13th April 2016
Dubai to build tallest tower by 2020
A futuristic new tower in Dubai will surpass the height of the current world record holder – the Burj Khalifa – and utilise the most advanced technology, engineering and materials available.
Emaar Properties has announced a "glittering new icon" that will redefine Dubai's skyline when completed in time for the 2020 World Expo. The tower is set to rise in the heart of Dubai Creek Harbour, to the east of the city's current tallest skyscraper and world record holder, the Burj Khalifa. The exact height of this proposed megaproject remains a secret and will be revealed at a later date, but its developers claim it will be the tallest in the city. It is, however, likely to be surpassed in height by the Jeddah Tower, currently under construction in Saudi Arabia and planned to reach 1,008 m (3,307 ft).
The unnamed building, currently known as simply "The Tower", will serve as the vibrant core of Dubai Creek Harbour – a 6 sq km world-class masterplannned development twice the size of Downtown Dubai and located 10 minutes from Dubai International Airport. The waterfront development is centred off Dubai Creek, the cradle of history and culture for this region, and in close proximity to Ras Al Khor National Wildlife Sanctuary, protected by UNESCO and home to nearly 70 species of water birds.
Mohamed Alabbar, Chairman of Emaar Properties, said: "The Tower in Dubai Creek Harbour is our tribute to the positivity, energy and optimism that Dubai and the UAE celebrate, led by a leadership committed to all-round progress. A shining beacon of hope for the world, celebrating diversity and human achievements, this new iconic landmark further highlights the country's ambition and futuristic vision and enhances our nation's pride. It will be the destination for the world to visit, enjoy and celebrate life, as Dubai prepares to host the Expo 2020."
He added: "The design by Santiago Calatrava, chosen after a competitive pitch from the world's top architects, was a perfect fit to our requirement for a landmark that defined our urban core for Dubai Creek Harbour. It integrates not just design excellence but also strong environmental and smart-tech considerations. With The Tower, we are delivering a compelling destination that will add long-term economic value to Dubai and the UAE. It will also position Dubai Creek Harbour as one of the most desired residential, leisure and touristic attractions, providing visitors and residents with a modern, luxurious and sustainable environment in which to live, work, learn and entertain."
"From the beginning, my team and I have tried to put the best of ourselves into this project, since it is very special and is a great honour to participate," said architect Santiago Calatrava Valls. "The collaboration with such a prestigious firm as Emaar Properties makes it even more exciting and demanding. The design has clear reference to the classic art from the past and the culture of the place while serving as a great technological achievement. In my whole career, I have perceived technology as a vehicle to beauty and to art. This project envisages an artistic achievement in itself, inspired by the idea of welcoming people, not only from Dubai and the UAE, but from the entire world. It is a symbol of an abiding belief in progress."
Calatrava's previous works include the World Trade Centre Transportation Hub in New York, Calgary Peace Bridge, Olympic Sports Complex in Athens and the Turning Torso Tower in Malmö that was recently awarded the Ten Year Award from the Council on Tall Buildings & Urban Habitat (CTBUH).
The Tower will feature green technology and sustainability measures that serve as industry benchmarks. An environment-friendly tram service will be integrated for effortless access, while on-foot visitors will have a multitude of access points onto the plaza. A number of green corridors are envisaged for pedestrian access and effortless connectivity with Dubai Creek Harbour.
The crowning glory of the $1 billion tower will be a "Pinnacle Room" with 360 degree views of the city and beyond. Observation garden decks will recreate the splendour of the "Hanging Gardens of Babylon" – one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. In addition, fully glazed rotating balconies will extend outward and move around the external facade.
The Tower will serve mainly as an architectural structure, as opposed to a fully occupied working building – but will include about 20 upper floors used for a hotel, restaurants and function rooms, as well as the interior garden space and observation decks. The surrounding Dubai Creek Harbour project – being developed in a joint venture with Dubai Properties – will feature a 4.5km boardwalk, retail, nine lifestyle districts, 22 hotels, a yacht club, a marina and harbour.
In addition to hosting the World Expo, the UAE plans to launch the first Arabian mission to Mars the following year, which coincides with the 50th anniversary of the country's formation. To diversify its economy away from reliance on hydrocarbon exports, several billion dollars are being invested in the space sector and the creation of a regional hub for satellite construction. It is clear that the UAE has big ambitions for the future.
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