From the Jan. 18, 2010 issue of TIME Magazine
There's a fine line between confidence and hubris, and it's easy to conclude that Dubai and its real estate developers crossed it when they planned the newly opened Burj Khalifa, which, at 2,717 ft. (828 m), is by far the tallest building in the world. Since the skyscraper was planned, the tiny emirate's go-go boom has stalled, and its real estate bubble popped. But there's another way to look at the Burj Khalifa which you can do on a clear day from 60 miles (100 km) away. The building supplanted an unlovely tower in Taipei as the world's tallest. Its closest competitors are also in Asia, in such cities as Shanghai, Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong, Nanjing and Guangzhou. On the list of the 10 tallest buildings, only Chicago's venerable Willis (formerly Sears) tower represents the older, developed economies, though One World Trade Center in New York City will join it when it is eventually completed. Will all those Asian cities that love tall buildings turn out to be as hubristic as critics think Dubai has been? Or does the zeal to build high and mighty represent a shift of economic power yes, and confidence from West to East?