By BRIAN MURPHY, Associated Press Writer Brian Murphy, Associated Press Writer – Wed Dec 2, 6:10 pm ET
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – When work began in 2004 to build the world's tallest tower, Dubai's confidence also was sky high with a host of mega-projects on the drawing board or rising from the sands.
That swagger seems positively old school these days. It's been tripped up by a debt crunch that has humbled Dubai's leaders and exposed the shaky foundations of the city-state's boom years — leaving the planned Jan. 4 opening of the iconic Burj Dubai with a double significance of hello and goodbye.
It will be both a debutante bash for a new architectural landmark and a farewell toast to Dubai's age of excess.
The Burj Dubai — a steel-and-glass needle rising more than a half-mile (800 meters) — may be the last completed work from Dubai's time of the giants....