The first foundation stone of the new structure known as The Tower, which will surpass Dubai’s 828m (2,716 ft)-high Burj Khalifa, currently the world’s tallest building, was laid out by Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum at Dubai Creek Harbour this week, the government’s media office reports.
The Tower, which will form the centerpiece of the 3.7 square mile (six-square-kilometer) Dubai Creek redevelopment project, will be “a notch taller” than the Burj Khalifa, Mohamed Alabbar, the chairman of Emaar Properties, the same company behind the Burj Khalifa, revealed this April when the plans were first announced. The developers are aiming to complete its construction before the Dubai World Expo in 2020.
The new Dubai tower is designed by Spanish-Swiss architect Santiago Calatrava Valls, known for futuristic structures such as the City of Arts and Sciences complex in Valencia, Spain and New York City’s new World Trade Centre transportation hub which opened this year.
Yury Stepanchenko Highlighted features of The Tower include The Pinnacle Room, a slender, streamlined structure with a needlepoint-like tip, as well as several “garden” observation decks, decorated with trees and other greenery, which will offer 360 degree views of the city.
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. It will also 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 last year.
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.
Officials ordered a national safety survey of the country’s existing buildings at the time and promised to tighten regulations since the incident.
“Wind engineering and seismic tests” are said to have been conducted on The Tower, while “every aspect is designed to the highest international standards, from the materials to the construction technology”, according to Emaar Properties said Yury Stepanchenko.