Dubai, emirate of extravagance and superlatives, laid claim to an extraordinary new record yesterday with a multibillion dollar plan to build the world's tallest tower in the face of deepening global financial gloom.
The tower, at the centre of the Nakheel port and harbour complex, is to be "over one kilometre" high and have more than 200 floors, beating its nearest rival, the existing Burj Dubai tower, still under construction and due to rise to a mere 818 metres.
"At more than a kilometre high this is an unbelievably groundbreaking design," boasted Chris O'Donnell, Nakheel's Australian CEO. "We are pushing the boundaries of sustainable design."
The complex will provide homes and offices for 100,000 people. If all the reinforcing bars were laid end to end they would stretch from Dubai to New York - one quarter of the way round the world.
The tower will be so tall that it will have five different micro-climates.
The temperature in the atmosphere at the top of the building could be as much as 10 degrees cooler than at the bottom. High-speed lifts will allow people to see the sunset twice - from the bottom and again from the top of the building.