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, Retail


UAE Dubai, Middle East and 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 stands 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 530,000m2 development came with the added complication of straddling a live four lane carriageway. It was exactly 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 made use of local knowledge, innovative solutions and meticulous planning to safely deliver the excavation.


Above ground the two towers are linked 100m in the air by the ‘Link’ – a 230m long structure of steel and glass with the world’s longest cantilever. The team pushed engineering limits by building the structure on a temporary site-based platform in seven sections that were welded together before being secured to the towers. Sustainability in design and delivery was paramount to our teams, which resulted in the project receiving a LEED Gold certification.


Our team aimed to push boundaries with this project. Upon its completion, One Za’abeel was awarded with a Guiness World Record for the longest cantilever building in the world. The project received a further three World Records related to having the largest projector show at its grand opening.

530,000 sqm
230m steel and glass skybridge
4 Guiness World Records

points of note

The Link, the gate to Dubai

The design philosophy of the Link was to create a gate to the city. The 9,662 tonne structure was built at podium level and then slid across a live 6 lane roadway and strand jack lifted 100m to be secured to the two pre-cambered towers. Upon its completion, One Za’abeel received the Guinness World Record for the longest cantilever building in the world.

Managing risk

The team developed an ‘early warning system’ to detect any settlement in the bridge. The proactive approach included 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.


The mixed-use development is complete with unique internal finishes that make the project exceptional. In addition to offices, One Za’abeel contains two five star hotels, including the world’s first fitness and wellbeing dedicated establishment. Visitors can enjoy 94 branded residences, 264 luxury residences, wellbeing and clinical spas, 6 Michelin star restaurants as well as a 120m infinity pool on the roof of the link bridge.

Laying the foundation

Approximately 161,000m3 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.