By Nick Ames
Cage-like platform or structure has been erected at top of world's tallest building
Mystery surrounds a structure which has been constructed on top of the Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest building.
The purpose of the cage-like structure is currently unknown, but it is believed to be associated with a major event being planned.
Sources in the area also report seeing a number of helicopters flying in the vicinity of the spire in recent days.
The strongest rumour is that it will involve Dubai-based British fitness coach Colin Philips, who last month completed a world record 155 consecutive bungee jumps, as he has admitted he would love to bungee jump from the top of the tower.
At 828m, the world’s tallest building has been the venue for several ‘stunts’ in the past.
In 2011, actor Tom Cruise reportedly left an inscription to his wife Katie Holmes, etched in the top spire of the structure, while filming scenes for Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol.
And in the same year French specialist climber Alain Robert succeeded in conquering the tower. Known as the French Spiderman, Robert completed the climb in around six hours.
In the summer of 2013, award-winning UAE-based magician Dr Montaser Al Mansouri said he was seeking funding to stage an illusion, which will involve making the Burj Khalifa disappear for three seconds, but it was reportedly set to take place in December. “If I get a sponsor, I want to perform this magical feat,” the Ras Al Khaimah-born magician told the Xpress newspaper at the time.
Late last year Dubai Crown Prince, Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, was filmed waving a UAE flag from the top of the tower in celebration of Dubai’s successful bid to host the World Expo 2020, while in January fashion models scaled the outside of the tower during the staging of a vertical fashion catwalk to promote Dubai Shopping Festival.
Two months ago, a Dubai-based think tank proposed wrapping the tower in a super lightweight, reflective fabric. Proposed by OP-EN, the EXO-BURJ project would see the casing reflect the building and its surroundings. It would also allow visitors to walk up the encasement. Ahmed Salman, the founder and principal at OP-EN, told Arabian Business the proposed installation would be a temporary addition to the building and would be suspended off its central spire. While he admitted the company had not yet spoken to developer Emaar, he said it hoped to “soon” once more feasibility studies had been carried out.
Owner and developer Emaar was contacted by Arabian Business about the erection of the structure but it has not commented on its purpose or the speculation surrounding any events or plans associated with it.
I watched yesterday morning at about 6:40 as a helicopter circled the top of the Burj and then 2 people dressed in white, BASE jumped from the top of the structure, pulled their parachutes and then had red smoke trails coming from them. About a half hour later somebody also bungee jumped from the very top if the spire.