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Some Dubai residents are celebrities just because of their address

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• A local, slice-of-life story from a Monitor correspondent.

The Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, stands beside the world’s largest fountain, and above the world’s largest mall. The glimmering glass-clad tower thins to a shining needlepoint at 828 meters (2,716 feet), effortlessly surpassing the jungle of Dubai’s skyscrapers.

The building, which officially opened in January, is already a world icon. Residency in one of the tower’s 900 apartments centers on extravagant excess. Fast-flashing lights in the trees outside give paparazzi glamour. The lobby includes a marble table, rumored to cost $2 million. Armani’s six-star hotel is also here.

Hundreds of paying day-trippers stare as residents – a constant source of intrigue – walk to the private lift, a concierge carrying their purchases in tow.

“You are buying a feeling of exclusivity and status at the Burj – walking past the line at the mall with your pass,” says one resident. “It is shallow, really, but I like it.”

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