Dubai is set to open the world’s tallest building today, although many of the offices are unfinished, as the emirate tries to re-establish hope amid the financial crisis. “The Burj Dubai, built by about 12,000 labourers and standing at a reported height of 818 metres, will open on Monday amid tight security. The final height has remained a secret to be revealed at the opening, but it long ago overtook its nearest rival – the Taipei 101 in Taiwan which rises to only 508 metres. Dubai, one of seven members of the United Arab Emirates, has gained a reputation for excess with the creation of man-made islands shaped like palms and an indoor ski slope in the desert. But the emirate suffered a real estate crash at the end of 2008 when the global financial crisis hit. Investor confidence was badly dented again in November when the emirate’s largest conglomerate announced it planned to delay debt repayments. The Burj Dubai’s opening on Monday is seen as a positive start to the year and analysts believe Dubai’s financial troubles have not hurt sales of the approximately 1,100 residential units in the ‘super-scraper’.”
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