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Pinnacle of power

Blazing fireworks and dazzling lights marked the opening of the world’s tallest tower, Burj Khalifa, which the Gulf Emirates hopes will pep up its international image, shaken by debt woes.

world Updated: Jan 05, 2010 00:44 IST

Blazing fireworks and dazzling lights marked the opening of the world’s tallest tower, Burj Khalifa, which the Gulf Emirates hopes will pep up its international image, shaken by debt woes.

Inaugurating it, Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammad on Monday renamed the Burj Tower as Burj Khalifa as a tribute to the UAE’s president Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

The tower stands at 828 metres high.

The USD 1.5 billion structure, an unprecedented engineering marvel that was thrown open to the public on Monday, was built with a major contribution from India — a vast labour force.

“Emirates has made a mark on the world and Dubai has built something for the world that is built by human beings,” Sheikh Mohammed said while announcing the tower open. The paratroopers then came down to greet onlookers.

The launch coincided with the fourth ascencion to the throne of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. The Burj Dubai Metro station also opened on Monday to mark the launch.

Declaring that the tower is 828 metres high, he said the new building pips all its nearest rivals, including the 101-storey high Taipei Tower in Taiwan.

Sheikh Mohammad inaugurated the tower in a colourful ceremony featuring dazzling laser lights, fireworks display and a choreographed water display on the Dubai fountains which stretch for 275 metres at the foot of the tower.

Congratulatory messages started pouring in from all quarters, including Indian businessmen in the UAE.