Burj Khalifa in Dubai turns 12: why the tallest skyscraper on Earth still wows the world

The tower opened in 2010 as a tribute to President Sheikh Khalifa

Twelve years ago today Burj Khalifa in Dubai was crowned king of the world's skyscrapers.

Soaring 828 metres into the sky it opened on January 4, as a tribute to President Sheikh Khalifa.

The statistics of the skyscraper speak for themselves: the highest observation deck in the world; 200 floors; and 22 million man hours needed for its construction.

Developed by Emaar, it is the centrepiece of the Downtown Dubai District that includes Dubai Mall and Dubai Fountain.

Burj Khalifa was designed by Adrian Smith of Skidmore, Owings and Merrit and influenced by the Great Mosque of Samarra in Iraq.

It uses a tubular system of construction, decreasing in size with height to minimise wind resistance.

The building’s height means that after viewing the sunset at ground level, it is possible to take the lift to the observation deck and watch it set again. This means that during Ramadan, at the top the fast is broken four minutes later.

Today, Burj Khalifa is one of world's biggest tourist attractions and its crown as the world's tallest building is intact.

Then and now: Burj Khalifa rises in Dubai

Updated: January 4th 2022, 9:16 PM