Government rulers always squander the money they steal from their serfs!
Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon and his mistress Elissa Mullany like to hob knob in Dubai with their Sheik friends!
Dubai names tallest building after bailout patron
Jan. 4, 2010 10:44 AM
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates -Dubai opened the world's tallest skyscraper Monday, and in a surprise move renamed the gleaming glass-and-metal tower Burj Khalifa in a nod to the leader of neighboring Abu Dhabi — the oil-rich sheikdom which came to its rescue during the financial meltdown.
A lavish presentation witnessed by Dubai's ruler and thousands of onlookers at the base of the tower said the building was 828 meters, or 2717 feet, tall.
Dubai is opening the tower in the midst of a deep financial crisis. Its oil rich neighbor Abu Dhabi has pumped billions of dollars in bailout funds into the emirate as it struggles to pay its debts. Sheik Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan is the ruler of Abu Dhabi and serves as the president of the United Arab Emirates, the federation of seven small emirates, including Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Analysts have questioned what Dubai might need to offer in exchange for the financial support it has received from Abu Dhabi, which controls nearly all of the UAE's oil wealth. Abu Dhabi provided direct and indirect injections totaling $25 billion last year as Dubai's debt problems deepened.
Dubai's hereditary ruler, Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, in recent months has increasingly underscored the close relationship between the two emirates. Sheik Mohammed serves as vice president and prime minister of the UAE federation.
The developer of the newly opened tower said it cost about $1.5 billion to build the tapering metal-and-glass spire billed as a "vertical city" of luxury apartments and offices. It boasts four swimming pools, a private library and a hotel designed by Giorgio Armani.
The Burj's developers say they are confident in the safety of the tower, which is more than twice the height of New York's Empire State Building's roof.
Greg Sang, Emaar's director of projects, said the Burj has "refuge floors" at 25 to 30 story intervals that are more fire resistant and have separate air supplies in case of emergency. And its reinforced concrete structure, he said, makes it stronger than steel-frame skyscrapers. "It's a lot more robust," he said. "A plane won't be able to slice through the Burj like it did through the steel columns of the World Trade Center."
Dubai was little more than a sleepy fishing village a generation ago but it boomed into the Middle East's commercial hub over the past two decades on the back of business-friendly trading policies, relative security, and vast amounts of overseas investment. Then property prices in parts of sheikdom collapsed by nearly half over the past year. Now Dubai is mired in debt and many buildings sit largely empty — the result of overbuilding during a property bubble that has since burst.
Despite the past year of hardships, the tower's developer and other officials were in a festive mood, trying to bring the world's focus on Dubai's future potential rather than past mistakes. "Crises come and go. And cities move on," Mohammed Alabbar, chairman of the tower's developer Emaar Properties, told reporters before the inauguration. "You have to move on. Because if you stop taking decisions, you stop growing." Dubai, which has little oil of its own, relied on cheap loans to pump up its international clout during the frenzied boom years.
But like many overextended homeowners, the emirate and its state-backed companies borrowed too heavily and then struggled to keep up with payments as the financial crisis intensified and credit markets froze up.
Meanwhile, speculators who had fueled Dubai's property bubble disappeared along with the easy money, revealing a glut of brand-new but empty homes and crippling many of the emirate's property developers
The sheikdom shocked global markets late last year when it unexpectedly announced plans to reorganize its main state-run conglomerate Dubai World and sought new terms in repaying some $26 billion in debt.
It got some succor from a $10 billion bailout provided by its richer neighbor and UAE capital Abu Dhabi last month. That was on top of $15 billion in emergency funds provided by Abu Dhabi-based financiers earlier in the year.
Burj developer Emaar is itself partly owned by the Dubai government, but is not part of struggling Dubai World, which has investments ranging from Dubai's manmade islands and seaports to luxury retailer Barneys New York and the oceanliner Queen Elizabeth 2. Emaar's Alabbar said the landmark Burj is 90 percent sold in a mix of residential units, offices and other space, offering a counterpoint to Dubai's financial woes.
The developer has only said the spire stands more than 2625 feet (800 meters) tall. Alabbar said Dubai's ruler will announce the height at the inauguration ceremony. At a reported height of 2,684 feet (818 meters), the Burj Dubai long ago vanquished its nearest rival, the Taipei 101 in Taiwan.
But the tower's record-seeking developers didn't stop there.
The building boasts the most stories and highest occupied floor of any building in the world, and ranks as the world's tallest structure, beating out a television mast in North Dakota. "We weren't sure how high we could go," said Bill Baker, the building's structural engineer, who is in Dubai for the inauguration. "It was kind of an exploration ... A learning experience" Baker, of Chicago-based architecture and engineering firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, said early designs for the Burj had it edging out the world's previous record-holder, the Taipei 101, by about 33 feet (10 meters). The Taiwan tower rises 1,667 feet (508 meters).
Work on Burj Dubai began in 2004 and moved ahead rapidly. At times, new floors were being added almost every three days, reflecting Dubai's raging push to reshape itself into a cosmopolitan urban giant packed with skyscrapers.
