A Burj Dubai Update

It seems that the Burj Dubai article I wrote was just in time to explain why it will not be opening on the 2nd December after all. According to client Emaar the reason is that they wish to open it on the anniversary of Sheikh Mohammed becoming ruler, in January. But according to sources on the project the real reason is that more of the work will be done by January.

Officially a contractor (who must remain anonymous but is very senior) tells me that the contract was split into two parts. The first 40 floors would be complete by December (and they still will be), the rest (more than 120) would be complete by February. So a visit in December would definately be to a construction site rather than a completed structure and would not give off the ar of achievement required.

Please bear in mind that the entire structure was supposed to be finished by the end of 2007. According to the contractor (and a couple of other sources also working on the site) the clients decision to push the height up from just over 700m to 818m is the real reason for the delay. The knock on effect of adding 100m is profound.

This has also caused other problems for the 12000 staff on site. Every variation must be agreed between client and contractor before payment can be made. Invariably these are negotiated over and innevitable disagreements resolved before payments are agreed. This means that payments are arriving late. Not late enough to be in breach of contract but late enough to cause more problems for the supply chain – who are all suffering anyway from Dubai’s construction downturn.

Building the world’s tallest tower was never going to be easy and amazing challenges are being overcome on a daily basis. Unfortunately there are perhaps more of these than anyone originally expected!

I dont believe MEED has published the piece yet but ill post it when they do.

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