Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 February 2020

Abandoned Abu Dhabi development to be torn down - 13 years after construction started

Construction on the 246,500 square metre Meena Plaza project began in 2007, but is now to be demolished before being completed

The final chapter will be told in the long and troubled story of the Meena Plaza project. The National
The final chapter will be told in the long and troubled story of the Meena Plaza project. The National

An abandoned Dh1 billion development that was under construction in Abu Dhabi’s Port Zayed for more than a decade will be torn down.

Authorities carried out a test to help plan the demolition of Meena Plaza on Thursday.

Construction on the 246,500-square-metre development, comprising three apartment towers and an office block, began in 2007, but was halted twice before being abandoned in 2015.

The Department of Municipalities and Transport issued a notice ahead of the planned demolition test, telling residents living nearby to expect some noise beginning at 9am.

“This may lead to some relatively strong noise, which may be heard by those in the vicinity,” Abu Dhabi Government Media Office tweeted late on Wednesday.

The pilot test was to assess the amount of explosive material that would be required to demolish the structures, as well as determining protection specifications for volatile substances, measuring noise levels and analysing the vibrations caused by the explosion.

Meena Plaza was supposed to include luxuries such as a ­helipad sunbathing deck, a covered spa and wading pool and a private medical centre.

But in November 2012, work was stopped after the project’s owners and builders became embroiled in a dispute.

Construction was due to begin again in October 2014, but the work was never completed.

In 2015, the Malaysian construction company appointed to build the towers announced it was pulling out because it had not been paid.

The buildings stood half-finished for years at the end of the Corniche – a rare eyesore on Abu Dhabi’s skyline.

According to the emirate’s 2030 Vision, the Port Zayed area was to be turned into a media hub, but that project was moved to Yas Island.

In 2018, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, approved a major regeneration project in the Port Zayed area.

The plans included the redevelopment of fish, vegetable, wood and carpet markets to create a multi-use seafront.

The Department of Municipalities and Transport notice said the Meena Plaza demolition would be carried out to “revitalise the area in line with the new vision for the port area”.

Updated: January 16, 2020 05:23 PM

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