Talk about five years in the making, Burj Khalifa (formerly known as Burj Dubai), the tallest tower in the world was officially inaugurated last night. The first time I saw this up and personal was few months ago when we checked the fireworks in the dancing fountain in Dubai Mall. It is really, really gigantic that it felt like looking up to eternity from that point. I did not get to see the launching face to face though. I hoped that they would do it during a weekend that I probably might have considered going there to be one of the many spectators, with eyes bewildered, as you can see in one of the photos. (I photographed these from the pages of one of the leading broadsheets in UAE.)
The fireworks display begun from one level to the other culminating on the over 160th floor/level (just imagine the speed of the elevators). Due to amazing pyrotechnics, the tower looked like it was going to explode. Until the inauguration, its final height (of 828 meters) was not disclosed by the developers.
The fact that this tower in Dubai is now part of the history of tallest towers in the world is no surprise to me. Dubai has been known for making the impossible possible. What shocked me is that after all the promotion and marketing worldwide of its supposedly legal name “Burj Dubai”, on its inauguration it was introduced as “Burj Khalifa”. Burj is an Arabic term for tower or building. But why Khalifa? I was checking the related news on the launch and consistently the reason I got was because Burj Khalifa name was one that reflected greatness. I partly might agree. But we must remember that Dubai is known for branding almost anything with its name in it. There must be a big reason for dropping its name.
It might have been destined, but my couple of years stay in the UAE, brought me to some political orientation and issues even without necessarily seeking it. This is not a political blog, hence, I tried not writing about the rulers’ issues especially during the height of Dubai’s financial crisis. But to make the long story short, the rulers of Dubai and Abu Dhabi used to have (a past tense is safer) a tribal war (this you will not probably find in the worldwideweb). Their management style differs a lot: with Abu Dhabi as being the level headed one as against Dubai’s aggressiveness (hence, termed rebellious brother). Despite this silent competition, Abu Dhabi’s government generously supplied US$ 10 billion to Dubai’s government to meet the debt obligations of Dubai World.
Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed is one of the rulers of Abu Dhabi (and is the current president of UAE). That explains the change in name. Whether he demanded the tower to be named after him or not is another question. As a resident of Abu Dhabi, I do not think he would do that. He is one of the leaders whom I think is not hungry for recognition. Incidentally, he did not attend the inauguration of Burj Khalifa. Last year, its government rejected a proposal to build a tower taller than the (then) Burj Dubai. Had it pushed through, it will be called “Al Imlaq” or “The Giant”. Although much equipped by resources, they considered more the impact it will have on the air traffic in Abu Dhabi. Talk about social and environmental responsibilities. And guess what? The builders will not stop. They will redirect the proposal to Saudi Arabia. Do not be surprised if a taller tower would be launched in the next five years. And you know where.
0 thoughts on “Why was the world’s tallest tower renamed into Burj Khalifa?”
Interesting post! I remember seeing photos of this building while it was being constructed! I am amazed that the workers can stand being so high up. Hope to see this building in person soon though 🙂
.-= kate´s last blog ..New Year’s Resolutions =-.
ay wait, bakit di sya umatend if sa kanya ipinangalan yung bldg? napanood ko nga din to sa news but hindi naman sinabi yung new name.
.-= dyanie´s last blog ..Sweet Start =-.
saw tha spectacular fireworks on tv.
A friend of mine was once assigned sa project na yan kaso she has to go home dito sa PInas because of the recession last year, kaya she was sa glad to see the that structure on tv once again. 🙂
.-= jeanny´s last blog ..SCTEX once more =-.
I just saw it Dubai News here in Saudi. Very impressive! The fireworks were so amazing! The aerial shots quite unbelievable. (I remembered you and I thought you’d be one of the spectators taking photographs of that historical event).
Can’t wait to see how you’d view the building from your lenses.
.-= Nebz´s last blog ..I work here =-.
since my mom is in dubai and my cousins are nurses in abu dhabi, i get words from them and also from yahoo news that dubai really is in great debt! and with the rise of that humongous tower not to mention the issues of change of names, i’m no longer sure of what it should symbolize.
.-= docgelo´s last blog ..SIX YEARS AGO… =-.
I also heard about the debt only recently. I hope that this tower will be occupied so it can start generating some revenue. But it’s one giant of a building isn’t it.
.-= Photo Cache´s last blog ..Gaudi: Mi Casa Es Su Casa =-.
perhaps it was named as such in gratitude? what do you think?
i hope dubai can keep up with its extravagance and grandeur! 🙂
.-= kg´s last blog ..Rushing through Macau =-.
ahh..grabe! over 160 floors? parang nasa ulap ka na ata nyan ah. at parang ang sarap umakyat sa tuktok nyan, pero kakatakot naman mag stay ng matagal.
.-= eds´s last blog ..my new baby! =-.
When I first heard about it, I had a strong feeling the money that came from Abu Dhabi influenced the name change. With all that debt Dubai has accumulated from all its enormous projects, it was only a matter of time before some helping hand from a neighbor would come to the rescue.
.-= Nomadic Pinoy´s last blog ..Restrospective: Travel 2009 =-.
Rach (Heart of Rachel)
I watched it on the news recently. It’s a fascinating structure. I would like to see it in person someday.
.-= Rach (Heart of Rachel)´s last blog ..Happy New Year! =-.
awesome ! the tallest building in the world – what a record 🙂
BTW, I am having a hard time viewing your blog format for some reason.
.-= bw´s last blog ..THE GOLDEN RULE REHASHED =-.