World's largest Ferris wheel reaches 'unprecedented' construction milestone

by Kim Megson | 22 Aug 2016
Once completed, Ain Dubai will emerge as an engineering masterpiece. It’s the first of its kind in the industry.
– Omar Delawar

The largest and highest observation wheel in the world is taking shape on Dubai’s Bluewaters Island, with the structure’s hub and spindle safely placed on top of its 126m (413ft) high legs.

Two of the world’s largest cranes have assembled the key components of the wheel, which will be called Ain Dubai. The current weight of the structure is 1,805 tonnes – equivalent to four Airbus A380 aircraft.

The hub will now be connected to the wheel’s rim via 192 spoke cables, evoking a giant bicycle wheel. The final attraction will be 210m high (689 ft). Work is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

Meraas, the Dubai development company overseeing the AED1bn (US$272.3m, €240.4m, £207.3m) project, have described the construction work completed so far as “an unprecedented undertaking in the engineering world, both in terms of process and scale.”

The Hub and Spindle of the observation wheel were manufactured and assembled in the United Arab Emirates and shipped to Bluewaters Island as they were too large to be transported by land.

Hyundai Contracting and Starneth Engineering, who designed and engineered the wheel, worked with third party engineers to ensure the horizontal and vertical forces are perfectly accounted for in the design.

“Once completed, Ain Dubai will emerge as an engineering masterpiece,” said Meraas chief project officer Omar Delawar. “It’s the first of its kind in the industry. It’ll be a truly spectacular must-visit attraction, adding a unique experience and vantage point to the list of things to do in Dubai. This heralds a new era in the world of entertainment and will introduce the unforgettable option of viewing Dubai from the skies.”

Ain Dubai will overtake the High Roller in Las Vegas, which is 167.6m high, as the world's tallest observation wheel. A similar wheel in New York, also engineered by Starneth, will take second place when it is completed in 2018.

Ain Dubai will be the main attraction of the AED6bn (US$1.6bn, €1.4bn, £1.25bn) Bluewaters Island, which Meraas is developing to feature entertainment, retail, residential and hospitality offerings.

Dubai  Ain Dubai  Ferris wheel  Bluewaters Island  UAE  architecture  design  engineering  Meraas 
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The largest and highest observation wheel in the world is taking shape on Dubai’s Bluewaters Island, with the structure’s hub and spindle safely placed on top of its 126m (413ft) high legs. Two of the world’s largest cranes have assembled the key components of the wheel, which will be called Ain Dubai. The current weight of the structure is 1,805 tonnes – equivalent to four Airbus A380 aircraft. The hub
CLD,TAW,VAT,ARC,DES,DEV,INV
The wheel will be the centepeice of the Bluewaters Island entertainment district / Meraas
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