Dubai's Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest building, officially opened in January. For building residents, the rent also buys a bit of fame.By Ruth Sherlock
The Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, stands beside the world’s largest fountain, and above the world’s largest mall. The glimmering glass-clad tower thins to a shining needlepoint at 828 meters (2,716 feet), effortlessly surpassing the jungle of Dubai’s skyscrapers.
The building, which officially opened in January, is already a world icon. Residency in one of the tower’s 900 apartments centers on extravagant excess. Fast-flashing lights in the trees outside give paparazzi glamour. The lobby includes a marble table, rumored to cost $2 million. Armani’s six-star hotel is also here.
Hundreds of paying day-trippers stare as residents – a constant source of intrigue – walk to the private lift, a concierge carrying their purchases in tow.
“You are buying a feeling of exclusivity and status at the Burj – walking past the line at the mall with your pass,” says one resident. “It is shallow, really, but I like it.”