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Report - The Burj Dubai , Dubai , April 2008

Discussion in 'Noteworthy Reports' started by Downfallen, Jun 23, 2008.

  1. Downfallen

    Downfallen 28DL Member
    28DL Member

    Apr 10, 2015
    Likes Received:
    PART 1
    A slightly different report from me and quite a story...I promise you !
    Its a long one, so I suggest you settle back with a cuppa before reading it.

    Apologies for the incredibly poor shots , but I didnt have a camera with me, these are just 'screen grabs' from the video.

    Sometimes you get a crazy idea....one you can't get out of your head no matter what you do.
    Suppressing that can often be worse than just going ahead and getting on with doing 'it'.
    I've had one or two or those crazy ideas....as those who know me can credit me for. Sometimes those ideas result in posts and pictures here, sometimes not.

    I had the idea for this one over a year ago.
    First time I saw some pictures, it screamed out 'wow' to me....it has that affect, its physical stature, location and sheer height over its surroundings.

    I spoke with Palace about it many times, We spent the best part of an explore at Battersea Power Station going over and over it...and what started as a crazy idea started to flesh out into an actual plan.
    The plan was for an urban exploration of the tower and a BASE jump....on the same visit.
    Due to the security and weather conditions, the timetable for it had to be fluid...we would have to go when the time was right and we wouldn't have a lot of notice.
    When that time came, alas, Palace wasn't able to get the time to join me, so the plan was altered for a 'solo' affair.
    No sweat there, you know I know that drill.
    With the date in mind, it was difficult to see rising interest in this project by 'others'.
    My plan was already in motion....and I hoped others 'plans' didn't interfere with that too much. My nervousness in others interests in the Burj Dubai was calmed by the fact that talk is cheap, and a trip to the Middle East is expensive. (In money and risk)
    I've always had a lot of respect for those who step above and beyond their comfort factor....step outside of that arena where they know the score, that's growth and progression, but it's often scary and as such it's a difficult step for many to take (sometimes too difficult a step to take)

    Look around the net you'll find tones of resources on everything, including plans, schematics and updates on this project.
    I don't go into anything without some planning first and this was no exception. I already had detailed info on the city, construction site, the tower, work schedules, likley legal outcomes and repercussions if caught.
    I went in with my eyes wide open.

    Close to leaving I heard on the grapevine someone had already jumped from it....initial concern that would 'close' down the object were not founded, they did a good job, and that along with the fact it didn't change my plans at all, reassured me I was doing it for the right reasons... for me, not for any accolade or other reward.

    My first night in Dubai I was out down the main strip (Sheikh Zayed Expressway)......the number of tall buildings here, built and under construction is simply staggering.No words can do it justice at all.
    I would recommend you DONT drive down this road for the first time though.....driving in Dubai is dangerous enough already and I guarantee you won't be looking at the road ahead, your jaw will be on the floor and your gaze craning skyward at the sheer volume of high buildings on either side of the road.
    Its a 'High Places' and 'Cranic's' dream city......the only problem being, security is often abundant because most construction here is 24/7......it very rarely stops.

    So just when you are giggling like a school kid at the UE opportunities around you, then you sees it... The Burj Dubai, its green and white crane lights blinking above everything else.
    Seeing just how tall it stands above what are already huge skyscrapers around it just immediately commands your respect and its a feeling no picture can ever get close to ....you have to be there, see it and feel its presence.

    The Burj Dubai itself is more or less in the middle of a HUGE urban development called 'Downtown Burj Dubai' When its completed there will be 100 skyscrapers ( each over 30 floors)....and have the worlds largest shopping mall....how crazy is that ??
    Site recce's and perimeter walk arounds were done for the next two days .....I needed to be sure my intel matched up to the layout.

    Preparations were made and it was a three day wait for suitable conditions, there was plenty of other opportunities around to pass the time ;)

    If you don't know my 'MO' by now....it's something I don't mind sharing with you.
    I believe most entry to most places is possible just using your eyes and your head...look for the holes, look for the gaps and seize the opportunities.

