World’s tallest tower falls behind schedule again

The tallest tower in the world, the Burj Dubai, will not be completed on schedule with a new opening date now expected in December.

The iconic tower was due to be opened in September to coincide with the launch of the first phase of the Dubai Metro. But work is not finished yet on both the interior and the exterior.

Contractors said that they expect to finish their work in December but no official date for opening is being given by the project developer Emaar. A spokesman claimed that the company had never given an official opening date.

Burj Dubai is part of the $19.98 billion Downtown Burj Dubai development and is regarded as one of the landmark projects in the emirate. The fact that its completion is behind schedule comes as no surprise in a city which is dogged by delays and cancellations.

The fact that Emaar, the Middle East biggest property company, is being cautious about when the project will be finished is also regarded as depressing. In June last year Emaar chairman Mohammed Alabbar stated publicly that it would be ready by September 2009 that was still nine months later than the original completion date when it was launched.

Now all the company will say when pressed for a date is; ‘More details on the official launch will be provided in due course’.

There has also been controversy about the final height of the Burj Tower, which is thought to have topped out earlier this year at 818 metres. But some reports have suggested the building could reach 888 metres.

It is not the only tower in the region that has faced delays. Dubai developer Tameer is currently in the middle of refunding property investors in its Al Salam City project in Umm Al Quwain. A spokesman said it was not being cancelled, but merely delayed.

But many doubt it will be completed. Launched in July 2005, it was put on hold in May 2008 and Tameer gave investors the option of withdrawing their money or putting into another project.

Now most of the investors have opted for a refund. ‘We have refunded about 70% to our investors and will complete the process by the end of September. We are giving back 100% of what we owed them,’ said a spokesman.  He admitted that the company had been slow in completing the refund process. ‘There was a delay in refunds since we had to sort out some administrative issues as the project was being handled by one of our subsidiaries,’ he said.

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