By Dylan Bowman and Reuters
World's tallest structure will not be finished on time, Emaar Chairman Mohamed Alabbar reveals.
Emaar Properties' Burj Dubai is four months behind schedule and may now not be finished by the end of this year as originally planned, it has been revealed.
Emaar Chairman Mohamed Alabbar said on Tuesday the world's tallest structure would not be finished on time, without giving further details as to the reason for the delay.
"We are about four months late," Alabbar told reporters.
Emaar said last month construction on the tower had been stepped up to meet an "accelerated schedule", without giving further details.
An Emaar official said in July the Burj Dubai would open sometime before Christmas this year, which means the tower may not now be finished until spring 2009.
Work on the Burj Dubai was delayed in November when around 40,000 labourers employed by Arabtec, one of the construction companies working on the project, went on strike for a week over pay and conditions.
Arabtec Executive Director Tom Berry said at the time the strikes could cause the company miss completion dates for some of its key projects in Dubai.
The Burj Dubai currently stands at just over 600 metres, over 90 metres higher than the world's tallest building, Taiwan's Taipei 101, and over 40 metres higher than the world's tallest free-standing structure, Toronto's CN Tower.
The only structure now left for the Burj to overtake is the KVLY/KTHI television mast in Blanchard, US, which measures 628.8 metres.
The Burj Dubai will not be officially recognised as the world's tallest structure until it is completed.
Emaar has remained tight lipped over the final height, but it 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.
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. The development will cost around $20 billion.