Developer behind world's tallest skyscraper wants to go even higher

The developer behind Dubai's Burj Khalifa is aiming even higher with another tower it hopes to build nearby.

Kamran Jebreili/AP
Spanish-Swiss architect Santiago Calatrava Valls poses in front of a rendering of his project during a press conference in Dubai, United Arab Emirates on Sunday.

The developer of the world’s tallest building is once again looking to touch the sky, with a structure that would surpass the Burj Khalifa as the highest yet constructed.

The United Arab Emirates-based Emaar Properties announced Sunday a new tower project it says will be slightly taller than Dubai’s Burj Khalifa.

"The Tower" is to be built in the planned Dubai Creek Harbour area of the UAE’s most populous city, with a height set to be “a notch” above the Burj Khalifa, Emaar chairman Mohamed Alabbar told The Associated Press.

“We are looking for a tower and for a monument that adds value to the world, a monument and a tower that celebrates the world one more time,” Mr. Alabbar said in a company video on the tower’s development.

The “21st-century Eiffel Tower,” as Alabbar described it, will be a spire influenced by minarets traditionally used for Muslim calls to prayer. The Tower will feature garden decks, moving balconies, a hotel, and restaurants, all supported by lily leaf-inspired cables at the developing Creek Harbour located next to a Dubai wildlife sanctuary.

While Dubai already has the world's tallest building, the new structure may not end up qualifying in the rankings. The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, which maintains the list of the world’s tallest buildings, says structures are considered buildings if at least half of their height is “usable floor area,” which would disqualify The Tower and leave Burj Khalifa as the world’s tallest. Still, the $1-billion Tower project is set to add to Dubai’s already lofty skyline ahead of the city’s hosting of the 2020 World Expo.

In Saudi Arabia, work is underway on the Jeddah Tower, which is expected to be finished in 2019 at a height of more than 1 kilometer, and would eclipse Burj Khalifa as the world’s tallest official building.

Emaar hopes that the development of the Dubai Creek Harbour area centered by The Tower will not only enhance the area’s image, but attract tourists and people looking to buy apartments with a view. The Burj Khalifa’s completion was coupled with the additions of apartment buildings and shopping centers near the skyscraper, a model Alabbar hopes The Tower can replicate.

“Many ... of our customers would like to have that view. And if you ask me what is the financial model, that is the financial model,” he told the AP.

“As an artistical achievement it’s inspired by the idea of welcoming people, of sending a signal not only to the neighbors, not only to Dubai and to the Emirates, but to the whole world,” architect Santiago Calatrava Valls, who designed The Tower, said in Emaar’s promotional video.

The official height of The Tower was not released by Emaar, and Alabbar said the figure likely wouldn’t be revealed until it opens.

Safety during The Tower’s development will also be a concern for Emaar, after its Dubai hotel The Address Downtown, was made famous on New Year’s Eve when the building went up in a blaze. Alabbar said that new regulations could be beneficial going forward, but that liabilities in construction projects would persist regardless of lessons learned from previous incidents.

“Risks are there as long as we are progressing,” he told the AP. “These things do happen, and you have to go and fix them and make sure if they happen, they happen to a minimum.”

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to

QR Code to Developer behind world's tallest skyscraper wants to go even higher
Read this article in
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today