Wherever you are in Dubai, its hard to miss a giant spire-like structure towering above the city. This is Burj Khalifa, one of the tallest skyscrapers in the world. The shape of the building is inspired by the Spider Lily, a desert flower common in the region. Built in 2010, the Burj brought to life the entire downtown area around the spire. Planned as a mixed development, the area hosts office as as well as residential space, combined with recreation facilities.
The skyscraper’s geometry allows it to optimize the space, with the central core and wings able to support more levels, 163 in total. This design is actually a modern, high-tech interpretation of a much older architectural tradition of using spiral ramps to increase the overall hight. This technique was applied to such iconic monuments as The Great Mosque of Samarra in as early as the 9th century.
The construction of Burj Khalifa was part of a broader strategy to move Dubai away from the oil economy towards services and tourism. The plan turned out to be broadly successful, with the shopping and recreation area around the tower turning out profit. The futuristic skyscraper became one of the most photographed buildings in the world and even became the sight of Hollywood blockbusters such as Mission Impossible.
Apart from enjoying the view of Dubai from the top of the tower and delighting at the mesmerizing fountain show below, the area around the spire is a great place for an evening walk and a dinner outside, especially during winter times when the temperatures are lower. As the sun goes down, watch the place come alive with lights and marvel at the majestic Burj Khalifa piercing the night sky.