x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Dubai in frame with landmark tower

The 150-metre tall structure will frame Dubai's skyline from Zabeel Park.

The Al Berwaz Tower project, also known as the Dubai Landmark. WAM
The Al Berwaz Tower project, also known as the Dubai Landmark. WAM

A monumental "picture frame" capturing the Dubai skyline from Zabeel Park is expected to be completed by the end of next year.

Formerly called the "Dubai Frame", the Dh120 million project is now named "Dubai LandMark" or "Al Berwaz Tower", according to Wam, the state news agency.

Officials expect work to start on the frame within four months.

The "Dubai Frame" was originally announced in 2009, when it won a government-initiated competition for a new emblematic structure.

Conceived by the architect Fernando Donis, the 150-metre tall and 105-metre wide "frame" was selected from 926 designs submitted to the competition.

The design included lifts in each vertical shaft and an observation deck at the top. It also included an underground car park, a library in the base of the structure and a terrace cafe on the top cross-beam.

Dubai Municipality director general, Hussein Nasser Lootah, recently briefed Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, the Vice-President and Ruler of Dubai, on the project, according to Wam.Sheikh Mohammed ordered its implementation.

The project is expected to attract "about two million visitors and tourists", according to Wam. The agency did not specify a time-frame for that statistic.

Mr Donis received a US$100,000 (Dh367,251) prize for winning the competition. The design was completed with the help of Werner Sobek, a German engineering consultancy with offices in Dubai.

In a description of the project on the architectural firm's website, the architect said: "Dubai is a city full of emblems. Rather than adding one, we propose to frame them all: to frame the city. Rather than building a massive structure, the purpose of this project is to build a void."

vnereim@thenational.ae