dubai skyline

All About the Burj Khalifa: The World’s Tallest Structure

Over the course of human history, civilizations of all kinds have tried their hand at creating architectural marvels as symbols of prosperity. However, none have been as successful as the Burj Khalifa, located at Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Created as a centerpiece for the large-scale mixed-use development that surrounds it, it has been described as a “living wonder” by many.

About the Burj Khalifa:

Developed by the real estate development company Emaar Properties and initially named the Burj Dubai, this architectural marvel required a nigh unimaginable amount of resources to construct. Manpower alone required up to 12,000 workers daily, and even with their numbers it took them 5 years to complete it. Materials such as aluminium and concrete were used heavily too; the former required about 5 A380 aircrafts’ worth whilst the latter could be equalled to the weight of 100,000 elephants.

Standing firmly at a height of 2,716 ft., the Burj Khalifa is twice as tall as the Empire State Building and is thrice as tall as the Eiffel Tower. Its height is so enormous, in fact, that its exterior temperature varies by approximately 6 °C (11 °F) from the base to the top.

Despite this, travelling from one floor to another is never an issue. The building is fitted with 58 functional elevators that are capable of reaching top speeds of up to 10 meters per second – among the fastest in the world – which supports all 163 floors of the building.

A record breaking peak

Since its erection, the Burj Khalifa has reached monumental new heights – both in the figurative and the literal sense.  It is the recipient of a wide variety of accolades, all of which include:

  • burj-khalifa-heightTallest existing structure, beating the KVLY-TV mast at 2,063 ft.
  • Tallest structure ever built, beating the Warsaw radio mast at 2,121 ft.
  • Tallest freestanding structure, beating the CN Tower at 1,815 ft.
  • Tallest skyscraper (to the top of the spire), beating the Taipei 101 at 1,671 ft.
  • Tallest skyscraper (to the top of the antenna), beating the Willis Tower at 1,729 ft.
  • Building with most floors at 211 including its spire; beating the World Trade Center at 110.
  • Building with the world’s highest occupied floor at 1,918 ft.
  • World’s highest elevator installation
  • World’s longest travel distance elevators at 1,654 ft.
  • Highest vertical concrete pumping (for a building) at 1,988 ft.
  • World’s tallest structure that includes residential space.
  • World’s highest observation deck at 1,821 ft. (148th floor).
  • World’s highest outdoor observation deck at 1,483 ft.
  • World’s highest installation of an aluminium and glass façade at 1,680 ft.
  • World’s highest nightclub at 144th
  • World’s highest restaurant, Atmosphere, at 1,450 ft


As the world’s first true mixed-utility tower, the Burj Khalifa is truly an amazing mix of both form and function. Today it retains its record of being the tallest of the tall, although only time will tell if the planned Kingdom Tower in Saudi Arabia will take the title in 2019.  

Visionary Architecture Inc. - VISIONARCH

Author: Visionary Architecture Inc. – VISIONARCH

VISIONARCH, is one of the top Philippine architectural firm. We engage in a wide array of architectural services that serve any and all structural needs.

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