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Unconventional Elevators from around the World

The Asia-Pacific region and the Middle East are home to some unique elevator designs.

Bailong elevatorThe Bailong elevator is built onto the side of a cliff in the Wulingyuan area of Zhangjiajie, China. Rising 1,000 feet high, it is the world’s tallest outdoor elevator. Its name means “Hundred Dragons Elevator.” Passengers who ride to the top get a spectacular view of massive quartzite sandstone pillars, some of which stand 2,600 feet tall.

Sky Tower elevatorThe elevators in the 70-story Sky Tower in Auckland, New Zealand are not for the faint-hearted. Each of the four elevators has a glass window in the floor, allowing riders to see the world below them as they climb to the building’s upper floors.

Rising Tide elevatorAt 2,038 feet, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, is the world’s tallest building. It also boasts the world’s fastest elevator, carrying passengers up at a speed of 40 miles per hour, to reach the top in a mere 35 seconds. Since the building is so tall, it uses double-decker elevators, each featuring a light show.

The Umeda Hankyu Building elevator in Osaka, Japan measures 11 feet by 9 feet and can transport 80 passengers or almost five tons at a time. The Hankyu Department Store takes up the first 14 floors of the building. Offices don’t start until the 15th floor, so the elevator must be able to transport large numbers of employees to the upper floors of the tall building.

The Rising Tide elevator is located on the MS Oasis of the Seas, the largest cruise ship in the world. It can hold up to 35 passengers and transport them between the Central Park deck and the Royal Promenade in an eight-minute trip. It is the only bar-elevator combination in the world.


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