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World’s largest observation wheel at Meraas’ Bluewaters Island, Dubai nears completion

Dubai observation wheel

Mace – who are providing project management, cost consultancy services and construction advice for client Meraas – have almost completed the Ain Dubai observation wheel at Bluewaters Island.

The wheel, when complete, will stand at over 210m tall, reports the Construction Index.

The wheel is being developed as a part of the £1 billion Bluewaters Island project. The project makes use of a mixed-use man-made island which sits off the coast in Dubai Marina.

Mace is the company behind the world’s tallest cantilevered observation wheel, the London Eye, which they built in in 1999. The Ain Dubai wheel will be over 210m tall – substantially higher than the London Eye’s 135m.

Seven out of the eight sections of the wheel, which are built off site, have been transported to the island by barge. Each section weights 750t – equivalent to two Airbus 380 aircraft

When it is complete, the wheel will consist of 9,000t of steel. It will be able to carry up to 1,440 visitors in 48 custom-built pods.

Omar Delawar, chief projects officer at Meraas, said: “The assembly of the rim at Bluewaters is one of the most exciting phases in the construction of Ain Dubai, as it marks the arrival of the centrepiece of the island and another addition to Dubai’s impressive skyline – one that creates a new meeting point for the city and economy, as well as an open place for people to share many new experiences together.”

Piers Sidey, Mace’s project director, said: “The sheer size of the Dubai Wheel means we are pushing the boundaries of engineering design. The step change in size of this Wheel generates multiple increases in terms of required strength and stiffness. Fabrication requires extremely tight tolerances to be strictly met in order to minimize the deviations in flatness and circularity across the diameter rim. It’s really ground-breaking stuff.

“There have been many technical challenges to overcome in order to get this Wheel fabricated and built. As we near completion of the wheel itself, we are looking forward to the next phases of removing the temporary works and constructing the dramatic terminal building beneath the wheel.”

Image courtesy of Mace Group

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Michael Mander

Michael Mander

I am a journalist from Essex, England. I enjoy travelling, and love exploring attractions around the world. I graduated from Lancaster University in 2018. Twitter @michael_mander.

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