Question: Why Is the Opening of the Burj Dubai Important?
Answer: On January 4, 2010, the Burj Dubai opened for business. Now known as the Burj Khalifa, it's both the world's tallest building and the world's tallest structure. At 2,717 feet, it surpassed the height of the KVLY-TV mast in North Dakota (2,063 feet). This is the first time since the Middle Ages that the world's tallest building has been in the Middle East. Until then, the Great Pyramids of Egypt were the tallest structures.
The Burj Khalifa is located in the city of Dubai, which is itself in the Emirate of Dubai, a city-state in the country of United Arab Emirates.
Work started on the Burj Dubai in January 2004. At 160 floors, it surpasses the Sears Tower (108 floors) in Chicago, and it is even higher than the World Trade Towers were (110 floors).
The Burj Dubai is surrounded by $20 billion in new development, including the world's biggest mall. Dubai hopes the building will restore confidence with international investors. Dubai's reputation as a world-class financial center has been badly damaged after it announced it might default on $60 billion in debt in November. The Burj Dubai was renamed the Burj Khalifa in honor of the president of Abu Dhabi, who bailed Dubai out of its default.
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