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Indian labourers largest contributors to Burj Dubai

Last updated on: November 18, 2009 12:42 IST

Burj DubaiThe world's tallest structure Burj Dubai, an 'unprecedented' engineering marvel that is ready to be thrown open to the public, was built with a major contribution from India -- a vast labour force.

The tower, which will open on January 4 next year stands at over 800 metres, with 160 floors, and is equipped with the world's fastest elevators that will travel at 64 kmph, besides the world's tallest performing musical fountain.

Over 14,000 labourers are currently working on several floors of the tower giving final touches to the high-rise, with more than half of them coming from India, a construction official told a group of visiting Indian journalists recently.

The 'Tower of Dubai' is nearing completion with the final leg of work on interiors and landscaping under progress.

According to official estimates, Indians comprise over 40 per cent of the total labour force in the UAE.

Of the estimated 1.5 million expatriate Indians in the this country, a large number are engaged as labourers in the booming construction industry.

"Burj Dubai's construction and engineering techniques are unprecedented, and they are our contribution to high-rise development," said Mohamed Alabbar, Emaar Properties chairman.

The building consisting of 30,000 homes and a spectacular musical fountain which is over 275 metres in length, with its nozzles spraying water to the heights of over 150 metres -- equivalent to a 50 storey building.

"The cladding work has involved considerable innovation -- vast amounts of research and simulation have pioneered advanced materials and installation techniques," said Alabbar.

Huge tower cranes, used in moving over 63,300 tonnes of steel reinforcement up to Level 156 of the tower, which were operational for a total of 45,000 man-hours, were recently dismantled removed from the site.

The tower will provide residence, retail and leisure facilities and is at the centre of Downtown Burj Dubai, a 500-acre mega-development.

A major portion of its lower floors have been dedicated to an Armani hotel, for the renowned Italian fashion designer.

The weight of aluminium used on Burj Dubai is equivalent to that of five A380 aircraft and the total length of stainless steel bull nose fins is 293 times the height of Eiffel Tower in Paris.

The tower will be inaugurated on January 4, to coincide with the fourth anniversary of Sheik Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum's appointment as ruler of Dubai.

As the excavation work began for the tower in 2004, the building was already sold out, with tenants booking homes, offices and hotel spaces in the tower. "We presold the entire tower in 2004," Greg Sang, director, Properties, Emaar said.

Image: The Burj Tower. | Photograph: Uttam Ghosh

Subhash Malhotra in Dubai
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