One Za'abeel

Pioneering designs in the heart of Za’abeel

A luxury development that pushes the limits of design and engineering

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One Za'abeel Project summary


Ithra Dubai

Key partners

Nikken Sekkei, WSP, Omnium

Services provided

Project and programme management


Commercial, Commercial, Retail


UAE Dubai, Middle East and North Africa

Project timeline


Project story

One Za’abeel is a flagship, mixed-used development by Ithra Dubai. A symbol of ambition, innovation and the pioneering spirit of Dubai, it will stand proudly in the Za’abeel district at the heart of the city, strategically positioned between the old and new business districts.


The scale of the development is enormous and complex. With two towers standing at 304m and 241m, the development has the added complication of straddling a live six lane carriageway. It’s the sort of challenge Mace relishes.


The development boasts seven basements 28m below ground level. From using 3D plexis modelling for excavating under the live highway, to coordinating load cell monitoring and bridge jacking, to negotiating with local authorities for approvals and road closures, the project team has made use of local knowledge, innovative solutions and meticulous planning to safely deliver the excavation moving the project forward into the main works phase.


Above ground the two towers will be linked 125m in the air by the ‘Link’ – a 225m long structure of steel and glass with the world’s longest cantilever. The team will push engineering limits by building the structure on a temporary site-based platform in seven sections that will be welded together before being secured to the towers.

7 basements
9,500tonne steel bridge

points of note

The Link, the gate to Dubai

Once installed the Link will complete the design philosophy of the building of creating a gate to the city. After the structure has been assembled the team will strand jack in two lifts and secure it to the towers. The towers will be pre-cambered so that when the Link is erected and attached, the towers will deflect back to their vertical position.

Managing risk

The team has developed an ‘early warning system’ to detect any settlement in the bridge. The proactive approach entails co-ordinating various activities: bridge analysis, bridge jacking, 24/7 bridge monitoring, diaphragm wall and load cell monitoring and a detour study with implementation of easement measures.

Residential luxury

Tower A will host offices and, above the Link, ultra-luxury hotel rooms and high-end serviced apartments. Tower B will be predominately residential. The Link will offer restaurants, lounges and entertainment facilities. Both towers will offer retail, food and beverage outlets at ground and podium levels.

Laying the foundation

Approximately 16,1000m3 of concrete was poured continuously for the 3.5m deep Tower A raft foundation. Intensive planning and detailed coordination by the project team with local authorities ensured the pour went ahead as scheduled. The milestone was completed in under 72 hours, with an impressive rate of 32m3 per hour with eight pumps in use.