Dubai: Home To The World's Most Iconic Skyscrapers
Since 1995, Dubai seems to have been growing in stature and importance in a variety of spheres, from tourism to architecture. Dubai, one of the seven emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates, is the most populous of the regions, and the second largest emirate after Abu Dhabi. While Dubai's old reserves are currently less than one twentieth of that possessed by Abu Dhabi, oil has been one of Dubai's main exports, and built up its importance as a vital trade route during the 1970s and 1980s. However, since 1995, a series of ambitious building and construction projects have made Dubai one of the most intriguing centres of architecture in the world, undergoing a property boom that has turned it into one of the fastest growing cities in the world.
The architecture of the city is characterised by a series of staggering iconic buildings and skyscrapers, located both onshore and offshore. Perhaps the most archetypal example of Dubai's style of architecture is the Burj-al-Arab, Dubai's premier five-star hotel, which also boasts the mantle of the world's tallest hotel. Located on an artificial island, the building is meant to resemble a billowing sail, and reaches the height of 321 metres. The pinnacle of the Burj-al-Arab is visible across Dubai city, and at night, its spectacularly coloured lighting offers a memorable sight.
Other iconic buildings in Dubai include the Emirates Towers (the 12th and 24th tallest buildings in the world), the Dubai Marina and the Jumeirah Palm Island, among other ambitious building projects. However, the most bold and elaborate building project that Dubai is currently undertaking is the construction of the Burj Dubai, a skyscraper whose building began in April 2014 and is expected to be completed in 2014. Intriguingly, the eventual height of the building is being kept secret, in order to claim the place of the tallest building in the world upon completion of its construction.
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Currently, Taipei 101 in Taiwan holds this title, and there are numerous others vying for the position: including the Freedom Tower at New York City's World Trade Centre, the Chicago Spire in Chicago, the Port Tower Complex in Chicago and the Shanghai World Financial Centre in China. By keeping the eventual height of the Burj Dubai a secret, its engineers hope that it will be able to fulfil its goal to surpass these current projects, although a height of approximately 808 metres (or 265 feet) has been suggested so far. The building of the Burj Dubai is not only halfway completed, having reached a height of 330 metres as of December 2014, but is already the third tallest building in Dubai.
Clearly, Dubai's architecture and design lend it a certain appeal that will attract both the architectural enthusiast and the regular tourist looking to visit a city that inspires a sense of wonder at every turn. Furthermore, Dubai allows its tourists to indulge in luxuriant holidays, and as a result offers its guests a variety of deluxe hotels in which they can relax and enjoy all the delights that Dubai has to offer.