Dubai is building a $1 billion skyscraper that may be the tallest in the world

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Prepare to have a major crick in your neck. Developers in Dubai are building a $1 billion skyscraper that will put the current tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa (also located in Dubai), to shame. Well, not to shame, per se, but it’ll still be “a notch taller.” It is unclear as of yet as to the exact unit of measurement of a “notch.” The Burj Khalifa’s own website cites its measurements at over 828 meters (2,716.5 feet) and more than 160 stories.

Spearheaded by Dubai-based Emaar Properties PJSC, the new project will commence at the end of June and should be completed by the World Expo of 2020, which will be hosted in the glistening Middle Eastern city. “We wanted to build a new landmark for Dubai,” said Chairman Mohamed Alabbar at a press conference on Sunday. “When we look at Downtown and the Burj Khalifa, the area is almost full to the rim.”

Dubai is no stranger to elaborate architecture and flashy projects. Already, the UAE city is working on a nearly $3 billion amusement park, all part of a plan to attract some 20 million tourists per year by 2020. This would be double the 10 million figure the city brought in during 2012.

The new skyscraper will boast an observation deck, gardens, and between 18 and 20 floors dedicated to shops, restaurants, and other tourist destinations.

Described as a “gift to the city,” the building’s design was masterminded by Spanish-Swiss architect Santiago Calatrava Valls, and should serve as an “elegant monument.” According to developers, the tower will resemble a minaret, with sturdy cables anchoring the structure to the ground.

Of course, Dubai already has some competition when it comes to building the world’s tallest building. The Burj Khalifa aside, Saudi Arabia is also planning a building in Jeddah that promises to be taller than 828 meters as well — in fact, this skyscraper is said to extend more than 1 kilometer into the atmosphere.

Either way, the skylines of the Middle East are about to change, and we’re looking forward to seeing how they turn out.

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