A Tale of Two Towers

The word “burj” is Arabic for tower. In one of the first posts, I gave a little background on the iconic “Burj Al Arab” seven star hotel. In early January the much anticipated “Burj Khalifa” (formerly known as the “Burj Dubai” but name changed at the last minute to “Khalifa” to honor the ruler of Abu Dhabi who coincidentally came through at the eleventh hour with a 10 billion dollar bailout for Dubai in December) opened its doors to the general public. Clad in 28,000 glass panels it rises out of the desert over 800 meters with more than 160 stories, boasting the following world records: tallest building, tallest free-standing structure, highest stories, highest occupied floor, highest outdoor observation deck, elevator with the longest travel distance in the world, etc. It’s a mixed use tower with offices, residences and retail as well as a 160 room Armani Hotel (not yet open). Embarrassingly the observation deck— tickets $30 in advance or $100 on the spot!—was closed yesterday after only one month of operation due to “technical maintenance”.

At 6:30 on Tuesday morning the Burj Khalifa (above) was undergoing “technical maintenance” while at the same time a select few were at the Burj Al Arab (below) taking care of a little “personal maintenance” in the water.

photos by local shredder Mike Long

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