40 years ago most of Dubai was a dessert and now there is glittering metropolis which is one of the fastest growing desert cities in the world. Building a city like this in one of the hottest and inhospitable places on earth may seem impossible so how did engineers do it? This article sheds some light on fun facts about most famous architectural wonders that the city boasts. Keep reading to find out more
An iconic symbol of Dubai, the Burj Al Arab is an architectural marvel. It is also one of the most photographed superstructures. Set on its own homemade island 280 meters off Dubai’s coastline. It was designed by the architect Tom Wright to maintain its unique spinnaker sail type shape; 39% of the Burj Al Arab’s total height consists of unoccupied space and supported by 230 numbers of 40-meter concrete. 321 meters high, it is the tallest all-suite hotel in the world. First opened on December 1st, 1999, it’s construction involved 3000 companies and contractors, 250 designers, and 3500 workmen on sire at any given time. It took 2 years to reclaim the island and further 3 to complete the building. Approximately 1,790 square meters of 24-karat gold leaf embellish the interior of the hotel and 10 million mosaic tiles line the two pools of the hotel’s luxury leisure facility. It takes around 1600 members of staff, ranging from Michelin starred chefs and skilled florists, butlers to the hotel, which features three aquariums, fine dining and entertainment venue, 202 suits, a spa and leisure facilities. The same level of care, design, and attention that has been put into developing and maintaining the architectural marvel goes into the architectural marvel goes into the running of the hotel.
If the Burj Al Arab is an architectural marvel, the Burj Khalifa is an architectural miracle. Soaring high at 555 meters and 200 plus stories of which 160 are habitable, it is the tallest building in the world and one of the greatest fits of engineering. Designed by Chicago –based Skidmore, Owings and Merrill and developed by Emaar properties, it took 22 million man-hours to build and during its peak construction had over 12,000 professionals and skilled worker on site every day. In total, 330,000 cubic meters of concrete 39,000 tonnes of steel reinforcement, 103,000 square meters of glass and 15,500 square meters of embossed stainless steel were used in its construction. The end result is a stunning vertical city at the heart of downtown Dubai.There’s the world’s highest observation deck and outdoor terrace (on level 148), the world’s highest swimming pool (on level 76), and At.Mosphere, the world’s highest fine dining restaurants (on level 122). At its base is the Armani Hotel Dubai, while the rest of this monument to human achievement is made up of 172,000 square meters of residential and over 27,800 square meters of office space. Maintaining such a structure is no small task. The tower’s water system requires an average of 946,000 liters of water per day, and at peak times requires cooling equivalent to that of 10,000 tonnes of melting ice. There are also 18 specialized machines and around 36 trained workers designated to cleaning the building’s 24,000 windows. In all, it takes four months to clean the entire exterior of the building. Interestingly, the building’s management team are helped by Dubai’s hot and humid climate, which combined with the building cooling system, creates a significant amount of condensation. This water is collected and drained in a separate piping system and amounts to about 56 million liters of water per year, equal to roughly 20 Olympic-sized swimming pools. Meanwhile, the tower’s peak electrical demand is 36mW, equal to about 360,000 bulbs of 100 watts operating simultaneously.
One of the world’s largest man-made islands, Palm Jumeirah is constructed in the shape of a date palm and effectively doubled the coastline of Dubai when it was completed in 2006. It took 120 million cubic meters of sand and seven million tonnes of rock to create and spans 1,400 acres. To put that in perspective, the island is four times the size of London’s Hyde Park and one-and-a-half times bigger than Central Park in New York. The master developer tasked with transforming Palm Jumeirah from a concept into reality was Nakheel and in doing so it has created one of the most famous and sought-after landmark destinations in the world. Now home to more than 30,000 people it includes luxury residences, hotels, resorts, retail outlets, and recreation and leisure facilities. All of which need constant maintenance. Significantly, the island, which hosts resorts such as Atlantis The Palm and Jumeirah Zabeel Saray, is very much work in progress. Upcoming Nakheel developments include The Palm Tower, a 52- story residential and hotel complex, and palm 360 a twin-tower hotel and residential development comprising Raffles The Palm Dubai Hotel and Raffles residences Palm 360. The Palm Tower is directly connected to Nakheel Mall, which is also under construction and due for completion next year. Palm Jumeirah is shining of example of the creativity, innovation and forward thinking that Dubai is known for, “says All Rashid Lootah Nakheel’s Chairman. “A globally-recognized landmark and one of the most sought-after addresses in the world, Palm Jumeirah has set new standards in master planning, design, and engineering. We continue to enhance the island by bringing more new and unique projects to serve it’s growing number of residents and visitors.