10 Things You Didn't Know About Dubai's Burj Khalifa

With its impressive size and design, the Dubai-based Burj Khalifa is a sight to behold. Construction for the world’s tallest building began in 2004, and was not completed until 2010. The building was made as part of the Downtown Dubai Development. The intention was to build a building that would diversify from an oil-based economy and to gain international recognition for Dubai. The Burj Khalifa has many uses, which include offices and restaurants and was named in honor of the ruler of Abu Dhabi and president of the United Arab Emirates Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan. The Burj Khalifa was greatly praised after its opening, but there were also some controversies along the way.

Of course when you have something that is made on such a grand scale, there are probably going to be some fun facts that will pop up. Some you may know, but others might be a bit of a surprise. The Burj Khalifa has plenty of those, some of which will probably blow your mind. So here it is, a list of 10 things that you didn’t know (hopefully) about the Burj Khalifa in Dubai.

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10 The Tallest Building in the World

The Burj Khalifa is the tallest building in the entire world. How high is it? Well, it has an architectural height of 2716.5 feet. In meters, that is 828 meters. The total height from tip to all the way down is 2723 feet. The next tallest is the Shanghai Tower is Shanghai, which is around 2073 feet or 632 meters. So as you can see, there is quite a difference between the heights in the first and second highest buildings, which makes the height of the Burj Khalifa quite impressive. To put it in perspective, the height of the Burj Khalifa is three times the height of the Eiffel Tower.

9 Inside the Building


If you think that the outside is something to behold, you should wait until you see the inside. Not only does the Burj Khalifa hold offices, but there are floors with things you wouldn’t ever think belong there. The observatory deck of the Burj Khalifa is at 1483 feet towards the top of the building, which also holds 163 floors above ground and one floor below. There are 58 elevators that run at a speed of 10 meters per second, which are among the fastest in the world. There are also 2957 parking spaces, 304 hotels and 904 apartments. If you are wondering about the safety of everyone inside, no need; the Burj Khalifa has an elevator system that is designed for controlled evacuations during such incidents as security threats or fires.

8 Designed by an American Firm and Built by a South Korean Company


While the Burj Khalifa resides in Dubai (with the original name being Burj Dubai before it was changed), the actual concept was designed by an American firm. Skidmore, Owings and Merrill’s Chicago-based engineers helped developed what is now called a “buttressed core,” which is a structural system that helps support the 160-plus floors in the building. The construction of the building was also done by a South Korean Company named Samsung Engineering and Construction.

7 Multiple Record Holder

Of course we all know that the Burj Khalifa holds the record for the world’s largest building; in fact, that is the main point of this whole article. But did you know that it also holds multiple world records? Such as the tallest free standing building; the highest occupied floor; highest number of stories; the longest travel distance elevators; the tallest service elevator and the second highest observatory deck. Unfortunately for the Burj Khalifa, the highest observatory deck is now held by the Canton Tower.

6 Tons of Work Was Put In


To make a building that tall and spectacular, there had to have been a lot of time and effort put into making it. Sure enough, to get the Burj Khalifa to be the building that it is today, over 22 million man-hours were used to complete the building over a six-year time frame. During the top construction days, there were over 12,000 workers used each and every day.

5 An Exceptional Weight

If you think the height is something to behold, you should also take a look at the weight. Naturally, a lot of materials were used to create something so big. Large amounts of aluminum were put into the creation of the Burj Khalifa, with the total amount weighing as much as 5 A380 aircrafts. There were also 55,000-ton steel rebar and 110,00-ton concrete used to complete construction on the massive building. To put this into perspective, the amount of concrete used weighs as much as 100,000 elephants. Plus, if you laid the rebar down from one end to another, it would stretch to one-quarter of the way across the Earth.

4 Can You Take the Heat?

Dubai can be a pretty hot place. We aren’t talking about the scene or luxury; it really does get extremely hot over there. In fact, average summer temperatures in Dubai hover around 106 degrees. The highest recorded temperature was a scorching 126 degrees, which occurred in July 2002. When you take the heat into consideration, any building that is made has to be able to withstand those extreme highs. That is why over 300 Chinese cladding experts were used to design a cladding system that could stand the summer sun in Dubai. If you are not familiar with cladding systems, cladding is the application of one material over another to make a layer that can protect against various weather elements. Most people connect it to water-proofing, but it is also used for other weather types, such as heat.

3 Lots and Lots of Energy

Of course, when you have so much going on in one building, you probably need a lot of resources to keep it going. Since the Burj Khalifa is so massive, it requires about 250,000 gallons of water each day. That’s a lot, especially when you compare it to the 80 to 100 gallons that people use in their houses daily. It also consumes tons of electricity, burning off the equivalent of 360,000 bulbs that burn at the same time. Not just any bulbs though; these are 100-watt bulbs.

2 A Lot of Cleaning

With an exterior that has about 26,000 individually cut glass panels, it makes one wonder just how that much glass gets cleaned regularly. Once again, the answer lies in something quite impressive. The Burj Khalifa has over 12 machines that weigh about 13 tons each that move along tracks on the outside of the building. A total of 36 cleaners get on and off of these machines to clean the reflective windows that are located on the outside.

1 Inspired by a Flower


The design of the Burj Khalifa was inspired by the Hymenocallis, which is a flower that has long petals extended from its center. It is mostly found in tropical areas around the world. The name of the flower is Greek for “Beautiful Membrane.” So how does the Hymenocallis flower relate to the Burj Khalifa? Well, the building’s wings are arranged around a central point, much in the way the flower is made.

Do you know any more fun facts about the Burj Khalifa?

Sources: Burjkhalifa.ae, The Daily Beast

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