Friday, January 8, 2010

The Latest Buzz: Burj Khalifa

Published in many newspapers worldwide, the latest buzz in the world of high-rises is the Burj Khalifa (formerly called Burj Dubai), now officially the world’s tallest building.  It celebrated its grand opening in Dubai on January 4, 2010.

The building is 2,717 ft high, beating former record-holder Taipei 101.  With 160 floors of private residences, an Armani hotel and office/retail space, the Burj Khalifa holds a number of world records such as tallest skyscraper, highest outdoor observation deck and tallest service elevator, just to name a few!

It's been reported that over 90% of the Burj's 1,000+ apartment units have been sold, and at its peak, some units reportedly went for over $1,900/sf.  Now, a 669-sf studio apartment can be yours starting at a mere 2.8M AED (the equivalent of just under $800,000!)  

Amidst Dubai's continued struggle to cope with its massive real esate collapse and the resulting reactions of financial markets around the world, the Burj Khalifa faces criticism and controversy from some journalists and financial commentators for its excessive and unneeded real estate, even cited as a being "vertical ghost town".  It's been speculated that much of its real estate was sold over three years ago, bought mostly for investment and will likely go unoccupied for the time being.  It's been further noted that the crash will cause a good number of buyers to abandon their deals.

What do you think about this?  Does the unveiling of the Burj Khalifa symbolize a lifestyle in excess or does it signify a positive uprise in global economies?

Regardless, we have to admit that there's something appealing about the shimmer and shine of this magnificent building.  The opening ceremony for the Burj included a display of fireworks and light beams along with sound, water and music effects.  To see it is to appreciate its scale: