Ain Dubai Takes Shape on Bluewaters Island
Meraas, has announced the completion of a significant milestone in the construction of its majestic observation wheel to be located on Bluewaters Island off the Jumeirah Beach Residence coastline, with the Hub and Spindle assembly of this engineering marvel having been lifted into place – an unprecedented undertaking in the engineering world, both in terms of process and scale.
- Engineering Marvel by Meraas Set to Become World’s Largest Observation Wheel known as Ain Dubai
- Construction Milestone Reached: Hub and Spindle of the Wheel Lifted into Place
Meraas, a Dubai-based holding company, has announced the completion of a significant milestone in the construction of its majestic observation wheel to be located on Bluewaters Island off the Jumeirah Beach Residence coastline, with the Hub and Spindle assembly of this engineering marvel having been lifted into place – an unprecedented undertaking in the engineering world, both in terms of process and scale.
Previously known as ‘Dubai-I’, the observation wheel is set to become the largest and highest in the world. Once completed, Ain Dubai will tower high above Dubai’s coastline with its dimensions far exceeding any similar existing structure. The observation wheel will open up never-seen-before 360-degree views of Dubai and its renowned landmarks and skyline.
The Hub and Spindle of the observation wheel were manufactured and assembled in the UAE and shipped to Bluewaters Island since it could not be transported on-land. The spindle with a diameter of 6.25 metres is made of steel, similar to that used for nuclear plants, and is skillfully rolled and welded to serve its vital future purpose. Three special machines imported from Singapore undertook the fine-tuning work to produce circularity to meet incredible fine tolerances.
The assembled hub and spindle is approximately 40 metres long and 20 metres high and weighs a massive 1,805 tonnes – which is equivalent to four A380 aircrafts.
Delivered with fully-fitted internal and external platforms, cooling pipework, cable trays and access ladders, the hub will later be connected to the rim via 192 spoke cables, with the structure then resembling a gigantic bicycle wheel.
Two of the world’s largest cranes, each comprising a 180 metre-long boom and boasting a lifting capacity of over 3,000 tonnes each, have soared over the construction site on Bluewaters Island setting the Hub & Spindle in place on top of the 126 metre-high legs.
The maneuver required intricate coordination between engineers and technicians from different countries as it involved simultaneous rotation and lifting.
The process of welding the Spindle A-frames to the four legs will take approximately four weeks, and the cranes will continue holding the weight of the unit for the first two weeks of this operation.
Speaking on the phenomenal construction milestone, Omar Delawar, Chief Projects Officer at Meraas, said: “Once completed, Ain Dubai will emerge as an engineering masterpiece, the first of its kind in the industry, and a truly spectacular must-visit attraction, adding a unique experience and vantage point to the list of things to do in Dubai. Ferris wheels and observation wheels offer the gentle thrill of being conveyed up in the air and have fascinated people for several hundred years. Our iconic attraction heralds a new era in the world of entertainment and will introduce the unforgettable option of viewing Dubai from the skies.”
He added: “We are proud to have conceptualised this engineering feat, and are thrilled to see it taking shape – one step at a time. Due to the magnitude of the project, the construction process is replete with superlatives, both for its engineering standards and quality assurance and safety procedures.”
The architecture and design of Ain Dubai have been rigorously supervised by independent third party engineers, who also inspect every step of the construction. This encompasses thousands of complex calculations to ensure the horizontal and vertical forces of the fully loaded, operational observation wheel are perfectly accounted for in the design.
Ain Dubai is set to become the main attraction of Bluewaters Island, which will also feature entertainment, retail, residential and hospitality offerings. The creation of world-class entertainment destinations marks a core component of Meraas’ strategy. In line with Dubai’s tourism vision for 2020, the company is committed to delivering unique experiences that engage audiences of all ages in new and exciting ways.
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