By now the vast majority of the world knows that Dubai is the city of modern architecture. Just like the Eifel Tower represents a beautiful love letter to 19th century Europe, so will Burj Khalifa be remembered a 21st-century icon. But the UAE is not a country that will settle with having produced the tallest building in the world. Something even more phantasmagorical needs to happen. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be the UAE! So, only 10 years after Burj Khalifa first opened it’s doors to visitors – The Tower – is expected to overshadow it. Like a sibling that is at once both taller and younger.
But as much as we love Burj Khalifa, we do not frown upon its competition. Especially since the contest, if there even is one, is essentially one developer’s battle against itself. (The masterminds at Emaar are behind both projects, although they’ve teamed up with Dubai Holding for The Tower). On the contrary, we salute the rise of The Tower and we cannot wait for it to make history!
Until that day comes, let’s have a look at some fun facts about the skyscraper and the surrounding Dubai Creek Harbour.
1. IT’S GROUNDBREAKING EVEN AT FOUNDATION LEVEL
2. IT WAS MASTER PLANNED BY THE GENIUS ARCHITECT SANTIAGO CALATRAVA
The mastermind behind the stunning piece of architecture is the renowned neo-futuristic architect Santiago Calatrava. This Spanish-Swiss architect is also a structural engineer, sculptor and painter. His works are most famous for resembling live organisms. Among his most famous buildings is The Museum of Tomorrow in Rio de Janeiro and the Milwaukee Art Museum.
3. IT WAS INSPIRED BY BOTH THE LILY FLOWER AND THE MINARET
The Tower’s look will evoke the minaret – the tower-like structure you can see on mosques. A minaret is traditionally used for the Muslim call to prayer and, as such, it is an important symbol of Islamic culture. However, The Tower’s design was also inspired by the lily flower. So, the skyscraper will be linked to the ground with steel cables, resembling the delicate ribbing of the lily leaves.
4. THE DESIGN WAS CHOSEN BY HH SHEIKH MOHAMMED BIN RASHID AL MAKTOUM HIMSELF
According to Emaar’s official website, it all started with a competitive international design pitch involving the world’s top architects. Once all the designs were gathered in one place, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, hand-picked the winning design himself.
5. IT WILL BE TALLER THAN BURJ KHALIFA
At the groundbreaking ceremony last October, Santiago Calatrava’s son, Micael Calatrava stated for the Khaleej Times that the team is unsure how much taller The Tower will be in comparison to the Burj Khalifa. However, later sources have confirmed that the total height will be 928 metres – 100 metres higher than the Burj! Despite the groundbreaking height, the skyscraper is expected to be completed before Expo 2020 at an estimated cost of 1 billion USD.
6. THE TOP IS RESERVED FOR THE PINNACLE ROOM
At the very top, The Tower will feature an oval-shaped bud that will house ten observation decks, including The Pinnacle Room. This room will offer 360-degree views of the city after being developed by the engineering firm Aurecon. We imagine that the view will be even more spectacular than the 360-degree view at the top of the Burj. At the moment, Aurecon is collaborating with Calatrava himself on bringing all the decks to life.
7. …AND VIP OBSERVATION GARDEN DECKS
In addition to the Pinnacle room, the top will feature VIP Observation Garden Decks available only to certain visitors. These will recreate the splendour of the ‘Hanging Gardens of Babylon,’ which is thought to be one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
8. IT WILL FEATURE STUNNING VIEWS OF DOWNTOWN DUBAI
The 6 sq km Dubai Creek Harbour (think of the size of Downtown Dubai then double that!) will sit by the Dubai Creek. Conveniently, it will be only 10-minutes away from the Dubai International Airport, which makes it the ideal location for globe trotters. Dubai Creek Harbour will also be set by the Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary – home to pink flamingos and over 60 other rare bird species. Of course, the Tower itself will be linked to Dubai’s brand new “mega retail district”.
9. IT WILL FEATURE “DYNAMIC ILLUMINATION AND MOVEMENT LIGHTING”
A statement from Emaar said that The Tower will feature “dynamic illumination and movement lighting” to make it a breathtaking landmark during both day and night.The engineering company Aurecon is also working on having the tower’s summit emit a ‘beacon of light’ from its peak. The idea behind this is to “evoke the features of a flower bud that appears to hover above the structure”.
10. “A NEXT-GENERATION SMART HUB”
We all know that Dubai is a centre of innovation and a future smart city. But, According to Emaar’s press team, the Dubai Creek Harbour on the whole will integrate “the latest design, engineering and sustainability features. A next-generation smart hub, it will also incorporate an advanced digital lifestyle defined by the latest developments in artificial intelligence.” We cannot wait to see what this will entail!