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The Extremely Responsible Government Of Dubai Would Like To Remind You That The Empire State Building Opened During The Great Depression

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Not compensating for anythingHow's this for bad timing?

The world's tallest building is set to be opened in the Gulf emirate of Dubai.
More than 800m (2,625ft) high and clad in 26,000 glass panels, Burj Dubai has 160 floors and more than 500,000 sq m of space for offices and apartments.

Some 90% of this ridiculously tall building's units have been sold, or so they say. They also thought that Dubai ought to be--and could be--a financial center on par with New York and London. So take it with a few hundred trillion grains of sand.

The Wall Street Journal offers that Burj Dubai "embodies Dubai's goals."

Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the city-state's 60-year-old hereditary leader, hopes the building and its surrounding $20 billion development will help enhance his reputation among international investors and restore the allure of Dubai as a business hub.

I'm sure international investors would be just as happy if he paid his loans on time. Maybe he's banking on luring London's financial industry with rock-bottom rents.

Saud Masud, head of research at UBS AG in Dubai, says Burj Dubai will help the city to "stay in the limelight as home to a global landmark." Still, Mr. Masud forecasts that Dubai real estate prices could drop a further 30% this year after falling 50% in 2009.

Well, at least the architects' hometown paper thinks it's nice to look at. designed by the Chicago office of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill and its former design partner, Adrian Smith, the Burj Dubai represents a great leap forward in height and, especially for Dubai, in design quality.
It is a luminous, light-catching skyscraper that looks like a skyscraper - ridiculously tall, but exquisitely sculpted, elegantly detailed and unapologetically exultant.

Right. Now, about that standstill agreement...
Dubai to open world's tallest building [BBC]
World's tallest building, Burj Dubai, set to open in UAE [FT via WaPo]
Tower Embodies Dubai's Goals [WSJ]
The Burj Dubai: New world's tallest building shows that nothing succeeds like excess [Chicago Trib]