Burj Khalifa, located in Dubai, is one exemplary work by the masterminds of humanity. It is the world’s tallest building and an incomparable feat of design and construction. It has embodied the vision of transforming the city from a deserted land to a global hotspot for tourists and the economy. It represents the triumph of skills and imagination yet impeccable wonder. Completed in 2010, Burj Khalifa architecture took six whole years for this massive endeavour to open to the public finally. 

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The design was inspired by a regional flower- the Spider Lily. Burj Khalifa was originally named Burj Dubai, but was renamed to pay homage to the ruler of Abu Dhabi and President of United Arab Emirates – Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan. While visiting the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, we experience and cherish what is in front of our eyes. We don’t get to see those facts and stories that lie inside the building, and everybody forgets to acknowledge. I would like to take you deeper into these facts and share with you some unknown stories! Let’s go.

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Talking about its height, we already know it is the tallest building. But along with the record for the tallest building, it holds other awards too. From being the tallest free-standing structure, the tallest man-made structure, highest number of stories, highest occupied floor, highest outdoor observation deck, elevator with the longest travel distance to the tallest service elevator in the world, it has more than 10 awards. For the ones who love reading, it holds the world’s highest library as well. Having commissioned the artworks of over 85 artists, it has the world’s tallest Art Gallery too. 

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The world’s first Armani Hotel was opened in Burj Khalifa on 27th April 2010. When we talk of luxury, Giorgio Armani is one of the first brands we link too, and now we have a Hotel with all furnishings and fabrics from this outstanding brand. What a wow! Also, Giorgio wanted to make his visitors feel at home when visiting and hence there is no reception. 

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5_https://www.burjkhalifa.ae/en/the-tower/gallery/, Burj Khalifa Architecture
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There are some construction-related records in about all the records set by Burj Khalifa, which I would like to mention. It has set the world record for vertical concrete pumping. Also it has the highest aluminium and glass façade! Isn’t it amazing how one structure can break and make so many records and get so many awards! 


No wonder it also received the award for setting a number of record-breaking feats! Another two records set on this magnificent tower were the Highest Climb of a building by Alain Robert, popularly known as the French Spider-Man. He solo climbed the tower in just 6 hours and that too without any external assistance; and the Highest Base Jump from a building by again French jumpers Vince Reffet and Fred Fugen in April 2014. 

Having such a high façade calls for the same amount of care as well. Did you know it takes almost 4 months to clean each and every single window of the tower from top to bottom! This huge amount of work is carried out by 18 permanently installed telescopic units which can extend up to 36 metres. As you reach the end, you realize it is time again to start the cleaning process. It is an on-going process forever!


A huge sculpture, The ‘World Voices’ awaits you at the lobby of The Residence (and that too the Highest one, not to forget!). Using 196 cymbals, the Catalan artist Jaume Plensa created a marvellous piece of art on which when the water gently drops upon from the ceiling, it magically creates a chorus of voices of people from around the world. This sculpture was built to honour the fact that it was because of the effort and endeavours of more than 30 contracting companies and people of 196 nationalities that the dream of Burj Khalifa turned into a reality.


The amount of water required by this tower was also a major challenge. In a dry land like this, to overcome the shortage of water required, a Condensate Collection System was installed. It uses the water collected through condensation from the air conditioning systems and the humid atmosphere surrounding the tower to irrigate the gardens of the tower. 

https://i.pinimg.com/originals/55/4c/ae/554cae0b003e494b40bbf95edcd77bba.j, Burj Khalifa Architecture

The exterior façade cladding was made of 26,000 individually cut glass panels which were also individually installed. Even at the fastest speed possible, it took more than two years to get the façade going. A team of 300 experts developed this cladding system to withstand the heat of the region.

https://www.burjkhalifa.ae/en/the-tower/gallery/, Burj Khalifa Architecture

Did you know that the tip of the Burj Khalifa can be seen from up to 95 km away on a clear sunny day! This means that you don’t even have to be in Dubai to see the towers top.


Last but not the least, in 2018, Burj Khalifa added two more records to its long list of records. The largest illuminated façade and the tallest LED-illuminated façade on New Year’s Eve, 2018. It would have been a spectacular scene to witness the largest light and sound show on a single building. The Burj Khalifa keeps on awe-striking us with such incidents.

We all know that it is the tallest marvel in the world. But, for how long? We hear that the Jeddah tower is on its way to beat this marvellous creation and cross the souring height of the Burj by over 236 feet. Originally it was planned to be completed by 2020, but due to some setbacks, the construction was delayed. If the construction goes on as planned, it will open in 2023 and beat all standing records of the Burj Khalifa. It got some tough competition there! 

I hope to have entertained you guys with some facts and stories which not many people know about! Spread the word and let me know something I might have still missed. 


Simran Kaur is a creative individual who has just begun to explore her writing potential into the field of architectural journalism. When not making architectural drawings, her passion about writing makes her fill her little notebooks with poems. Connect with her to find out more about her mysteries!