For many of us “At the Top”, the 124th floor of the world’s tallest building – Burj Khalifa, it is the highest point we can reach by walking and riding in an incredibly fast elevator. Now we are not talking about Tom Cruise, because his name usually appears in the headlines along the “Mission Impossible” actions and series.
For the general public, the observation desk on the 124th floor of the tallest building in the world is easy accessible and everyone can experience the high life and even mix with superstars. Just recently, Eva Longoria, Kim Kardashian and the famous composer Yanni have enjoyed the stunning views of Dubai while tweeting from the observation desk of Burj Khalifa.
However, while the life of “rich and famous” is for few a daily routine, for others the daily routine could be working a full day or a night shift on the top of the tallest building in the world. Are they enjoying it? Are they scared or exited? Do they feel really special or privileged?
“No, it isn’t scary. After the first day or two, it feels as in a normal office. The only difference is that on the balcony it was windy all the time,” says engineer Randy Cruz from Rasheed Hallak Marble, a company that recently completed interior marble works for a highly prestigious office on the 139th floor of Burj Khalifa.
In an exclusive interview for DubaiChronicle.com, the owner of marble design company Mr. Rasheed Hallak reveals additional details.
Q.: Please tell us about the project your company just completed on the 139th floor of Burj Khalifa.
A.: The interior decoration of the highly prestigious office of PPI Construction and Engineering was a relatively small job for us, which we have completed in fifteen days. We had to fix very rare and extremely expensive quartz and semi-precious stones from Brazil on a wall panels and in the reception area. Only one sq. meter of it costs approximately 3,000 Euro. Our company is the only applicator and installer working with Watan Trading, the sole agent in U.A.E. for an Italian supplier of semi-precious stones, Amazing Stone. All such delicate and precise works that have to be carried out in the country are awarded to us, because we have the expertise and the experience to complete it up to a high standard.
Q.: Please tell us more about working at the Burj Khalifa. Is it difficult, scary, expensive?
A.: Working on the 139th floor is not very much different than working on any other floor. Once you overcome the excitement, you focus on the job. The difficulties are minor and are related to the requirements and the security measures at the building. For example, all materials should be transported only at night, even in the special heavy weigh elevators. You have to obtain a special permission from the management of the building in advance.
Q.: What are the security measures?
A.: It is very strict. There are scanners at the entrance, like at the airport. People and equipment are all scanned before entering the building. Large pieces of equipment and materials are examined by security guards.
A.: If there are any, I am not aware of it. We needed only four workers and one engineer to carry out with the fixing of the semi-precious stones.
Q.: Is it more expensive to carry out works in the Burj Khalifa?
A.: It is slightly more expensive in terms of labour cost, because we pay extra to our employs for night shifts. Otherwise, the cost of the materials and transportation is like anywhere else in Dubai.
Q.: Would you like to give any advice to contractors who would be working on the high floors of the Burj Khalifa?
A.: I can only say, that they should better hurry to secure their contacts, because the space is limited.