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Dubai, UAE, March 3rd, 2007: Rafael Nadal took time out from his preparation for the 2008 Barclays Dubai Tennis Championships on Sunday to visit Burj Dubai, the world’s tallest free-standing structure and building, and the flagship project of Dubai based global real estate developer Emaar Properties.

Fearless on the court, the world number two was at ease as he took the external lift up to the 158th floor – at over 600 metres – with Greg Sang, Director - Projects, Emaar Properties, who answered the Spaniard’s questions about the $1 billion tower which is the centerpiece of the $20 billion Downtown Burj Dubai district.

“It’s incredible, insane,” said Nadal, who helped fasten the bolt into the steel construction and signed his name on the steel structure. “I was a little scared when I was in the lift but from the top it was unbelievable. I was reassured to learn the lift will be on the inside when it is completed!”

Excavation work at the Burj Dubai began in January 2004 and now the structure has scaled 158 levels, the most number of storeys in any building in the world. Burj Dubai has already surpassed the 31-year-old record of CN Tower, in Toronto, Canada, which at 553.33 metres had been the world’s tallest free-standing structure on land since 1976. The tower is also taller than Taipei 101 in Taiwan, which, at 508 metres, has been the tallest building in the world since it opened in 2004. The final height and the number of storeys of Burj Dubai are still unrevealed.

Burj Dubai’s design is inspired by the desert flower Hymenocalis and the patterns of the tower represent systems in the region’s architectural heritage.

Colm McLoughlin, Managing Director of Dubai Duty Free, the owners and organizers of the award-winning event, said: “As part of our promotion of Dubai during the tournament, we arrange for players to see some of the latest projects in the city. Burj Dubai was an obvious choice for someone like Rafael, who enjoys seeing the developments here and has absolutely no fear of heights!”

The 21-year-old Spaniard, who returns to the Barclays Dubai Tennis Championships for the fourth time, has a 9-2 career record at the $1.5 million tournament. Two years ago he beat Swiss world number one Roger Federer 2-6, 6-4, 6-4 in a memorable final.

“I’m very happy to be in Dubai for the fourth time,” said Nadal. “It is one of the most impressive tournaments on the calendar. The facilities, the organisation and the treatment are perfect. All I can say is thank you very much to the organisers as they help put the players at ease to enjoy a great week.”

Nadal, who is one of eight Top 10 ATP players appearing at the 2008 Barclays Dubai Tennis Championships, will meet Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany in the first round on Tuesday.

Source: http://www.barclaysdubaitennischampionships.com/3/news/2008/nadal_burjdubai.asp
 

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did he play tennis on top of it?
 

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i don't know if you follow the progress of this building or in dubai in general like me but there's no room to play tennis on burj dubai
 

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i don't know if you follow the progress of this building or in dubai in general like me but there's no room to play tennis on burj dubai
...especially if its Nadal thats playing
 

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i don't know if you follow the progress of this building or in dubai in general like me but there's no room to play tennis on burj dubai
in other words it does not have a helipad

did anyone play on THE helipad this weekend?
 

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he wasn't even at the top. the current floor is 160th right now. the steel construction began at floor 156th. looking at the picture on atptennis.com where he made his mark it looks like it was made on concrete. so i'm not even sure he was on floor 158th like it was said.
 
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