During the busiest construction periods, some 12,000 workers labored at the tower each day, according to Emaar. Low-wage migrant workers from the Indian subcontinent provided much of the muscle for the Burj and many of Dubai's other building projects. The tower is more than 50 stories higher than Chicago's Willis Tower, the tallest building in the U.S. formerly known as the Sears Tower.
At their peak, some apartments in the Burj were selling for more than $1,900 per square foot, though they now can go for less than half that, said Heather Wipperman Amiji, chief executive of Dubai real estate consultancy Investment Boutique.
She said some buyers may struggle to find tenants at going rates once the tower's expected high service charges are factored in.
"The investment community is quite divided," she said. "They're not sure how it's going to play out."
The Burj is the centerpiece of a 500-acre development that officials hope will become a new central residential and commercial district in this sprawling and often disconnected city. It is flanked by dozens of smaller but brand-new skyscrapers and the Middle East's largest shopping mall.
That layout — as the core of a lower-rise skyline — lets the Burj stand out prominently against the horizon. It is visible across dozens of miles of rolling sand dunes outside Dubai. From the air, the spire appears as an almost solitary, slender needle reaching high into the sky. An observation deck on the 124th floor opens to the public Tuesday, with adult tickets starting at 100 dirhams, or just over $27 apiece. The ride to the top took just over a minute during a visit for journalists early Monday morning.
Dubai landmarks like the sail-shaped Burj al-Arab hotel and the manmade Palm Jumeirah island were visible through the haze.
The Burj itself cast a sundial-like shadow over low-rise houses and empty sand-covered lots stretching toward the azure Persian Gulf waters. And yes, Dubai is still open for business: there are gift shops at the base and the top.
Dubai set to open world's tallest building
by Adam Schreck - Jan. 3, 2010 02:12 PM
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates - Dubai is set to open the world's tallest building amid tight security on Monday, celebrating the tower as a bold feat on the world stage despite the city state's shaky financial footing.
But the final height of the Burj Dubai - Arabic for Dubai Tower - remained a closely guarded secret on the eve of its opening. At a reported height of 2,684 feet, it long ago vanquished its nearest rival, the Taipei 101 in Taiwan.
The Burj's record-seeking developers didn't stop there.
The building boasts the most stories and highest occupied floor of any building in the world, and ranks as the world's tallest structure, beating out a television mast in North Dakota. Its observation deck - on floor 124 - also sets a record.
"We weren't sure how high we could go," said Bill Baker, the building's structural engineer, who is in Dubai for the inauguration. "It was kind of an exploration. . . . A learning experience."
Baker, of Chicago-based architecture and engineering firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, said early designs for the Burj had it edging out the world's previous record-holder, the Taipei 101, by about 33 feet. The Taiwan tower rises 1,667 feet.
The Burj's developer, Emaar Properties, kept pushing the design higher even after construction began, eventually putting it about 984 feet taller than its nearest competitor, Baker said. He is keeping quiet about the exact height.
Dubai's ruler will open the tapering metal-and-glass spire with a fireworks display Monday evening.
Security is expected to be tight. Local newspapers quoted Maj. Gen. Mohammed Eid al-Mansouri, head of the protective security and emergency unit for Dubai Police, saying more than 1,000 security personnel, including plainclothes police and sharpshooters, will be deployed to secure the site for the opening.
Work on the Burj Dubai began in 2004 and continued rapidly. At times, new floors were being added almost every three days, reflecting Dubai's raging push to reshape itself over a few years from a small-time desert outpost into a cosmopolitan urban giant packed with skyscrapers.
By January 2007, thousands of laborers, many of them brought in on temporary contracts from India, had completed 100 stories.
The finished product contains more than 160 floors. That is over 50 stories more than Chicago's Willis Tower, the tallest record-holder in the U.S. formerly known as the Sears Tower.
At their peak, some apartments in the Burj were selling for more than $1,900 per square foot, though they now can go for less than half that, said Heather Wipperman Amiji, chief executive of Dubai real-estate consultancy Investment Boutique.
Besides luxury apartments and offices, the Burj will be home to a hotel designed by Giorgio Armani.
It's also the centerpiece of a 500-acre development that officials hope will become a new central residential and commercial district in this sprawling and often disconnected city. It is flanked by dozens of smaller but brand-new skyscrapers and the Middle East's largest shopping mall.
That layout - as the core of a lower-rise skyline - lets the Burj stand out prominently against the horizon. It is visible across dozens of miles of rolling sand dunes outside Dubai. From the air, the spire appears as an almost solitary, slender needle reaching high into the sky.
The Burj's opening comes at a tough time for Dubai's economy. Property prices in newer parts of the sheikdom have collapsed by nearly half over the past year.
The city-state turned to its richer neighbor Abu Dhabi for a series of bailouts totaling $25 billion in 2009 to help cover debts amassed by a network of state-linked companies. Burj developer Emaar is itself partly owned by the government, but is not among the companies known to have received emergency cash.
