Tuesday, 5 January 2010

They call me Khalifa.

The Burj Dubai Khalifa opened last night with a light and firework display that was spectacular even by Dubai's standards.  While that was expected, what was unexpected, except to insiders, was the surprise announcement of a change of name for the tower.  No longer Burj Dubai, its now 'Burj Khalifa' after Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the President of the UAE and ruler of Abu Dhabi.  The implications of the rename would not be lost on UAE residents.  Here's another view of the rename from the Chicago Tribune:
The Burj Dubai-Burj Khalifa name change: Better change those T-shirts and caps in the gift shop--and a whole lot more.
The stunning name change of the world's tallest building from Burj Dubai to Burj Khalifa, announced last night at the tower's opening, is going to upset a lot of applecarts--and is likely to wind up costing a lot of people a lot of money.
--T-shirts and caps for sale in the skyscraper's observatory, called "At The Top," and in its gift shop in the adjoining Dubai Mall are emblazoned with the words "At The Top/Burj Dubai." They're now outmoded--on the first day that the observatory is opening to the public.
--The district in which the skyscraper is located is called "Downtown Burj Dubai." It is identified as such on road signs and maps. "Downtown Burj Dubai" presumably will now become "Downtown Burj Khalifa."
--The tower's backers reportedly just spent $2 million on Burj Dubai uniforms for security and hotel personnel. How much will it cost to change the uniforms? Or might it be easier to put patches on the uniforms that cover up "Burj Dubai" and say "Burj Khalifa" instead?
Dubai's leaders must have known that problems like this were coming when they agreed to the name change, which recognizes the Abu Dhabi leader who bailed them out of their debt crisis. It appears that they were so desperate that they had no choice.
Source: Chicago Tribune
Photo: Maureen Davies

1 comment:

  1. Interestingly, the official website is still showing as burjdubai.com. burjkhalifa.com was registered late last night by an un-named person in the US and is not related to Emaar or the Dubai authorities. Looking at the site they've put up, it is pretty rubbish, so I would expect this to be a case of cyber-squatting (somebody who buys up domain names hoping to sell them on to the real owner for a profit).

    It seems like Emaar forgot to do their homework when changing the name and somebody has jumped in before them. Ha Ha.