Concourse Levels, the Burj Dubai residences at Ground Level and the Armani Hotel at Level 1.

Structural Core

In addition to its aesthetic and functional advantages, the spiraling “Y” shaped plan was utilised to shape the structural core of Burj Dubai.  This design helps to reduce the wind forces on the tower, as well as to keep the structure simple and enhance ‘constructability’. The structural system can be described as a “buttressed core”, and consists of high-performance concrete wall construction.

Wind Engineering

The shape of the Burj Dubai is the result of innovative research by SOM’s architects and engineers to vary the shape of the building along its height, thereby minimising wind forces on the building. Each uniquely-shaped section of the tower causes the wind to behave differently, preventing it from becoming ‘organised’ and therefore minimising lateral movement of the structure.

High-performance, reinforced concrete core walls are linked to the exterior columns through a series of reinforced concrete shear wall panels at the mechanical levels.  Extensive wind tunnel testing ensured that the tower design is able to resist high wind loads while minimising vibration.

As well as wind tunnel studies, the team performed a detailed climatic study which considered the unique meteorological conditions of Dubai. These studies evaluated both frequently occurring and rare wind events to address occupant comfort and building strength.


The crowning feature of Burj Dubai is its ‘telescopic’ spire comprising more than 4,000 tonnes of structural steel. It can be seen from 95 km (60 miles) away. The spire was built inside the building and jacked to its full height of over 200 metres (700 feet) using hydraulic strand jacks. The spire is integral to the overall design, creating a sense of completion for the landmark. The spire also houses communications equipment.

Mechanical Floors

Seven double-storey mechanical floors house the equipment that bring Burj Dubai to life. Located every 30 storeys, the mechanical floors house the electrical sub-stations, water tanks and pumps, air-handling units etc, that are essential for the operation of the tower and the comfort of its occupants.

Broadcast and Communications Floors

The top four floors have been reserved for communications and broadcasting. These floors occupy the levels just below the spire.

Elevators & Lifts

Burj Dubai features 57 elevators and eight escalators to meet the travel needs of the residents and visitors to the tower. The building service/fireman’s elevator has a capacity of 5,500 kg and is the world’s tallest service elevator.

Burj Dubai is the first ‘mega-high rise’ building in which certain elevators are programmed to permit controlled evacuation for certain fire or security events. Burj Dubai’s observatory elevators are double deck cabs with a capacity for 12 to 14 people per cab. They travel at 10 metres per second.

The total number of stairs to Level 160 of Burj Dubai is 2,909; to climb even higher, ladders are used.


Mechanical, Electrical & Plumbing

To achieve the greatest efficiencies, the mechanical, electrical and plumbing services for Burj Dubai were developed all together during the design phase of the tower in cooperation with the architect, structural engineers and other consultants.

The tower’s water system supplies an average of 946,000 litres (250,000 gallons) of water daily. At peak cooling, Burj Dubai will require about 10,000 tonnes of cooling, equal to the cooling capacity provided by about 10,000 tonnes of melting ice.

Dubai’s hot, humid climate combined with the building’s cooling requirements creates a significant amount of condensation. This water is collected and drained in a separate piping system to a holding tank in the basement car park. The condensate collection system provides about 15 million gallons of supplement water per year, equal to about 20 Olympic-sized swimming pools. The tower’s peak electrical demand is 36mW, equal to about 360,000 bulbs of 100 watts operating simultaneously.

Window Washing Bays

Access to the tower’s exterior for both window washing and façade maintenance is provided by 18 permanently installed track and fixed-telescopic, cradle-equipped building maintenance units. The track-mounted units are stored in garages, within the structure, and are not visible when not in use. The manned cradles are capable of accessing the entire facade from the top of the tower down to level seven. Window washing is done vertically from the top to the ground and it takes approximately four months to clean the whole exterior.

Fire Safety & Security

Fire safety and speed of evacuation were prime consideration in the design of Burj Dubai. Concrete surrounds all stairwells and the building service and fireman’s elevator has a capacity of 5,500 kg and is the world’s tallest service elevator. There are pressurized, air-conditioned refuge areas located approximately every 25 floors.


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