There were many risks associated with the Burj Dubai project:
- Risk of doing something that was not done before (this is a risk, in and for itself)
- Risk of working at very high altitudes.
- Winds (the higher the skyscraper is, the stronger the winds)
- Depression among workers
There are literally hundreds of risks associated with the project (many of them materialized), but all these risk fall under one of the above four risks in one way or the other.
If I'm not mistaken, and as far as I remember (I was watching this project closely), the project experienced a 9 month delay, which, in my opinion, is an accomplishment (only 9 months for this mega project that was never done before?)
Now what could Emaar have done to finish the project on time? Not much, and again, I have to say that what they did is pretty impressive, even though the project was slightly late. I know of mini software projects that experience years of delays.