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Tue 14 Aug 2007 03:55 PM

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Burj set for steel switch

The Burj Dubai will take a further step forward in the next few months as construction will begin on the steel structure of the tower.

The Burj Dubai will take a further step forward in the next few months as construction will begin on the steel structure of the tower.

According to Philippe Dessoy, general manager, Besix, there is approximately 80m of concrete still to go on the tower, which just 3 weeks ago was officially labeled the world's tallest tower.

Once this has been completed the steel will then start, which will be followed by the spire. "We expect the steel to start in two months time, and actual structural works to be completed by the end of this year," said Dessoy.

This should see cladding work stepped up on the tower, which has previously been delayed due to the original cladding company, Schmidlin going into bankruptcy and replaced by a Hong Kong company - a delay, which, according to Dessoy cost them eight months.

Besix is in joint venture with Arabtec and Samsung to build the Burj Dubai, which will form the centrepiece of Emaar's $20 billion (AED 73 billion) Burj Dubai Downtown development. While speculation remains over the tower's eventual height, local contractors estimate it will reach at least 800m once completed.

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