Tourists are once again flocking to the world’s tallest skyscraper to sample the view from the observation deck of the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, after a lift failure closed the platform earlier in the year.
Visitors to the 828m spire became trapped between floors for 45 minutes in the lift ferrying them upwards to the 124th floor in February, forcing rescue teams to drop ladders into the elevator to allow those inside to escape. It is still unknown what caused the lift failure that effectively shut down the skyscraper.
The observation platform was hoped to become a major tourist draw when the tower was officially opened at the beginning of the year as the remaining floors are largely off limits while construction work continues.
However, the lift failure meant the 160 floors of the tower could only be enjoyed from ground level - a source of embarrassment for developers Emaar Properties, who did not officially announce the re-opening of the deck.
Burj Khalifa was designed by Chicago-based Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, which has a long track record engineering some of the world’s tallest buildings, including Chicago’s Willis Tower, the tallest in the United States, formerly known as the Sears Tower.
The Burj Khalifa tower rises more than 160 storeys, though the exact number of floors is unknown. The observation deck is mostly enclosed, but does include an outdoor terrace bordered by guard rails and is located about two thirds of the way up.
Work continues to prepare the interior of the tower, with the first tenants scheduled to move in soon.
It had been hoped that the tower would have fuelled a revival of the public image of the oil-rich city-state which has fallen victim to financial naysayers who claimed that Dubai had overstretched its financial muscle and finally fallen victim to the global recession.