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Mon 4 Jan 2010 08:33 AM

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Burj Dubai designers to set up Dubai base

Chicago-based firm getting ready to open regional base after success with world's tallest tower.

The company that designed and engineered the Burj Dubai are planning to set up their regional base in Dubai, the Chicago-based firm told Arabian Business.

“We are getting registered to open our offices in Dubai very soon,” said George Efstathiou, a partner at Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, who designed and managed the world’s tallest tower.

Skidmore, Owings and Merrill have a vast experience building and designing tall towers, having worked on five of the world’s ten tallest buildings.

The Chicago-based firm has also worked in Saudi Arabia and in Dubai are involved in the Rolex and Infinity tower projects.

“We have a high competence in the area,” said Efstathiou.

While the downturn has seen projects being delayed and some British and Japanese contractors complaining that they have not been paid Efstathiou said they have experienced any issues with payments in the region.

“We are careful about the clients we align with and so far all the clients we have done buildings with have met all their commitments,” he said.

The Burj Dubai will be inaugurated today and Efstathiou is very proud of the company’s work on the project.

“There is no question it has been a project that has been a career’s lifetime [achievement] and it has been a great excitement from day one,” says Efstathiou.

“The reception has been uniformly positive and everyone likes the building and it is very exciting the fact that it actually got built,” added Bill Baker, structural engineer on the Burj Dubai.

The full interview with Bill Baker and George Efstathiou is in today’s Arabian Business magazine.

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