The Burj Dubai: World's Tallest, and Getting Taller

When you stand under the Burj Dubai, it doesn't look that tall at all. Bizarre.

Alone on the flat desert landscape of Dubai, apart from the generic glitzy towers of the Sheikh Zayed Road, it seems slightly abstract, with nothing for your eye to compare it with.

It could be 800 feet tall. It could be 1,000 feet. Or 2,500. Who knows? Skyscraper Internet chat rooms are ablaze with speculation about its final height.

For the most famous fact about the Burj — apart from that it's the first piece of architecture to be both the tallest building and man-made structure in the world — is that its final height is a closely guarded secret until it opens next June, for fear of some rival stealing its thunder with an extra bucket of quick-drying concrete.

As if. Because nothing else comes even close. The Burj, still under construction, is in another league. This is literally a sea change in the future of skyscrapers. Welcome to the world's first superscraper.

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• Click here to read the rest of this story in the Times of London.