Emaar Properties' Burj Dubai tower is four months behind schedule and may now not be finished by the end of this year as originally planned, the company said in a statement this week.
At a press conference this week, Emaar chairman Mohamed Alabbar said work on what will be the world's tallest structure would not be finished on time, with problems related to the interior design of the tower being given as to the reason for the delay.
The news follows an announcement by Emaar last month that construction of the tower had been stepped up to meet an "accelerated schedule". In July the company had said the Burj Dubai would open around Christmas this year, however the latest delay means the tower may not now be finished until early 2009.
Work on the Burj Dubai was delayed in November last year when labourers employed by sub-contractor Arabtec went on strike for a week over pay and conditions. At the time, Arabtec executive director Tom Berry said the strikes would mean the company missing completion dates for several of the other key projects it is involved with in Dubai.
At present the Burj Dubai stands at just over 600 m, over 90 m higher than Taiwan's Taipei 101, the world's tallest building, and over 40 m higher than Toronto's CN Tower, the world's tallest free-standing structure.
The only structure now left for it to overtake is the KVLY/KTHI television mast in Blanchard, US, which rises 628.8 m.
The Burj Dubai will not be officially recognised as the world's tallest structure until it is completed.
The final height of the Burj Dubai is still shrouded in mystery, with rumours suggesting it could be anywhere between 700 and 1000 m. Last year reports by several local papers said the final height would be 818 m, citing architects drawings posted on the internet.