Opening of World's Tallest Building, Burj Khalifa, Formerly Called Burj Dubai

The opening Monday of the world's tallest skyscraper could mark a turning point in Dubai's fortunes and those of its ruler after a year that saw both come under intense scrutiny.

Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, the city-state's 60-year-old hereditary leader, hopes the building and its surrounding $20 billion development will help enhance his reputation among international investors and restore Dubai's allure as a business hub.

Dubai opened the world’s tallest skyscraper today, hoping at least for the moment to deflect worries about the emirate’s massive debt burden.

The building’s official height, a secret until now, was put at 2,717 feet -- more than a half-mile high.