Emaar has said the entire Downtown Burj Dubai development, which includes the tower, will cost $20 billion to build. Sales of properties around the Burj are meant to help pay for the tower itself, which analysts say is unlikely to be profitable on its own.
Jan Klerks, research and communications manager for the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, which tracks world's tallest claims, said the building's real value might be that it is the "biggest city marketing campaign" Dubai could have come up with.
"Put your name and that of the Burj Dubai on an envelope, and no postal service in the world will have problems delivering the mail," he said.
Wright idea gave rise to new tallest building
by Richard Nilsen - Jan. 10, 2010 12:00 AM
The Arizona Republic
The new tallest building in the world has been in the news recently, but few of the stories make it clear what a prodigy it is.
The Burj Khalifa in Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, is not merely taller than the previous record holder, but taller by more than 1,000 feet: It's more than a half-mile tall.
If laid on its side, it would run from Osborne Road to Indian School. To match its 2,717-foot height, you would have to take Phoenix's tallest building, Chase Tower, stack it on itself four more times and put two Luhrs Towers on top of that.
It's just short of being twice the height of the Empire State Building in New York and 1,000 feet taller than the former World Trade Center's Twin Towers. It's big.
But for many Arizonans, it also looks vaguely familiar.
The Burj Khalifa was designed by venerable architectural firm Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, but its slender, dagger-toward-the-sky outline looks surprisingly like the fantastical "mile-high tower" once envisioned by Frank Lloyd Wright.
It was to be called the Illinois Sky-City and was intended to be built in Chicago, with 528 stories. It was, of course, never built, and likely could not have been at the time, because of technical and engineering problems with the materials available.
Not only was the proposed building gargantuan, Wright stood in front of a 26-foot-tall drawing of it when he presented the idea in Chicago in 1956.
But Wright's Mile-High had a triangular footprint for stability and rose in a slender, stiletto silhouette. The Burj Khalifa has almost the same silhouette and is built with the three-lobed footprint, giving it the same kind of tripod structure as the Wright building.
Wright said a lot of things in his life, and they weren't always consistent. At least that's the kind way to put it. But although his Sky-City was intended for Chicago, he said that tall skyscrapers interested him only if built in the desert, where they would stand out and not be merely one tree in a forest.
The new Dubai building combines both visions, by being a very tall tree in a city in the Arabian Desert.
There is another historical reference in the Burj Khalifa: The offsets as the building tapers provide the illusion of a spiral, and the whole takes on the look of an attenuated ziggurat, reminding those with a sense of irony of the Tower of Babel. It's an allusion that's hard to avoid in the post-9/11 era, when tall buildings can be brought down.
Not that that's stopping anyone: Another proposed skyscraper, in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, is designed to be twice the height of the Burj Khalifa - a real "mile-high tower."
But it may not be the physical destruction of the tower that is its biggest problem. In an echo of the first great skyscraper era, when the world's tallest buildings were built just as the Great Depression hit, this new spate of superlative buildings has come just as an economic downturn has made their office spaces hard to fill.
Either way, the new building also reminds us that the Middle East held the record for tallest building for 3 1/2 millennia, and it now has reclaimed the title.
Reach the reporter at email@example.com or 602-444-8823.
Ever onward and upward
For more than 3,500 years, the world's tallest structure was the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt, at 481 feet. It wasn't until 1311 that the Lincoln Cathedral in England topped it at 525 feet, a record it held until 1549, when its central tower was destroyed in a storm.
After that, a series of European churches passed the baton to each other until 1884, when the Washington Monument in Washington, D.C., grabbed the title, at 555 feet. Only five years later, it was topped by a considerable margin by the Eiffel Tower in Paris, at 986 feet.
Since then, the tallest buildings (aside from transmission towers and the like) have been:
• Chrysler Building, New York, 1930, 1,046 feet.
• Empire State Building, New York, 1931, 1,250 feet.
• World Trade Center, New York, 1972, 1,368 feet.
• Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower), Chicago, 1974, 1,450 feet.
• Petronas Towers, Kuala Lampur, Malaysia, 1998, 1,483 feet.
• Taipei 101, Taipei, Taiwan, 2003, 1,670 feet.
• Burj Khalifa, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, January 2010, 2,717 feet.
- Richard Nilsen
Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon and his girl friend Elissa Mullany hob nob with Arab Shieks.
In this article Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon gives girl friend Elissa Mullany $340,000 in Phoenix money!
In this article it sure sounds like Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon is sleeping with Veolia, in addition to sleeping with his girl friend Elissa Mullany and getting here a job with Veolia.
And of course last but not least did Phoenix let Veolia Transportation out of $2 millions in fines because of Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon's girlfriend Elissa Mullany. I don't know. Check out this article.
Opps, I forgot to mention Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon's slush fund, which you guessed it involves his girl friend Elissa Mullany and is documented in this article.
Did Elissa Mullany almost get this job because she is sleeping with Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon?