Annotated map of downtown Dubai
16 April 2008
Quiz #490 Results
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Answers to Quiz #490- August 30, 2015
1.  What city is this?
2.  What is the name of the tall, pointed building in the center of the photo?
3.  From where was the picture taken?
Bonus- What is the latest date the photo could have been taken?
TinEye Alert
You can find this photo on,
but the quiz will be a lot more fun if you solve the puzzle on your own.
1.  Dubai
2. The Rose Tower
3.  From the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world.
Bonus:  About June 2008.

How Ida Solved the Puzzle
This is going to sound funny, but by looking at the picture, I thought
of Dubai (who knows why, never been there). But I discarded it
because Burj Dubai (now called Burj Khalifa) did not appear in the
picture. It was only after googling "tall buildings above the clouds"
and finding the picture that I realized the it was actually taken from

Number 2 was the hardest, I searched for Dubai buildings, google
showed a presentation on top and I kept scrolling until finding the
Rose Tower, which seemed the most likely. By comparing several
other pics and location, there was no more doubt.

Ida Sanchez
Comments from Our Readers
BTW- Loved [the] rolling cloud video - almost takes you to another plateau.   I have
a friend who moved to Dubai a few years ago for a temporary position....well,
needless to say, he never came back.

Love your quizzes. Thank you for taking the time to concoct them.

Cindy Costigan
We were also looking at the building under construction and tried without any luck
to identify it. The amount of construction in Dubai is mind-boggling!!!!!!!!! So
many buildings are tall, taller and tallest!!!!!!!!!!!

Imagine being up so high in the clouds! Not my cup of tea - I am afraid of

Another very interesting quiz this past week. I have decided that I really prefer to
live here on our farm in NW Iowa - everything is lush and green! Not a single
skyscraper in sight!
Grace Hertz and Mary Turner
The Fabulous Fletcher Sisters
My first response to the platform from which the photo was taken is an airplane,
but something tells me it is really the Space Shuttle Atlantis in 7/11 during its last
Barbara Battles
The building in the right foreground (Index Tower) was being built when the
photograph was taken, and is similar to the 2008 image

The image in the quiz is also on a webpage with the date "June 20, 2008 - 2:13
pm"; and the filename, so
by implication only the date is June 2008, and probably just before 20 Jun 08.

The Index Tower had the height on red signs up each end of the building 8 May
2008, and they were only on the "right" side 30 Mar 2008, and not at all on 10 Jan
2008. It could be that the signs were put in place after the quiz photo, and hence
the photo was before 30 Mar 2008. However I am not sure how reliable this is in
dating the quiz image.

So my best guess is before Mar 2008.
Brett Robinson
I found this time lapse video of the fog rolling in - awesome!  Same guy also has
this Dubai trailer:

And just for fun - if you check out his Facebook page - look where he is standing!  
Makes me want to faint just looking at it
Beth Long
They have fog twice a year, in March and September. So I assumed that the latest
the photo could have been taken is March 2015.  But wasn't sure if I should
be looking at the buildings more closely to see if there have been any changes to the
skyline that would indicate a date - e.g. a building the picture having been
demolished or a new building not shown in the picture being constructed which
could help date the picture.
Rachel Joy
The pointed structure in the middle of this photo I think is the Elite Residence but
there are a lot of pointy buildings in Dubai.  I supposed there is something that does
not show in the skyline that would indicate the date of the photo, but I can't
seem to find reference to that.  They say that this cloud cover is due to the smog,
so I think this is the typical view from the tower.

Tom Cruise is pictured sitting on top of this building from Mission Impossible -
Ghost Protocol - I hope that was computer generated...YIKES.
Barbara Battles
Bonus- What is the latest date the photo could have been taken? Very soon after
Feb 14 2008 from photo on Flickr showing the two white bands on top of The
Index. Similar shot shows six levels completed by Jan 1, 2009.
Tom Collins
Definitely not the Trump tower. It was never built and it was supposed to be on
Palm Jumeirah. The seven star hotel Burj al Arab was built instead just adjacent to
Palm Jumeirah. I found my picture from the Burj Kalifa and it shows the same view
as the one you posted. I still can't identify the building, but it may be the Sheraton
Hotel. The building on the right is now finished, but I don't know what it is.
Ellen Welker
I'll pass on figuring out what is  a later tall building that does not show up in your
picture. They sprout up so fast there. But it would be one that was next completed
after the Rose reached full height in 2006.

