An eye on Dubai – world’s largest observation wheel
Providing cost consultancy, construction and project management services, our experienced employees are helping erect Ain Dubai. A mammoth structure close to twice the size of the London Eye, it will become the largest observation wheel on the planet.
Ain Dubai Project summary
- Start date
- June 2013
Meraas, a Dubai-based holdings company, has launched perhaps the most ambitious project in UAE history – erecting a skyline dominating observation wheel, the single largest on Earth – Ain Dubai.
Previously known as the Dubai-I, Ain Dubai will provide 360-degree views of Dubai’s famous horizon – the Burj Al Arab, Marina, Palm Jumeirah and Burj Khalifa all in sight. With its location upon Bluewaters Island, off the coast of Jumeirah Beach, Ain Dubai is set to be the crown jewel of this £1.2bn development. Once open in 2018, it will sit alongside residential apartments, two hotels, high end restaurants and a retail Souk.
Following our historic work on the construction of the London Eye – coordinating multiple work packages and developing innovative solutions to deliver time and cost savings – we were appointed in a project management role on Ain Dubai, before adding cost consultancy and construction management to our remit.
Points of note
Going nuclearWith Ain Dubai systematically breaking records en route to its unveiling, it will come as no surprise that its parts were too large to transport on land. The observation wheel’s hub and spindle were manufactured and assembled locally in the UAE, before being transported to Bluewaters Island by barge. The spindle has a diameter of 6.2 metres, formed of high grade steel as used in nuclear plants for maximum strength and minimum weight.
Complex calculationsSupervised by our industry leading experts and reviewed by the third party engineer – the Ain Dubai’s construction has pushed the engineering boundaries at every stage from design through fabrication to assembly on site. Forces, stresses and deflections of the structure are many times that of existing Wheels. Thousands of load cases and combinations had to be considered and small changes in one part of the structure can mean the re-running of the huge computer calculation model for the Wheel, which can take several days or even weeks to fully evaluate.
Lifting capacityTwo of the world’s largest cranes were mobilised on site – each possessing a 180 metre long boom and a lifting capacity of over 3,000 tonnes – and tasked with setting the hub and spindle atop the Ain Dubai’s 120 metre high legs.
“It was clear to us early on that if this project was to proceed successfully we needed to help Hyundai and share our knowledge and technical capability in a collaborative manner, ensuring that our learning from the construction of the London Eye and The Shard was applied to the [Ain Dubai] project. Fortunately our client agreed with us, and we strengthened our team in order to proactively help Hyundai deliver this fantastic feat of engineering successfully.”
“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.”