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Burj Khalifa Height & Facts | What is the Tallest Building in the World?

Instructor: Sasha Blakeley

Sasha Blakeley has a Bachelor's in English Literature from McGill University and a TEFL certification. She has been teaching English in Canada and Taiwan for seven years.

Learn about the tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, UAE. Discover new facts and explore the architecture of this monumental structure. Updated: 01/27/2023

This lesson contains information about suicide. There are resources available for anyone needing help.

What is the Burj Khalifa?

The Burj Khalifa is a skyscraper located in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. It is famous for being the tallest building in the world. The skyscraper is used for a variety of different purposes; much of it is residential, but some areas are either corporate or commercial. It is possible for visitors to stay in the Burj Khalifa, though the building's fame and status make it a very expensive destination.

The building's official opening took place in 2010, though the tower's construction remained incomplete in some areas of the interior. Today, the Burj Khalifa is one of Dubai's most notable landmarks. The name ''Burj Khalifa'' is a reference to Sheikh Khalifa ibn Zayed Al Nahyan, leader of Abu Dhabi.


Architect Adrian Smith originally designed what would eventually become the Burj Khalifa in the early 2000s. Already a well-established architect, Smith was interested in the challenges involved in building extremely tall buildings. Very tall skyscrapers need to be built to account for the wind that they will experience. They must be built to support their own weight, ensuring that they remain safe.

Smith's design used a tripod-like structure to make the building as stable as possible. Originally, Smith expected his design to be built in Seoul, South Korea, but Dubai elected to start construction instead. Teams of builders got to work on the Burj Khalifa in 2004.

The Burj Khalifa has been the tallest building in the world since 2010.

A photograph of the Burj Khalifa, an extremely tall glass and steel tower.

During construction, details of the tower were kept secret; the public did not know how tall the tower was going to be. Before it was unveiled, the tower was widely known as the Burj Tower or the Burj Dubai. The opening ceremony took place on January 4th, 2010, to great fanfare. It was announced that the Burj Khalifa had become the tallest building in the world, surpassing the previous record-holder, Taipei 101 in Taipei, Taiwan.

Architectural Features

The Burj Khalifa is built with a Y-shaped base for greater stability. The shape makes the building more resistant to wind. The core of the building is a hexagonal structure, around which the three sections of the building function like buttresses. The building gets narrower as it gets taller, culminating in a very narrow spire. Within the building, there are 900 residences. There are also swimming pools, some of which extend to the outside of the building.

There are libraries, gyms, spas, restaurants, offices, and lounges. Because of the structure of the building, some of the units have unusual floor plans. The exterior of the building is made of aluminum, stainless steel, and glass, while the interior is made of concrete. Because of the building's height, many of its units boast extraordinary views over Dubai.

Facts about the Burj Khalifa

In total, the Burj Khalifa has over 160 floors. The uppermost Burj Khalifa floors are the highest occupied spaces in any building in human history. Some other notable facts about the building include:

  • The tripod shape is structurally important, but it is also inspired by the spider lily, a local plant.
  • The tower has 1.85 million square feet of residential space.
  • There are two observation decks.
  • There are several different lobbies at the Burj Khalifa, each of which leads to a different section of the building.
  • There are many works of art on display in the Burj Khalifa, resulting in the building being called the world's tallest art gallery.
  • Over 12,000 workers were on the Burj Khalifa worksite on any given day of construction.
  • Each common area of the Burj Khalifa is scented with a different bespoke perfume.

The Burj Khalifa is not just the world's tallest building. It is also a very important tourist attraction and source of revenue for Dubai's government and businesses.

The Tallest Building in the World

The Burj Khalifa is the tallest building in the world, meaning that it is also the tallest building in Dubai. When looking at the Burj Khalifa's height, it is important to distinguish between several different world records for tall buildings. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, there are different standards for the world's tallest building, the world's tallest man-made structure, and the world's tallest free-standing structure.

The Burj Khalifa is the tallest in all of these categories. It has also broken the world record for the largest number of stories, the highest occupied floor, and more.

The Burj Khalifa is one of the most recognizable landmarks in Dubai.

A photograph of Dubai at night, showing the Burj Khalifa and other buildings.

From its base to the top of its tower, the Burj Khalifa is 2,723 feet tall, which is more than half a mile. New tall buildings are being built all the time, and it is unlikely that the Burj Khalifa will remain the world's tallest building forever. At the present time, the tallest buildings in the world are:

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Frequently Asked Questions

Is the Burj Khalifa still the tallest building in the world?

The Burj Khalifa is still the tallest building in the world. It broke the world record in 2010, and nothing taller has yet been built.

Do people live in the Burj Khalifa?

There are people who live in the Burj Khalifa. Much of the building is residential, and some parts of it are hotels.

What is inside the Burj Khalifa?

The Burj Khalifa is a multi-purpose building. It has a lot of residential space as well as commercial and corporate space.

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