by Soo Kim, The Daily Telegraph, April 11, 2016
Emaar Properties, the same developers behind the Burj Khalifa, currently the world’s tallest building, has announced plans to build a $1 billion (£710 million) tower in Dubai that will exceed the height of the 828m (2,716 ft) record-holder.
|Photo by Freeimages.com/FSG777|
The unnamed tower, which will become the centrepiece of the Dubai Creek redevelopment project, will be "a notch taller" than the Burj Khalifa, Emaar Properties chairman Mohamed Alabbar revealed at a press conference on Sunday.
Designed by Spanish-Swiss architect Santiago Calatrava Valls, known for futuristic structures such as the City of Arts and Sciences complex in Valencia, Spain, the new Dubai tower will feature a slender, streamlined structure with a needlepoint-like tip, and will offer "garden" observation decks decorated with trees and other greenery.
The building will also have glass balconies that rotate outside the wall of the tower, as well as a luxury hotel and 18 to 20 floors of shops, restaurants and other tourist facilities, the company said.
Construction of the new tower is expected to begin at the end of June, with the aim of being completed before the Dubai World Expo in 2020.
The new Dubai skyscraper will be built in the same area as the The Address Downtown, the company’s 63-storey luxury hotel that went up in flames on New Year’s Eve.
The third major skyscraper fire in Dubai since 2012 raised renewed fears about the use of highly combustible materials on the exterior facades of hundreds of skyscrapers throughout the UAE.
Exposed wiring was said to have sparked the blaze, according to Dubai police, while experts have said that the type of cladding use to coat the building was a likely factor in fuelling the fire.
Officials ordered a national safety survey of the country’s existing buildings and promised to tighten regulations since the incident.
When questioned about potential fire risks of the soon-to-be-built new Dubai tower, Mr Alabbar noted that it is impossible to eliminate all risks.
The City of Arts and Sciences complex in Spain, designed by Santiago Calatrava VallsCredit: Emilio Garcia/Wikimedia Commons
"Safety rules are good, but can you really eliminate all risk? I don't think human beings are able to eliminate all risk," he told reporters on Sunday.
"Risks are there as long as we are progressing ...these things do happen, and you have to go and fix them and make sure if they happen, they happen to a minimum."
Both the new tower and the Burj Khalifa will be dwarfed by Saudia Arabia’s 3,280 ft-high Jeddah Tower, which is also slated for completion in 2020.
Funding for the last phase of the $1.2billion (£800million) development was secured late last year. The Kingdom Tower, as it is also known, will accommodate the world’s highest observatory.
Earlier this year, plans to build the 5,577 feet-high Sky Mile Tower in Tokyo were proposed by two New York-based architectural design firms.
Surrounded by an archipelago of islands designed to protect the city from flooding and other waterborne risks, the proposed tower would offer multi-level open-air sky decks at every 320 metres and shared public facilities including shops, restaurants, hotels, libraries, gyms and health clinics.
If plans for the eco-friendly complex are approved, the Sky Mile Tower will surpass the Jeddah Tower and could be completed by 2045.
Dubai is currently developing various hotels and entertainment projects with the aim to attract 20 million tourists a year by 2020, up from 10 million in 2012.
In 2014, it opened the world’s highest observation deck on the 148th floor of the Burj Khalifa, offering visitors views from 555 metres (1,821 feet) above the ground.
This article was written by Soo Kim from The Daily Telegraph and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.