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Before almost going bust in 2007, Dubai knew what it took to drive visits and interest, and bold displays like this demonstrate it hasn’t lost its taste for unlimited ambition and soaring heights.
Developer Emaar Properties has unveiled a 360 degree panoramic photograph taken from the top of the world’s tallest building, Dubai’s Burj Khalifa.
The high-resolution image from 828m above sea level uses some of the most advanced techniques in digital photography.
It’s the view actor Tom Cruise made famous as he sat at the tower’s peak during the filming of Mission: Impossible film Ghost Protocol.
The image has been released to celebrate the second Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Photography Award (HIPA), which will take place in Dubai in March.
Dubbed the world’s richest photography award, HIPA will offer prizes totalling US $389,000 and attracts entrants from 121 countries. The grand prize awarded by HIPA is $120,000.
“This is an extraordinary image taken from an extraordinary location. It reflects the goals of HIPA, to extend the boundaries of photography and celebrate images of unusual beauty and quality that are truly outstanding,” said Ali bin Thalith, the general secretary of the award.
The image is composed from more than 70 individual photos. Dubai based photographer Gerald Donovan created the shot using a mechanised panoramic tripod head to take a series of 48 panoramic images, each shot at a resolution of 80 megapixels.
These were then stitched together with manually shot images to ‘fill-in’ gaps caused by equipment installed at the top of the tower such as the lightning conductor and aircraft beacons.
The result is an image that can be zoomed, tilted and rotated, giving viewers a sense of how it must feel to sit atop the world’s highest building.
The top of the Burj Khalifa is more than 200 metres above the highest point reached by the building’s elevators, which reach the 160th floor at speeds of some 10 metres per second.
The tower’s public observation deck, At the top, Burj Khalifa is on the 124th floor. The journey to the pinnacle involves a steep ladder climb within the 200-metre spire that crowns the building.