Dubai was set to open the world's tallest building amid tight security today, celebrating the tower as a bold feat on the world stage despite the city state's shaky financial footing.
But the final height of the Burj Dubai -- Arabic for Dubai Tower -- remained a closely guarded secret until the opening.
At a reported height of 818 metres, it long ago vanquished its nearest rival, the 509-metre Taipei 101 in Taiwan.
The Burj's record-seeking developers didn't stop there. The building boasts the most storeys and highest occupied floor of any building in the world, and ranks as the world's tallest structure, beating a TV mast in North Dakota. Its observation deck on floor 124 also sets a record.
Security is expected to be tight with more than 1,000 security personnel, including plainclothes police and sharpshooters, deployed to secure the site for the opening. Work on the tower began in 2004 and the finished product contains more than 160 floors.