Dubai High

The feeling is heady. To find mention in the Guinness Book of World Records and that too for the tallest hotel building in the world.

"It still doesn't quite feel completely real," says Ashok Korgaonkar.

The architect jointly won the recognition for the tallest hotel building in the world, J W Marriott Marquis, located at Business Bay in Dubai. It looms 355 metres high, its two towers spiralling up 77 floors, and is just 26 metres short of the Empire State Building in New York (381 metres from base to roof).

The two towers have more than 1,600 rooms.

Korgaonkar, the man behind its design, is from Prabhadevi, Mumbai. He completed his education in architecture in the city, at Rachana Sansad Academy of Architecture in Prabhadevi.

His company, Archgroup Consultants, worked on the project for six-and-a-half years

"Getting this recognition is a moment of great happiness. We all enjoyed the entire process which went into completing this work," Korgaonkar said in a telephone conversation from Dubai with The Sunday Express.

He added with pride, "Around 30 persons from my company worked on designing the project. All of them were Indians and from all parts of India."

The company has around 140 employees, all of them Indians.

While some restaurants in one of the towers are operatiional, the official opening of the hotel will take place in February.

The second tower is likely to be completed by late 2014. While Korgaonkar's company has been operating in Dubai for the past 20 years, its Mumbai office was opened at Bandra Kurla Complex four years ago.

Speaking about Guinness recognition, he said, "It certainly is a huge honour. From the very initial stages of the project, we had realised this would be the tallest hotel building, and now this makes the feeling that much more special. Few architects have a chance to work on such a grand project, and get such recognition."

The hotel includes 14 restaurants, bars and lounges, and will also have facilities for business conventions and group meetings, and can accommodate around 1,000 people at a time.

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