Demolition work began today to level the Hard Rock Café, a popular expatriate hotspot that once marked the extent of Dubai's urban sprawl.
A wrecking ball crane was erected early in the morning and by lunchtime around a quarter of the back portion of the building on Sheikh Zayed Road was a ruin of broken masonry.
The venue resembled a mini Empire State building, with two crossed guitars at the entrance when it opened in 1998. American rock and roll legend Chuck Berry played at the opening ceremony.
The demolition is being carried out close to a main road, but the spokesman said the 3.5 tonne wrecking ball was only striking the building from the rear, where an area of 100 metres had been cleared to contain any falling rubble.
A spokesman for Al Rasheed Building Demolition, the company tasked to carry out the work, said it would take around a month to tear down the building.
#Before demolition we carried out an extensive survey and found no asbestos or harmful materials," the spokesman said.
Demolition work begins to level the Hard Rock Cafe, the once popular hotspot that marked the extent of Dubai's urban sprawl. Photos by Charles Crowell for The National