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Thursday, 16 December 2010

1- While the Leaning Tower of Pisa was never built to lean, its status as the world furthest leaning tower stood for well over 800 years before being toppled in the history books by Abu Dhabi's 35 storey, 160m tall ADNEC Capital Gate.


Building:                ADNEC Capital Gate
Location:               Abu Dhabi, UAE
Work started:        September 2007 (enabling works)
Completed:           End of 2010
Developer:            Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company
Main contractor:   Al Habtoor-Leighton Group
Architect:              RMJM Dubai
Incline:                 18 degrees
Nearest rival:        Leaning Tower of Pisa (4 degrees incline)

2-  No great surprise here. The Burj Khalifa burst onto the international scene at the beginning of this year with a massive fanfare, fireworks and festivities at the dawn of the new decade after a much anticipated build. The fanfare wasn't without merit: the building smashing almost every record - and by a considerable margin.


Project:             Burj Khalifa
Location:           Dubai, UAE
Work started:    January 2004 (site excavation)
Completed:       January 2010 (official launch)
Developer:        Emaar Properties
Contractors:      Samsung, BESIX and Arabtec
Architect:          Adrian Smith, Skidmore, Owings, & Merrill (SOM)
Height:              828m
Floors (above ground level): 162
Cost:                $1.6bn
Nearest rival:    Taipei 101 (508m)

3-  Built within the Burj Khalifa complex and with over 1,000 shops and several separate malls-within-a-mall, Dubai Mall also has an aquarium with 33,000 animals and a 270-degree acrylic walkthrough tunnel, aquatic zoo, Olympic-sized ice-skating rink, 22-screen multiplex cinema, SEGA theme park, children's play zone and numerous other attractions to keep shoppers entertained.


Building:                   Dubai Mall
Location:                  Dubai, UAE
Work started:           2004
Completed:              November 2008
Developer:               Emaar Properties
Main contractors:     JV between Dutco Balfour Beatty, Al Ghandi/CCC
Architect:                 DP Architects Pte Ltd
Size:                        1.124million m²
Nearest rival:           South China Mall (890,000m2)

4-  There may be longer, taller and more impressive looking bridges in the world but the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge, or Pearl Bridge, which links Kobe City in the north with Awaji Island in the Seto Inland Sea, has the longest span of any bridge in the world.


Structure:               Akashi Kaikyo bridge
Location:               Near Kobe, Japan
Work started:        1988
Completed:            1998
Construction:         Obayashi Corp
Main contractor:     Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Solétanche Bachy, Taisei Corportation
Designer:               Honshu Shikoku Bridge Authority
Length:                  3,911m
Main span:            1,991m
Pylon height:          283m
Clearance:             68m
Cost:                     980 billion yen (AED40bn)
Nearest rival:         China's Xihoumen Bridge, 1,650m

5-  Home to Emirates airline's expanding fleet, Terminal 3 handles a bulk of the airport's 40.9 million passengers annually (2009 figures) and, once its dedicated Airbus A380 Concourse 3 is up and running, will give the airport the potential to handle 75 million travellers every year. Terminal 3 alone will have a maximum annual capacity of 43 million travellers.

6-  Building a huge aircraft requires equally impressive facilities, and Guinness World Records lists the Boeing Plant in Everett, Washington as the largest building by volume in the world.


Building:               Boeing Plant
Location:             Everett, Washington State, USA
Work started:      1966
Completed:          1967
Developer:           Boeing
Original size:        176,514m²
1980 expansion:   260,126m²
1993 expansion:   399,480m²

7-  Again, a contentious record and one that will upset a few readers - but it all comes down to the definition and the use of the word "all". The Burj Khalifa is ruled out because it's a mixed use development (hotel, office tower and residences), while other towers also fall away thanks to the definition.


Building:                      Q1, Queensland
Location:                     Gold Coast
Work started:              2002
Completed:                 2005
Developer:                  Surfers Beach Resort
Main contractor:          Sunland Constructions
Architect:                    Sunland Group
Height:                        322.5m
Floors (above ground): 78
Nearest rival:               Capital City Moscow Tower (302m)

8-   Like the Burj Khalifa, the Millau Viaduct in France is one of those structures that you simply can't get sick of looking at. A staggering feat of engineering, the bridge stands as a monument to what can be achieved when, on those rare occasions, British technical ability and French tenacity combine to produce something truly extraordinary.


Structure:               Millau Viaduct
Location:                Tarn Valley, southern France
Work started:        October 2001
Completed:            December 2004
Client:                    Ministry of Public Works, France
Main contractor:    Effiage (France)
Designer:               Norman Foster and Michel Virlogeux
Height:                  343m
Nearest rival:         Sutong Bridge, 306m

9-   China's awakening as an industrial giant has seen it embark on a raft of mega projects including this, the Three Gorges Dam - the largest electricity generating plant of any type in the world.


Structure:               Three Gorges Dam
Location:                Yiling District of Yichang, China
Work started:         December 1994
Completion:            December 2011
Client:                    China Three Gorges Project Corporation
Main contractor:    China Three Gorges Project Corporation
Cost:                     $30 billion
Size:                      2309m x 185m
Annual output:       100 billion kW-h
Nearest rival:         Itaipu Dam, Brazil

10-   While it may be the smallest of the three Palm islands planned for Dubai's coastline, it remains the only one developed so retains the title it snatched in 2007 when the final breakwater stone was laid.


Development:        The Palm Jumeirah
Location:               Dubai
Work started:        August 2001
Completed:           October 2003 (land reclaimation)
Developer:            Nakheel
Main contractor:    Van Oord (land reclamation)
Designer:              Nakheel
Cost:                    $12b
Size:                     560 hectares
Nearest rivals:       Palm Jebel Ali and Palm Deira, both still under construction.


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