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Tall buildings expert questions mile-high Dubai tower plan

A UK-based world expert on tall buildings has attempted to put the brakes on the hype surrounding plans to build a mile-high skyscraper in Dubai.

Arup director Mohsen Zikri has panned reports that Middle Eastern developer Nakheel wants to extend a new unnamed tower 1,600m into the sky.

Skyscraper specialist Zikri - who is currently working with those behind London's Shard of Glass, as well as the Minerva, Heron and Leadenhall Towers - told the AJ of what he believes is the 'egotism' driving such 'vanity projects'.

Zikri said: 'I have doubts that they can do it. It's all to do with ego. I can't believe in a place like Dubai that they can make a commercial case for a building that size.'

A memo leaked to the Middle Eastern press last week detailed a meeting in the US between Bovis Lend Lease and engineer Thornton-Tomasetti in which three outline proposals were considered for Dubai.

One of these included a tower that incorporated an entertainment ride at the top of the building - where part of the thrill would be generated from the sway of the structure.

by Rob Sharp

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