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Tue 17 Jun 2008 03:42 PM

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Burj Dubai to be even taller than planned

UPDATE 1: Emaar sets September 2009 completion deadline - 9-month delay.

The Burj Dubai, already the world's tallest building, will be even bigger than originally planned, Emaar Properties said on Tuesday, as the developer looks to cement the tower's place in history.Emaar said work raising the height of the mega-structure, which currently towers more than 636 metres above Dubai, was already underway.

The developer also set a deadline of September 2009 for the building's completion, meaning the project will be finished nine months behind schedule.

It said the final height of the Burj Dubai, which has been a closely guarded secret, would be revealed upon its completion.

The Burj Dubai's final height is rumoured to be between 700 and 1,000 metres. Local media reports last year said the final height would be 818 metres, citing architects drawings posted on the internet.

Emaar said in addition to increasing the building's height, it was also upgrading its interior finishes.

"Burj Dubai is now pushing its own record breaking standards further, with the height and design enhancements," Emaar Chairman Mohamed Ali Alabbar said in a statement.

News of the height enhancement and completion deadline comes a week after Alabbar revealed the project was facing up to a nine month delay and was unlikely to be finished until "August or September 2009".

The project was originally scheduled to be completed by the end of this year.

"With a project like this you have to get it absolutely right," he said at the time.

In April the Burj Dubai, already the world’s tallest building and tallest free-standing structure, became the world’s tallest manmade structure, surpassed the 628.8-metre high KVLY-TV mast in North Dakota, US.

The Burj Dubai is to be the centrepiece of a city within a city, Downtown Burj Dubai. The $20 billion development as a whole will include 30,000 homes, nine hotels, 6.2 acres of parkland, 19 residential towers, the Dubai Mall, and a 30-acre manmade lake.

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