    Access to the tower itself involved a costume change and a stealthy infiltration into the huge site the Burj Dubai is in the middle of.
    The primary objective of this visit was to jump, so I only had my video cam with me, not my stills camera and lens's
    Its a live site working 24hours, so even being extremely careful in the dark and shadows I was nearly caught several times by workers just appearing from no where, however my workers uniform and face make up worked the business in the dark....I had very close encounters with at least two workers, but as we passed each other....much to my relief, I blended in as one of them, rather than stand out.
    I had a giddy excitement at the bottom of the tower.....it had taken nearly two hours from entering the outer perimeter to get there and now it was in front of me.
    There were workers beavering away in the tower, but there were several stairwells to choose from, and so and they were easily avoided.
    The inside is very much like what we see back home...just bigger!
    The lower levels are just so big but the higher levels are surprisingly 'compact'
    Over the next two hours I trudged up the stairs......lots of them! Occasionally stopping to explore the levels and check out the views.
    After 156 levels I was at the top of the concrete structure and then climbed up the exposed steel work levels until I was at the very top ( 160 then I think.)


    At the Base of the beast

    Last look back before going in
    #1 Downfallen, Jun 23, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 11, 2013

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  2. Downfallen

    Downfallen 28DL Member
    28DL Member

    Apr 10, 2015
    Likes Received:
    PART 2
    The Burj Dubai, Dubai, United Arab Emirates






    The view from the top was simply breathtaking....below me 60 and 70 story skyscrapers looked so very small, and the noise of the busy city below me was just a very faint sound next to the howling wind.
    The 6 lane highway looked like a small dirt road and the cars on it smaller than ants.....each one barely noticeable apart from its bright headlamps.
    I climbed down and across one of the braces and onto one of the two cranes there.
    Climbing up to the cab level I was now higher than anything else in Dubai......the coastline before and after Dubai was in my view.....amazing site.
    I regretted not bringing a small compact stills camera; the view was better than I had ever anticipated.

    I was so chilled out, I rested here and fell asleep for a couple of hours (the climb took it out of me a bit)

    You know that feeling when you wake up somewhere strange ?? well you never felt it like I did waking up on a crane gantry nearly 2000ft above a bustling city !

    The wind was better and it was time to jump.
    Unfortunately a jump from here wasn’t optimal...a few levels down were screens to protect falling debris. Jumping from the top I wouldn’t be able to clear them.
    I climbed down below them, found a nice spot and started getting my gear out and prepped.

    Everything ready and all geared up, I started to mentally prepare. You need to be relaxed to jump.
    I was on the edge quite a while....I wanted to jump but didn’t want to leave the view behind....it was that good.
    But one more look down the spine of the building to the now tiny feet of the tower, bathed in floodlight and then
    3-2-1 Cya
    Off I went.
    The freefall went good....too good even...
    Everything was in control and looking under myself between my legs I could see the silver shimmer of the outside cladding zipping past quicker and quicker.It was mesmerising.
    11seconds later ....the ground caught my attention! and instinctively I reached back and opened my canopy.
    Immediately I had the sinking feeling I had 'over delayed' and looking to my primary landing area, realised I didn’t have enough height to make it back there.
    I had alternative landing areas planned, but the one I had to go for meant turning back towards the tower......this was going to make my escape tricky.
    I landed no problem, and quickly grabbed my canopy and started to make my way for cover, in a small earth quarry.
    I didn’t get a chance, within 20secs of landing I was surrounded by multiple security staff and workers...who were not happy people at all!
    Over the next two hours I was interrogated by various Emaar (Site Developers) and Samsung (Chief Contractor) ives and Staff.
    I didn’t break or damage anything,so had nothing to hide from them.....they just couldn’t believe someone could and would be able to get to and into their tower without breaking stuff or damaging stuff....so I set them straight.
    Soon after that I was handed over to the Police and taken to a secure compound for questioning.....fearing the worst I shouldn’t have, these guys treated me like a rockstar, but did take away my passport pending legal action.
    So Saturday morning in April, I left the cop shop with my gear to a blazing hot day.....no passport and waiting to be judged.

