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Analysis of Project Planning of Burj Khalifa

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Burj Khalifa, which is also known as Burj Dubai, is one of the tallest buildings in the world with a length of 828 Meters. It was established in January 2004 and opened in January 2010. It is located in the UAE in the center of Dubai that is the most famous city in terms of tourist and commercial progress. The tower Burj Khalifa was built under the supervision of Emaar at a cost of $ 1.4 billion. It was co-built by 14,000 workers and engineers and the work was continuing under the hard weather and all conditions.

Burj Khalifa has one of the largest hotels in Dubai with 160 suites, also has 900 apartments that can serve 12,000 persons in the same time, offices, parking, garden, fountains, as well as 6 restaurants that are considered as one of Dubai’s largest restaurants. This is the only tower in the world, which has apartments and residential spaces. Burj Khalifa has 57 elevators of the fastest elevators to provide passengers with the maximum speed to move between the floors. They also have elevators designated only for emergencies cases.

Project Planning

Project planning is the first phase of Burj Khalifa project life cycle. In order to make a good plan the architectures should know the purpose, mission, vision, objective, requirements, risks, schedules and budget. In additional they should determine the availability of the resources and budget in order to start allocate resources.

Planning is very important for any project since that will avoid us from losing money, time and will make everything easier from the first time. In the Planning stage, they should determine the primary purpose of the project and the impact as well in order to establish good plan with a set of activities with all detail, so everyone will work in this project will be able to know exactly what to do and what should be done, with the specific time to be done. That also will make them know all the required resources they will be needed in order to deliver the project successfully without wasting time, scope and money by knowing when they will need each resource. Planning will help to complete the project with high quality in order to meet their expectations and satisfaction without exceeding cost or time that is required by the client. When we create the plan, we should put into consideration to make the project outcome meets the organization goal or objective. The plan should cover the project activities and risk planning, budgeting: Estimating Costs and Risks, Scheduling and Resource Allocation.

Project Activity and Risk Planning

Project planning is the most important phase since if they do it in good way, the project will success. In the Project Activity and Risk Planning, they include and write everything and all details for each task in the project from the beginning to the end in order to meet the project objective. Architectures discussed this project with Dubai government, Also After meeting and agreeing on everything, they determined the Project Charter Elements that will be explain in chapter 3 in this report. Next, they determine which activities could be done sequentially such as the beginning of construction or simultaneously such as Advanced and final stages in construction. When they finished all that they stat identify, analyze and response for the risks.

In risk management, they will start looking for problems with high-threat potential, then start looking for a solution for it in order to reduce the problem that will occur or to happen to be. One of the risks they faced was the design; the engineers are working on the design to avoid the two big challenges, which are gravity and wind. The shape of the building is designed to avoid the wind that can damage it, and even the doors have a system that shows if it is safe for them to open it or no based on the analysis of the wind if it was in a high speed and strong.

Budgeting: Estimating Costs and Risks

The project manager will prepare the project budget by estimate the cost of labors, materials equipment and risk. They do this step in order to control and monitor the budget and avoid the increasing in the cost expenditures.

The initial planned about height and cost was different at the beginning they was planned to build 728 meters with cost of 876 millions. However, the cost was doubled to almost 1.5 million dollar based on some problems they faced that make them make a major change in the planning and the scope as well such as making the building highest up to 828 meters and made changing in the design.

Increasing the prices of the raw materials or changing in the plan are one of the major obstacles such as adding a 100m of the first design has raised the costs. Plus, all the changes in interior design, the Labor Strikes that happened twice in March 2006, Dubai Economic Crisis that happened in 2009, All these factors are delay the project and increased the cost.


As we said before, Burj Khalifa was planned to be completed within 4 years only but the total taken time to build this tower was 2192 days that means almost 5 years. Every month they nearly build 10 floors. They used Gantt chart technique or model in order to manage the schedule of this project but this model is not good as ‘Critical Path Analysis’ and Flow Diagram. Below is the Construction timeline schedule of Burj Khalifa:

  • January 2004, Excavation started
  • February 2004, Piling started
  • March 2005, Superstructure started
  • June 2006, Level 50 reached
  • January 2007, Level 100 reached
  • March 2007, Level 110 reached
  • April 2007, Level 120 reached
  • May 2007, Level 130 reached
  • July 2007, Level 141 reached
  • September 2007, Level 150 reached
  • April 2008, Level 160 reached
  • January 2009, Completion of Spire
  • September 2009, Exterior cladding completed
  • January 2010, Official launch ceremony

Resource Allocation

The resources management is one of the most important key to make the project completed such as money, workers, raw meterials and equipment. Burj Khalifa management selected the best and most experienced workers and engineers, In addition to the best and highest quality of raw materials and equipment and provide the enough money to meet their goal. For example, ‘Samsung engineering and Besix’, build Burj Khalifa by the ‘mixed reinforced concrete’ to avoid the risk of the heavy wind and pressure and stand against it.

Project quality plan

PQP (project quality plan can be developed in a process of quality manual, quality procedures, contact requirements, inspection and test plan, statutory and regulatory requirements and last but not least the project specific procedures and work instructions / method statements.

Logistics plan

The Burj Khalifa was located in the middle of Dubai Development and there are favorable Access & Security (Air, Water, Road, Rail), mutual interface with other Burj Dubai project (Dubai Mall & Lake, Development Plan). The construction access is a crucial factor for safe and timely transport of material, equipment and manpower. Tower Section is enclosed by Podium – Tower Section works, like stocking, lifting & concrete pumping, occur at the same time with Podium Works. Comparatively long distance from gate to Tower and disrupted by Podium construction.


The successful completion of the Burj Khalifa tower is mainly attributed to the adoption of latest construction technology, construction materials and Auto-climbing formwork in addition to the excellent Project Quality Plan, which encompasses Logistics plan, Equipment Plan, Spire Erection plan and consistently adhering to Inspection Test plans for materials, equipment, and work inspections. The Burj Khalifa Tower becomes an objective evidence of „Quality Icon‟, which demonstrates the construction of an Ultra High skyscraper which meets all the technological and constructional challenges and stands as a benchmark for future construction of super ultra-high sky scrape.

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