The Burj Khalifa, World’s Tallest Building

Designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill in Chicago, the Burj Khalifa rises 2,717 feet above the desert in Dubai. Originally named the Burj Dubai, it opened on Monday with a new name, a month after Dubai narrowly avoided bankruptcy by receiving a bailout from Abu Dhabi to help cover its debts.

But in deciding to change the tower’s name from Burj Dubai to Burj Khalifa, in honor of the president of Abu Dhabi, Sheik Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahyan, Dubai revealed a rare streak of humility consistent with its diminished economic condition. Once the most proudly autonomous of Arab Emirates, Dubai has found that its financial troubles have made it more dependent on Abu Dhabi and more likely to be drawn closer into the federation.

“Dubai not only has the world’s tallest building, but has also made what looks like the most expensive naming rights deal in history,” said Jim Krane, the author of “City of Gold: Dubai and the Dream of Capitalism.” “Renaming the Burj Dubai after Sheik Khalifa of Abu Dhabi — if not an explicit quid pro quo — is a down payment on Dubai’s gratitude for its neighbor’s $10 billion bailout last month.”

01.06.2010Tagged with: