Facts about the Burj Khalifa – World’s Tallest Tower

Burj Khalifa with 164 floors was completed within 5 years and it needed 12,000 workers, 22 million working hours and the cost of construction was $ 1.5 billion. The temperature between the lowest and highest floor of this tower differences up to 15 degrees

Burj Khalifa in Dubai is the world’s tallest tower with 164 floors standing at 828 meters (2,716.5 feet) tall. It is higher than the World Trade Center in Manhattan (USA) and It’s three times the height of the Eiffel Tower and nearly twice as tall as the Empire State Building. Visitors can see the Burj Khalifa sparkling at night although they stand anywhere in the city because this tower owns the highest outdoor observation deck anywhere

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Views from Dubai, featuring the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa

The work first opened in 2010 by the luxury and expensive opening ceremony. Burj Khalifa took 5 years and more than 12,000 workers to complete this highest tower and the construction cost was more than $ 1.5 billion. The construction process of the tower is supposed to be the fastest time in the world. Well, once It even took only 3 days to complete a new floor.

The foundation of the tower was digged 43 meters deep and it took four months to clean up 24,000 windows. Apart from holding the World Record for being the highest tower in the world, Burj Khalifa holds several other records such as the tallest free-standing structure; the highest occupied floor; highest number of stories in the world; the highest observation deck; elevator with longest travel distance in the world; and the speed of the world’s fastest elevators (64 km / h).

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Colourful views after dark from our observation deck

Before being named Durj Khalifa, It had the initial name is Burj Dubai. But it is said that apartments here didn’t have lots of reservations due to the high price at that time and then Dubai forced to need help of the chairman of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, to ask for his help and support billions of dollars to cover the debt. After that the tower was renamed in the opening ceremony to honor the generous royalty
The temperature between the lowest and highest storey of the tower has a huge difference, up to 15 degrees C. Time to catch a sunrise and a sunset is an hour apart. On foggy days, people working at the high stories could not even look down the city.

Due to be built in the desert, Burj Khalifa could bear the heat over 120 degrees C and it is covered by 24 348 insulation panels.
The weight of the Burj Khalifa without people is 500,000 tons equivalent to 100.000 elephants
An apartment for rental in Burj Khalifa is $ 55,000 / year but a service fee is $ 25,000 that many customers express dissatisfaction. However, 90% of apartments in the Burj Khalifa is always reserved

My own stories while volunteering

Volunteers share their experiences with the Photo Voice program, which uses photography to help rural ethnic minorities in Vietnam tell authentic stories of their daily lives and practice basic children’s rights

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The program teaches digital storytelling methods to ethnic and rural people in Vietnam, helping them to represent themselves and create tools for advocacy and communications to achieve positive social change.

My school was located in Ta Phin, just 10 kilometers away from Sapa. Many visitors take pity on the children here who endure the cold with worn-out clothes and walk barefoot. Life here is indeed difficult; however, there is not only material deprivation, but also a shortage of outlets for expression. I realized quickly when teaching, playing and collecting wood with the kids that I did not really know their stories, only stereotypes. Journeys are not only where you go or what you do, but also what you learn from the people you meet.

The first day of class was quite chilly and rainy. Our visual storytelling class, called “I Love My School,” was sparsely attended, with only 13 out 20 pupils showing up. Giang A Chia, in Grade 7, was the biggest boy in the class. However, he was shy and reserved and usually bowed his head when spoken to, possibly because he was the only Mong boy in a class full of Dao pupils. He surprised the class, however, when he brought in his homework the next day. It was an A4 sheet finely decorated and colored with lots of stories. He told about his long and dirty road to school, bomb craters near his houses and deep, endless caves that were once used as shelters for soldiers. His words and pictures allowed us a deeper insight into his other gifts: he was good at birdhunting, building pigpens and doing other crafts to assist his family.

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“Now each person I meet is special with their own stories. It’s just whether we are honest and open enough to understand their lives.

I grew more ‘greedy’ to take up many things simultaneously, at first for myself, and now for the lands and people I have traveled and met,” said a student after his volunteer trip.

I left behind my modern urban life to join these children collecting wood and herbs or playing outdoor games. Away from Hanoi, I found in these children rare little gems of soul, their innocent laughter echoing through the valley of green. I felt myself a kid again stumbling down terraced fields, clumsily walking on slippery lanes after rains and playing football with great pleasure on paddy fields. At our last dinner with the children, some kids sheepishly slipped little gifts into our pockets: lollipops, braided bracelets, straws or even little pieces of paper with some scribbled sentences.

It was a different experience than the typical trip where one makes some brief contact with the locals and then return to daily urban life, soon to forget the experience. The photos we brought back from Ta Phin are not exceptionally fine or suggestive of complex underlying meanings. They simply tell the stories that children in Ta Phin would like to tell about themselves, their houses, their friends and forests, perhaps better than spoken or written words. Ta Phin kids still have fathers who teach their sons hunting, mothers who teach their daughters embroidery and dyeing, grandmothers who tell old fairy tales their grandchildren. The kids there can still introduce us to their native herbs, and invite us to their simple households for cozy meals.

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Through his stories, A Chia opened up to the rest of the class and soon was joining them in games.

Most importantly, these kids had a chance to speak for themselves. “Have we ever asked these little citizens to make a more positive environment in which children will love their schools, hometowns and country more?” asked Lanh, coordinator of the project. “We volunteers serve as factors of change as we join these children and increase their involvement in education and development.”