Method: I first thought the linear arrangement looked like Michigan Ave in Chicago,
but nothing matched in appearance. So I google-imaged for "tall buildings in fog"
and that aimed me at Dubai. Tracking down the Rose Tower took extensive Street
Views of the area around the tall building with the white square structure on the top.
Collier Smith
The answer would be today, the latest fog picture could be taken if looking at
skyline.  I am not sure when it would be for just the buildings in the picture as the
buildings have not been all built at the same time period.]

Great quiz.  I probably got all but the city wrong.  Thanks for the challenge.
Judy Pfaff
You are a wicked woman putting in that bonus question.  And of course I took the
bait. I'm sitting here at the computer in the wee small hours having solved it, but
lest I fall asleep at the keyboard I will right now just send some basics.  If I can
squeeze time tomorrow (or should I say today) I'll write it up more completely.  But
for now ...
Megan Neilsen  April 16 2008. This shows
three cranes [on The Index] and the white brand. However it doesn't look like the
top floors below the bands are complete.
Tom Collins

Congratulations to Our Winners!

Janice Sellers                Cindy Costigan
Ellen Welker                Rebecca Bare
Collier Smith                Rachel Joy
Barbara Battles                Tom Collins
Gus Marsh                Megan Neilsen
Ida Sanchez                Brett Robinson
      Ellen Welker                Ruth Brannigan

Tynan Peterson                Margaret Paxton

Grace Hertz and Mary Turner
The Fabulous Fletchers!
If you enjoy our quizzes, don't forget to order our books!
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Forensic Genealogy book.
Burj Khalifa also known as Burj Dubai, is a supertall
skyscraper in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and is the
tallest man-made structure ever built, at 828 m (2,717 ft).
Construction began on 21 September 2004, with the
exterior of the structure completed on 1 October 2009
and the building officially opened on 4 January 2010.

The building is part of the 2 km2 (0.8 sq mi) flagship
development called Downtown Burj Khalifa at the “First
Interchange” along Sheikh Zayed Road, near Dubai’s
main business district. The tower’s architect and
engineer is Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, LLP (Chicago).
Bill Baker, the Chief Structural Engineer for the project,
invented the buttressed core structural system in order to
enable the tower to achieve such heights economically.
Barj Khalifa
Adrian Smith, who worked with Skidmore, Owings and Merrill (SOM) until 2006, was
the Design Partner on the project. The primary builder is a joint venture of South
Korean Samsung C&T, who also built the Taipei 101 and Petronas Twin Towers,Besix
and Arabtec. Turner Construction Company was chosen as the construction project
manager.Under UAE law, the Contractor and the Engineer of Record are jointly and
severally liable for the performance of Burj Dubai. Therefore, by adoption of SOM’s
design and by being appointed as Architect and Engineer of Record, Hyder Consulting
is legally the Design Consultant for the tower.

The total budget for the Burj Khalifa project is about US $1.5 billion; and for the entire
new “Downtown Dubai”, US $20 billion.Mohamed Ali Alabbar, the CEO of Emaar
Properties, speaking at the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat 8th World
Congress, said that the price of office space at Burj Khalifa had reached US $4,000 per
sq ft (over US $43,000 per m2) and that the Armani Residences, also in Burj Khalifa,
were selling for US $3,500 per sq ft (over US $37,500 per m2).
A comparison of the tallest buildings in the world, as of 2006
Sunrise in Cloud City (Dubai Time Lapse)
Downtown Dubai Annotated
How Megan Solved the Bonus Question
My first step was to locate a higher
resolution version of the 500x280 quiz
pic. I found a 1280x720 copy at At this point I did not find
a copy that had a reliable date.  Next was
to obtain a similar scene without fog.  I
first found a pic taken in March 2012 at  Immediately obvious were
buildings that had been completed since
the quiz pic was taken.  So that clearly had to be earlier.

