Dubai, the largest city in the United Arab Emirates, is maybe best known for its mind-blowing, imagination-defying architecture. Notable landmarks include the city’s manmade palm tree-shaped islands, its strand of private islands that are literally shaped like the earth’s continents and the fact that its skyline is home to the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building.
Through these developments, Dubai has been able to position itself as a must-see destination for any world traveler — but the city seems to think it can still do a little bit better job of totally dropping the jaws of its visitors. Earlier this week, Emaar Properties, the same developer responsible for the Burj Khalifa, announced its plans to construct a building even taller than its most famous creation.
The new building, simply called “The Tower,” is set to be finished by 2020, the year in which Dubai, not so coincidentally, will be the host of the World Expo. Although the project will no doubt catch the eye of the city’s millions of visitors that year, Emaar has been unclear as to exactly how high the tower will actually be.
Mohamed Alabbar, Emaar’s chairman, has said “The Tower” will be “a notch taller than the Burj Khalifa,” which currently stands at 828 meters. Whether this means visitors to the World Expo will get an 829 meter tower, or something much more substantial, is yet to be seen.
In addition, the building, which will house condos, shops and even its own hotel, may not even be the world’s tallest building by the time it’s built. Saudi Arabia’s 3,281 ft. Jeddah Tower, also expected to be finished in 2020 — will easily tower over “The Tower” if it is completed on time. Additionally, the recently proposed and aptly named Mile High Tower in Tokyo would cast a shadow over either building, although its construction may not begin for many years.
Maybe next time add more than a “notch,” Dubai.
Dillon Thompson is a travel intern with Paste and a student at the University of Georgia.