Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Burj Khalifa observation platform reopens

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.

Readers' comments (1)

  • I am not surprised at the failure of the lifts. I remember the opening of the Spinaker Tower in Portsmouth, and that the outside lift has never been used since.

    I firmly believe that the stupid 'one upmanship' in having to have the tallest building is a recipe for disaster and the economics of ensuring long term safety will be ridiculous.

    Will this folly only stop when on collapses ?

    Colin Anderson, member

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Please note comments made online may also be published in the print edition of New Civil Engineer. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.