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Completion of world's tallest skyscraper in Dubai delayed again

ABU-DHABI, June 10 (RIA Novosti) - The construction of the Burj Dubai tower in the UAE, which is already the world's tallest building, will not be completed until September 2009, English-language newspaper The National said on Tuesday.

The tower is currently 638 meters (2,093 feet) high, but its final height remains a closely-guarded secret. Construction work has already been extended three times since the project was launched in 2004.

The latest delay is believed to have been caused by a decision to add at least one extra storey. The date has been put back from April 2009 to September 2009.

"We are going higher, and this is one of the reasons why the project is delayed," the newspaper quoted Fred Durie, the executive director for the project's contractor Emaar Properties, as saying.

Works are being hampered by strong winds of up to 300 kmph (186 mph) at the tower's 160th floor. In May, works were suspended for 18 days due to strong winds.

"The higher you go, the more difficult it becomes to build, as when the wind picks up work has to stop," Durie said. "Vertical transportation also gets more difficult the higher you go - this is the problem with going taller."

Mohammed Ali Alabbar, the chairman of Emaar, said delays were also caused by reviewing the interior of the tower.

The Burj Dubai tower will be a part of a $20-billion Downtown Burj Dubai luxury residential area. The area will also include the world's largest shopping mall, 30,000 homes, nine hotels, 19 residential towers, and a 30-acre manmade lake in which a 275-meter (902-foot) long fountain, able to shoot water up 150 meters (492 feet), will be built.

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