Shaikh Mohammed leads groundbreaking ceremony of the world's next tallest building - in Dubai; 100 metres taller than Burj Khalifa.
His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, led the groundbreaking of The Tower, which will become the world's tallest tower when completed in 2020, on Monday at Dubai Creek Harbour.

"The Tower will re-define the nation's already spectacular skyline," Emaar Properties said in a statement. "(It will) strengthen the UAE's reputation for innovation and excellence in architecture, engineering and construction and will eclipse even Burj Khalifa as the tallest building in the world."

Scheduled to be delivered ahead of Expo 2020 at a cost of $1 billion (Dh3.67 billion) to build, The Tower, designed by renowned Spanish-Swiss architect Santiago Calatrava, will serve as a beacon of hope and positivity for the city and the region.

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Speaking to Khaleej Times at the groundbreaking ceremony, Micael Calatrava, son of Santiago, said: "We don't know yet what will be exact height of The Tower but it will definitely be higher than Burj Khalifa. We are creating a new icon for the country and a beacon to the world."

When asked of the challenges they are facing building in the desert, the younger Calatrava said: "There are many challenges but we have built in the desert before and we have engineers and partners who are well-versed in meeting the challenges."
"It's such a great honour for us to work in the UAE - such an ambitious and steadfast country," added Calatrava, whose firm has designed the World Trade Center Transportation Hub in New York City, Turning Torso in Malmö, Sweden, Atrium of Brookfield Place in Toronto, Canada, and Museum of Tomorrow in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, among others.

Watch: New Dubai tower to be taller than the Burj Khalifa

Set in the heart of

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, The Tower, however, is not a traditional skyscraper but a slender tower evoking the image of a minaret anchored to the ground with sturdy cables. It will have observation decks, hanging gardens, a world-class boutique hotel, and other tourist facilities.

Its design, chosen after a competitive pitch from some of the world's top architects, draws inspiration from the lily and evokes the image of a minaret, a common feature and distinctive aspect of Islamic culture, while the elongated oval-shaped bud and geometric texture set the template for the observation decks.

At night, The Tower will emit a 'beacon of light' from its peak featuring a 'flower bud' design as a floating element.

The Tower serves as the vibrant core of Dubai Creek Harbour, a 6 sq. km world-class master planned development that is two times the size of Downtown Dubai and located 10 minutes form the Dubai International airport. The waterfront development is centred off the Dubai Creek, the cradle of Dubai's history and culture, and in close proximity to the Ras Al Khor National Wildlife Sanctuary, protected under the Unesco Ramsar Convention and home to over 67 species of water birds.

Emaar Properties launched the project in April this year. It is described by Emaar chairman Mohamed Alabbar as "an ambitious project on a never-before scale and design" which will require "high-precision engineering across all its facets".

Chairman of Dubai Holding Mohammad Al Gergawi said: "The groundbreaking of The Tower is another historic moment for the UAE, as we mark the construction of another icon that will add to the UAE's civic pride. The Tower will enhance the reputation of our city and help boost the growth of the economy."

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