Dubai closes top deck at world's tallest tower for repairs

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The Independent Online

The observation deck of Dubai's Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest high-rise, has been closed for repairs only a month after the iconic tower was inaugurated, the developers said on Monday.

"Due to unexpected high traffic, the observation deck experience at the Burj Khalifa... has been temporarily closed for maintenance and upgrade," Emaar Properties said in a statement.

"Technical issues with the power supply are being worked on," it added, without specifying when visitors could expect once more to be able to ascend for a panoramic view of Dubai.

The glistening concrete, glass and steel pinnacle rising 828 metres (2,717 feet) out of the desert sands was inaugurated just over a month ago in a lavish ceremony.

The observation deck on the 124th floor, called "At the Top," was the only part of the Dubai icon that was open to the public.

Visitors pay 400 dirhams (109 dollars) for immediate entry, and 100 dirhams (27 dollars) for entry after a two-day wait.

Ticket holders could rebook or receive an immediate refund, the statement added.

The tower was known as Burj Dubai during construction, but Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashed al-Maktoum last month renamed it after Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahayan, ruler of Abu Dhabi and president of the United Arab Emirates.

Abu Dhabi came to Dubai's rescue late last year to the tune of 10 billion dollars after Dubai's economy went into a nose-dive, together with financial markets around the world.

Dubai's debts are estimated to total over 100 billion dollars.

Construction of Burj Khalifa was begun in 2004, and cost 1.5 billion dollars.