DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – Dubai opened the Monday in a blaze of fireworks, then added a final flourish: It renamed the half-mile-high tower for the head of neighboring Abu Dhabi, whose billions bailed out Dubai amid last year's financial crisis.
Long known as Burj Dubai — Arabic for "vertical city" of luxury apartments and offices and a hotel designed by Giorgio Armani also plans to have the world's highest mosque (158th floor) and swimming pool (76th floor)." — the building rises 2,717 feet (828 meters) from the desert. The $1.5 billion "
Its backers wanted the skyscraper to be a monument to the boundless, can-do spirit of Dubai — one of a federation of seven small sheikdoms that make up the— but the timing could not be worse. Property prices in parts of collapsed by nearly half in the past year, the result of easy credit and overbuilding during a real estate bubble that has since burst.