Friday, February 1, 2008

Nakheel tight-lipped on Burj Dubai rival

TALLEST TOWER: An initial artist's impression of Nakheel's Al Burj.Dubai-owned developer Nakheel on Wednesday remained tight-lipped about details of its rival to the Burj Dubai, refusing to reveal the building’s final height, when it will be finished or even its name. Work has now begun on the site of the building, commonly called Al Burj or the Tall Tower, intensifying speculation over whether Nakheel is planning to take the Burj Dubai's crown as the tallest building in the world.

According to initial designs that put Al Burj at over a kilometre high, the building would easily overtake Emaar Properties' Burj Dubai as the world's tallest. The Burj Dubai is expected to be around 900 metres upon completion at the end of this year, although the final height remains a closely guarded secret. A spokesperson for Nakheel said the company was still finalising details for the structure and was unable to reveal its height or when it would be completed. "They're [the details of the project] not yet available," the spokesperson told On the name of the building, the spokesperson said Al Burj was a "working title".

Previous reports have stated the project will be officially unveiled in March, but the spokesperson said that date was unrealistic and a launch would more likely take place "sometime toward the end of the first half of this year".

The Al Burj project has been under development for some time, first announced back in 2006. The tower was initially planned to form part of the Dubai Waterfront development, but the location was moved to between Jumeirah Lake Towers and Ibn Battuta Mall on Sheikh Zayed Road. Magazine Construction Week on Tuesday revealed French company Soletanche Bachy was tipped to win the piling and foundations contract for Al Burj, citing sources close to the project.

RELATED: Work begins on Nakheel's Al Burj

Initial designs for the tower indicate there will be 228 floors, a four level basement and one service sub-level. The total built up area will be 1.49 million square metres, with 492,000 square metres of usable space. The development will house offices, apartments and hotels. The top habitable floor will be at 850 metres, topped by a 200-metre central spire with a three level function area and three service floors.

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