    So the aftermath.

    I left the hotel and booked myself in at cheap accommodation wherever I could find it.
    About 4 weeks later I had a meeting with the Public Prosecutor.....it lasted nearly and hour and a half where he accused me of all sorts of shit I hadn’t said or done, and I had to try and set him straight...it was very clear they wanted to throw the book at me and the key away....he told me he would be recommending a jail term to the judge on the basis of a trespass charge.
    We'll tell you when the court hearing will be....it might be some time though, was the last remark he made before leaving the court.

    Just about everything in this country apart from the construction and the traffic moves painfully slow.
    Everything is inshallah ( 'gods will') and quite often 'god' is busy doing other more important things.
    It took another 2 weeks for the Courts to get around to setting up the first court hearing. All in Arabic and against a hostile judge and lawyer, this 'hearing' lasted less than 5 mins and everything was deferred for another two weeks.
    In these interim two weeks, the penal code and likely penalties was spelled out several times to me. The Public Prosecution was gunning for a jail term of something between 6-12 months, mostly spurred on by the developers who were out for their piece of my flesh.

    Second hearing was the big one...just like the first , I'd settled what I needed to and my 'life' was in a rucksack on my back...I fully expected to be going to jail and had accepted that outcome with myself.
    I was joined in court on this occasion by 'H' , a French BASE jumper who had been caught 'trying' to get into the tower....we both faced the same fate and punishment.
    Again The lawyer from Emaar spelled out his compensation claim for immaterial damages to Emaar's reputation that we had caused.....it was just an excuse , in reality it was an attempt to wipe us out, financially...he knew it, we knew it and he knew that we knew it !
    We waited a long time ( over 2 hours) whilst the judge deliberated. We were in good spirits with tales of previous adventures to pass our time. Eventually a Court Secretary came out and in broken english pointed collectively at us and informed we had a 2000 Ddhiram fine each ( about £300 each)
    Our joy at the 'light' punishment soon turned to sadness as we realised that it was just too 'lenient'
    Over here the Appeals process works mostly opposite to the UK. Its the Public Prosecution who usually appeal for more harsh punishments than the judge initially hands out......we knew this and figured we were being set up for more time here at our own expense and a more harsh sentence in a few weeks after the Public Prosecution Appeals.

    Anyhow, we paid our fine and immediately applied for return of our passports ( which would have to wait for at least a further 7 days if everyone agreed and had no objections)....not really expecting a result there at all with the Public Prosecution Appeal and the Emaar Compensation still outstanding.

    Without going into too much detail , we got our passports back......
    It was done through the correct channels but the lack of efficiency over there meant I'm sure not everyone who should have known we were getting our passports back, did...or they would have certainly blocked the request.
    We didn’t give them any time to realise their mistake.
    The same day we sorted out our admin there, and had flights booked :)

    I don’t think I’ve been quite so 'relieved' one hour into the flight....knowing next stop would be home.
    I'm still going to contact Emaar's lawyers and try and cut a deal for their compensation claim.....I have some collateral they are interested in, and at least now, being back home, I wont go to jail if I cant pay what they demand....so negotiation can now be on my terms not there's .

    Someone else will come along explore and jump it from higher, I'm certain of that. (its still being built and I visited the perimeter before I left, and it was even easier to enter than before !) and I look forward to sharing their experience.
    But I’ve gotten that nagging little monster out of my head now....and looking back I still don’t have regrets on doing it and what’s happened since.

    So there it was and is...

    - Return Airfare to Dubai (including cancelled flights) - £450
    - Loss of Income - £5000
    - Accommodation/Living in Dubai for 2months - £2000
    - Legal Costs - £1000
    - Fine - £300

    - Exploring and jumping off the world’s tallest building .....?
    #2 Downfallen, Jan 10, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 11, 2013
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