Dubai: As many as 1,800 lucky people will be able to celebrate the New Year by walking on a 150-metre-high glass floor that is 48 floors above the ground atop the UAE’s first-ever Sky Bridge.
Dubai Frame, the latest iconic landmark that provides 360 degree views of Dubai’s skyline from the glass bridge, will be open to the public on January 1, 2018, it was announced on Thursday.
Hussain Nasser Lootah, director-general of Dubai Municipality, said the twin tower connected with the 93-metre-long Sky Bridge will be open to the public on the New Year Day.
He announced this during a media preview that gave a sneak peek of the Dh250-million project in Zabeel Park ahead of its public opening.
Dubai Frame covered in gold colour stainless steel cladding will be a New Year gift to Dubai residents, said Lootah.
“We will allow only 200 visitors per hour. People have to buy the ticket from Gate 4 [of Zabeel Park]. Within two weeks, they will be able to purchase the tickets online also,” he said.
Going by the figures given by Lootah, it will be admitting a total of 1,800 visitors a day, unless the officials change the decision. Known as ‘Berwaz Dubai’ in Arabic, the Dubai Frame frames the old and new areas of Dubai. To the south, it shows the high-rise buildings on Shaikh Zayed Road symbolising the modern city of Dubai, while the north side of the frame shows landmark areas of Deira, Umm Hurair and Bur Dubai, which symbolise old Dubai.
Dubai Tourism officials and media persons on Dubai Frame’s Sky Bridge yesterday. Its glass floor is 48 floors above ground. (Virendra Saklani/Gulf News)
Past, present and future
Representing the present Dubai, the Sky Bridge has a clear span of 75 metres with glass panels covering the façade and the floor.
The glass panels on the floor switch from translucent to transparent as visitors walk over them. You can see the raft foundation of the structure and parts of Zabeel Park underneath as you walk over the glass.
A total of 116 square metres of switchable smart glass covers the floor of the bridge.
Large prisms on the wall throw up some fun for the visitors as what they write on glass frames in front of them will appear as digital graffiti on the prisms, which can be perfect for photographs.
Smart telescope-cum-cameras let the visitors to get a close view of Dubai’s landmarks and also take pictures of them with the background of the Dubai Frame. These pictures will then be posted on the Social Media Wall on the ground floor from where visitors will be able to purchase them on their way to exit. However, the printing booth was not ready on Thursday.
A souvenir shop is located on the ground floor and two cafes at the observation deck.
The mezzanine floor features the Past Zone that tells the story of the development of the city and a presentation of everything related to Dubai.
Welcoming the visitors with a tribute to Shaikh Rashid Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, the Father of Dubai, the gallery also pays rich tributes to Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the Father of the Nation.
Hologram projections, mist effects and smells take the visitors on a journey back to Dubai’s past.
The Future Gallery depicts Dubai 50 years from now into the future by creating a virtual metropolis through interactive projections and virtual reality technology.
Smart transport solutions including flying taxis and the Hyperloop, 3D-printed buildings, drones flying around, robots performing routine jobs, advances in health care, preservation of environment etc are featured to showcase the smart and sustainable future of Dubai.
The UAE’s futuristic Mars Mission and the future ruler of Dubai Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who is now the Crown Prince, are also featured in this gallery.
The making of Dubai Frame
The design of the Dubai Frame was inspired from the winning entry of a contest by Dubai Municipality and German engineering giant ThyssenKrupp.
Architects made a number of amendments to the design, including porous cladding and a building damper, to reduce the wind impact on the building without reducing the aesthetic view of the structure.
The exterior design of Dubai Frame was inspired from the logo of Expo 2020.
Over 2,900 square metres of laminated glass were used to build Dubai Frame.
Over 3,600 experts comprising engineers, architects and technicians, and labourers have worked together to make the Dubai Frame dream a reality.
The viewing deck was lifted by four giant hydraulic jacks, each capable of lifting 300 tonnes. The entire process took place over two days, raising 3.5mm per second.
Two giant cranes atop each tower were responsible for lifting all the materials for the respective towers. The cranes were capable of lifting 12 tonnes each.
Four elevators designed by ThyssenKrupp take the visitors to the Sky Bridge.
Dubai Frame Facts
Location: Gate 4, Zabeel Park
Opening hours: 10am to 7pm
Ticket price for adults: Dh50
Ticket price for children: Dh20
Free entry: Kids below 3, elders above 60, people of determination plus two companions
Height of twin towers: 150m
Number of floors to the top: 48
Length of Sky Bridge: 93m
Clear span area on the bridge: 73m
Area covered by smart switchable glass on Sky Bridge: 116 sq m
Total land use area: 7,145 sq m
Concrete used to create the base and legs: 9,900 cubic metres
Steel used to build the structure: 2,000 tonnes
Laminated glass used: 2,900 sq m
Manpower used: 3,600
Time taken for elevators to reach the top: 75 seconds