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Burj Dubai exterior done, to open this year

The exterior of the Burj Dubai, the world’s tallest tower whose opening has been delayed a few times, is complete and it will open later this year, developer Emaar said on Thursday.

“The final height of the tower will be revealed when Burj Dubai opens later this year,” Emaar said in a statement.

The announcement comes days before the start of Cityscape Dubai, the emirate’s flagship real estate expo expected to be uneventful due to a drop in attendees and exhibitors this year.

Industry observers say no significant new projects are expected to be announced amid a financial downturn that has decimated Dubai's construction and real estate sectors, which account for about a third of the city’s gross domestic product.

The Burj Dubai will feature offices, residences, retail and the world’s first Armani Hotel and Armani Residences, in line with Dubai's yen for luxury brands.

Work on the interior of the building is being completed, Emaar said.

The Burj Dubai currently stands at more than 800 metres, Emaar said.

A newspaper report earlier this month said Burj Dubai was rumoured to open on Dec. 2 to coincide with UAE National Day.

The much-delayed mega-project was originally earmarked for completion by the end of 2008, but the opening has been pushed back several times.

Emaar Chairman Mohamed Ali Alabbar told reporters in June 2008 that the tower would open in September, nine months later than initially planned, but that date was moved back to December.

Emaar has consistently declined to specify when the tower will open, only stating it will be “this year”.

Emaar plans for the Burj Dubai to eventually be the tallest structure in the world in all four of the criteria listed by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH).

The Burj Dubai will not be officially recognised as the world's tallest structure until it is completed.

The current tallest building in the world is the Taipei 101 in Taiwan at 509.2 metres.

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