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Burj Khalifa, Dubai

Faster, higher and more impressive lifts

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Curiosities around the world

The first lift dedicated to transporting people was built by Elisha Otis in 1857 in New York. It was built on five floors and its speed was 12 metres per minute.

Today, 165 years later, the fastest lift in the world travels at 72 km/h, or 20 metres per second, and it is the Guangzhou CTF Finance Centre in China. The latter has 111 floors, reaches a height of 530 metres and is considered a rocket lift with a magnet motor. 

When it comes to the world’s tallest lifts with a height of 830 metres, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai takes first place and takes only 1 minute and 24 seconds to reach the top floor.

It took six years and $1.5 billion to build this skyscraper; it was inaugurated in 2010 and has achieved multiple firsts including being the world’s tallest building with 163 floors.

With 128 floors and a height of 632 metres, the Shanghai Tower takes second place. It is considered the tallest building in China and reaches a speed of 69 km/h.

In third place, the Taipei 101 made by Toshiba is considered one of the world’s tallest lifts with a height of 508 metres and taking about 30 seconds to reach the top.

When it comes to spectacular lifts, among the first ones not to be missed are the Bailong lift in China and the AquaDom in Berlin.

The former, also known as the Hundred Dragons Elevator, is located in Zhangjiajie National Forest Park in Hunan, China.

It is famous for being the world’s tallest outdoor lift, reaching 326 metres, made of glass and built on a cliff. The Bailong offers a breathtaking view of China’s famous natural park.

Last but not least, the second lift that stands out is located inside the AquaDom, Berlin‘s cylindrical aquarium. This glass-fronted lift allows visitors to take a closer look at the aquarium’s fauna, moving even into the deepest areas.

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Space lifts: the future approaches

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Curiosities around the world

Although a space elevator may seem like an improbable dream, some scientists are working on a strategy for this near-impossible task.

A space lift is a concept that was first proposed in 1895 to make space travel easier.

The forward-thinking experts assert that the materials needed to build thousands of kilometers of rope with flexibility and great strength are currently unavailable for use in the construction of such lifts.

"Museo del Futuro", Dubai.
“Museo del Futuro”, Dubai.

Although this idea is currently impractical, the brand-new Dubai Future Museum has a lift that, by mimicking the cabin of a spacecraft, alludes to the transportation of guests from Dubai to space.

Dubai’s “Museum of the Future” debuted on February 22, 2022, and it resembles an eye-shaped structure with seven storeys, 77 meters in height, and no scaffolding.

This structure serves as an illustration of how technological progress is enabling the creation of distinctive buildings that make use of robotics and give particular attention to sustainability.


“The future belongs to those who can imagine it, plan it and realise it. It is not something you wait for, but something you create”

This Arabic proverb emphasizes the value of progress and innovation and is one of the decorations on the architectural work known as the “Museum of the Future.” 

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