Dubai is reaching for the sky once again, with the developer of the world’s tallest building, beating its own Burj Khalifa into second spot. The even taller tower will be decked with rotating balconies and elevated landscaping, inspired by the mythical hanging gardens of Babylon. The government-backed company behind the project, Emaar Properties, hopes the new tower will entice a fresh wave of view-seeking homeowners even as it raises numerous other promised skyscrapers and repairs a prominent one gutted by fire on New Year’s Eve.
Company Chairman Mohamed Alabbar said the new observation tower would be ‘a notch’ taller than the 2,717-foot Burj Khalifa. Just how much taller he wouldn’t say. Unlike the Burj Khalifa, the new $1 billion tower will not be a traditional skyscraper but more of a cable-supported spire containing ‘garden’ observation decks graced with trees and other greenery. Emaar says it will also contain a boutique hotel, restaurants and glass balconies that rotate outside the wall of the tower. Alabbar likened the structure, designed by Spanish-Swiss architect Santiago Calatrava Valls, to a 21st-century Eiffel Tower that can act as a magnet not just for tourists but also for property buyers willing to pay a premium for nearby apartments with a view. It is due to open by the time Dubai hosts the World Expo in 2020.
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