All you need to know about the Burj Khalifa
The Burj Khalifa tower is one of the most photographed buildings in the world. Standing at over 828 metres (2,716.5 feet), the 160-story building houses over one million square feet of residential space, and 300,000 square feet of office space, in addition to the Armani Hotel Dubai and the Armani Residences. The curtain wall of the tower is the equivalent of 25 American football fields in size and the tower can hold in the region of 10,000 people at any given point in time.
The hotel has more than 2,900 steps leading up to its 160th floor and (in order to get any higher), ladders have to be used. As visitors travel to the top of the tower, they are told the story behind its design and construction.
The Burj Khalifa has 57 elevators and eight escalators.
The tower has four pools and two observation decks which give you an incredible aerial view of The Dubai Fountain.
The Burj Khalifa holds the following records:
- Tallest building in the world
- Tallest man-made structure
- Tallest free-standing structure in the world
- Highest number of stories in the world
- Highest occupied floor in the world
- World record for vertical concrete pumping
- Highest aluminium and glass facade
- Highest outdoor observation deck in the world
- Elevator with the longest travel distance in the world
- Tallest service elevator in the world
The Burj Khalifa’s architect was Adrian Smith. He was inspired by the Spider Lily flower. You can see his inspiration from this flower through the intricate landscape design which surrounds it. The Burj Khalifa took more than 22 million man hours to construct with over 12,000 people working on-site at any given time from 30 on-site construction companies from all around the world. Construction also used three of the world's largest cranes and used at least 45 different types of stone.
It is made of over 11 million cubic feet of concrete, 1.1 million square feet of glass and 166,800 square feet of embossed stainless steel. If you were to weigh the amount of concrete that was used in the towers construction, it would equal the approximate weight of more than 100,00 elephants. The tower also has an estimated 26,000 individually hand-cut glass panels make up the exterior cladding.
To stop aircrafts from colliding with the tower, the building is fitted with “high-intensity xenon white obstruction lights”. These lights flash 40 times per minute with the flashing intensity changing depending on the time of day.
The work of more than 85 artists from all over the world is displayed throughout the hotels floors, this technically makes it the world’s tallest art gallery. The tower is also home to the world’s highest library (on level 123).
The huge tower featured alongside Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol which was the fourth Mission Impossible film in the series. The stunt scene from the movie which featured the Burj Khalifa was later parodied in The Simpsons.
The world’s first Armani Hotel is situated inside the Burj Khalifa. It was opened in April 27th, 2010. There are 114 Armani Residences which are situated across levels 9 to 16. Each apartment has bespoke finishes and made-to-measure furniture and fittings. The entrance to the Armani Hotel was designed by Giorgio Armani himself and does not feature a check in desk. He wanted to give guests the sense that they were stepping into his home.
“The intention was to create a warm, harmonious and luxurious space combined with elegant design - each element playing a precise role in the overall effect and balance”.
Inside the lobby of the The Residence at Burj Khalifa, there is a huge sculpture comprising of over 190 cymbals by artist Jaume Plensa. It is named ‘World Voices’ and (as water cascades down from the ceiling, it hits the cymbals and creates “a chorus of distinct tones that represent the voices of people worldwide”.
5 minutes with... Janthana Kaenprakhamroy, CEO, Tapoly
Founder and CEO of award-winning insurtech firm Tapoly, Janthana Kaenprakhamroy heads up Europe’s first on-demand insurance platform for the gig economy, winning industry awards, innovating in the digital insurance space, and leading with inclusivity.
Here, Business Chief talks to Janthana about her leadership style and skills.
What do you do, in a nutshell?
I’m founder and CEO of Tapoly, a digital MGA providing a full stack of commercial lines insurance specifically for SMEs and freelancers, as well as a SaaS solution to connect insurers with their distribution partners. We build bespoke, end-to-end platforms encompassing the whole customer journey, but can also integrate our APIs within existing systems. We were proud to win Insurance Provider of the Year at the British Small Business Awards 2018 and receive silver in the Insurtech category at the Efma & Accenture Innovation in Insurance Awards 2019.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I try to be as inclusive a leader as possible. I’m committed to creating space for everyone to shine. Many of the roles at Tapoly are performed by women and I speak at industry events to encourage more people to get involved in insurance/insurtech. Similarly, I always try to maintain a growth mindset. I think it’s important to retain values to support learning and development, like reliability, working hard and punctuality.
What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?
Build your network and seek advice. As a leader, you need smart people around you to help you grow your business. It’s not about personally being the best, but being able to find resources and get help where needed.
How do you see leadership changing in a COVID world?
I think the pandemic has proven the importance of inclusive leadership so that everyone feels supported and valued. It’s also shown the importance of being flexible as a leader. We’ve had to remain adaptable to continue delivering high levels of customer service. This flexibility has also been important when supporting employees as everyone has had individual pressures to deal with during this time. Leaders should continue to embed this flexibility within their organisations moving forward.
They say ‘from every crisis comes opportunity’, what opportunities do you see?
The past year has been challenging, but it has also proven the importance of digital transformation in insurance. When working from home was required, it was much harder for insurers to adjust who had not embedded technology within their operating processes because they did not have data stored in the cloud and it caused communication delays with concerned customers at a time when this communication should have been a priority, which ultimately impacts the level of customer satisfaction. This demonstrates the importance of what we are trying to achieve at Tapoly in driving digitalisation in insurance and making communication between insurers and distribution partners seamless.
What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?
Start sooner, don’t be afraid to take (calculated) risks and make sure you raise enough money to get you through the initial seed stage.