x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

Suite life high up on the Corniche

International Capital Trading have erected the highest sky-bridge in the world between its two Nation Towers. The platform will house a single, luxury hotel room.

The sky bridge weighs 400 tonnes.
The sky bridge weighs 400 tonnes.

It will become Abu Dhabi's most luxurious suite.

Suspended more than 200 metres above ground between the two Dh1.6 billion (US$435.5 million) Nation Towers on the Corniche, International Capital Trading (ICT) is creating a single hotel room.

The structure, known as a sky bridge, will feature more than 1,000 square metres of space and offer views of the sea and Lulu Island. The feature is the crowning component of the towers, one of which will contain 64 floors of apartments, and the other offices and a five-star St Regis hotel. An ICT official said it would be "one of the most prestigious suites in Abu Dhabi".

ICT, a little-known developer with a large portfolio of projects across the capital, has been working on the project since 2009, when it announced the awarding of a contract with Arabtec and National Projects & Construction.

The construction site is operating 24 hours a day with 5,000 workers on shifts. The project is scheduled to be completed by the end of this year.

The company says the sky bridge has been an engineering challenge. Over three months this year, it was built in full at the base of the towers. Then a specialised company connected four cables to the 400-tonne structure to equipment atop the towers. It was slowly hoisted by four hydraulic jacks over 48 hours and fixed in place.

ICT is in the process of certifying that it is the highest sky bridge in the world, even taller than the connection between the Petronas Towers in Malaysia.

The Nation Towers are the latest addition to the Corniche near Emirates Palace, where a cluster of new towers is rising. Within view of the buildings will be the Regent Emirates Pearl Hotel, the Etihad Towers and the new, towering Abu Dhabi National Oil Company headquarters.

ICT is also finalising tenants for the Nation Galleria, a 31,000-square metre high-end shopping centre at the base of the Nation Towers.

A tunnel is being dug underneath the Corniche Road from the buildings to the beach, where ICT is also building a beach club called the Nation Riviera.

The towers also feature a "wavy" facade that mimics the sea, a design created by the project's architect, WZMH of Canada.