My next inclination was to get a map, identify the newer buildings and establish when
they had been constructed.  But then I decided that I could concentrate on just one
building, namely The Index which stands in the Dubai International Financial Center
(DIFC). This is the building to the right of the quiz picture in the foreground. In that pic
March 2012
it has cranes on top and is clearly unfinished, in the March 2014 pic
it is finished.  The main structure looks a bit taller than in the quiz
pic, plus it has a superstructure atop.  If it were possible to track
the construction stages of the Index, I would be able to establish, if
not an exact date, a time window for the when the quiz pic was

Well, luck was in.  Numerous relevant construction pictures emerge
by doing a Google image search on <index dubai construction>. But
they don't necessarily have dates.  To obtain dates I found two the
work of photographer Imre Solt the most helpful. He has many
pictures of the evolving Index building (and much else) in his vast
Picasa gallery. Some also appear on the forum at
foggy months in Dubai, the fog being a product of the change of seasons. And in
March-2008 it was particularly foggy (lots of reports of a massive car pile-up outside
of the city on March 11).  So while that's no proof of my time window, it gives some
nice corroboration.
building is on the 70th marked floor at the moment
(or 75th level above ground). Current height seems to
be around 290 meters"
. The next on 20-Apr-2008
says "
The building went up on the 72th floor on
Thursday evening
". Finally we get a picture, dated 23-
Apr-2008 showing the progress to the 72nd floor.  
And on the right side of the building there are three
large red signs that say "Up".

Those signs are not in the quiz pic. By blowing up my
higher resolution version I can see the white floor
numbers but cannot read them.  But I can count the
white splotches.  And from the above I know where
the numbers start.  So I deduce that in the quiz pic
the work had reached floor 63.  So we now have a
time slightly after 28-Feb and certainly before 08-
April-2008.  Moreover, some googling easily
establishes that March (and September) are always
The Index and it was here that the dates seem more reliable, as the pics are
interspersed with dated forum comments. (On Picasa the relevant pics are distributed
between many albums and some of the dates seem to be more to do with the date of
the album than that of the picture).
My crucial step came by comparing the
incomplete Index building in the quiz pic
with those at the
forum.  There are two relevant pages
(and you have to scroll down).  On Page
11 we find a pic of The Index dated 17-
Jan-2008 looking less tall above the three
distinctive apertures than does the quiz
pic. Lower on same page we a pic dated
31-Jan-2008 and a very convenient
marking of the floors on the side of the
building show that the current work is
proceeding at the 57th floor.  Further

down still we have 28 Feb 2008 a close-up
17 Jan 2008
at 62 floors. And two days later, dated  01-Mar-2008, we have a more distant pic
showing the convenient white floor numbers ranging from 29 to 62.  Now to page 12.  
Here we start with two posts (without pictures).  The first on 08-Apr-2008 says
1 Mar 2008
And then, after all that, I came upon what I
think is the actual date of the quiz pic. I
have seen attribution to another
photographer elsewhere, but at  
we have the picture
dated 03-March-2009, photographer Dave
Alexander who says:

Foggy Dubai morning taken from the Burj
Dubai Tower. Not photoshopped. This is
real and when people start actually living
in the Burj Dubai, these shots will be ten-a-
penny. Til then, enjoy this one!

8 Apr 2008
Which reminds us that although the Burj Dubai/Khalifa was not opened until 2011, it
didn't grow overnight.  There were people up there building it, and by March 2008 it
was already scraping the sky.  So not difficult to photograph from there if you were
part of the commissioning or construction team, or knew someone who was.  
Here is a
picture of 07-Dec 2008, with only the very top looking unfinished and with the Index
building nearby, having already acquired its superstructure.

OK, that's it for now.  Let's see what you thin


PS Great site for working out what building is where in Dubai :
Burj Khalifa Dubai Cloud City, Fog and Mist, Coruscant?