Claimed by developers, Meraas, to be the world’s largest and tallest observation wheel, the attraction is being assembled at the Bluewaters site, next to Dubai Marina.
On completion, the structure is expected to be a landmark, offering visitors and residents stunning 360-degree-views of the city and its coastline.
Abdulla Al Habbai, Group Chairman at Meraas, said: “The destination is designed to bring people together from around the world and will enhance Dubai’s reputation as a leading choice for business and leisure travellers. It also embodies the pioneering and innovative nature of a city that has pushed the boundaries of modern engineering.”
The giant wheel is more than 210 metres tall, taller than the 167-metre High Roller in Las Vegas and the 190-metre New York Wheel planned for Staten Island.
The hub and spindle at Ain Dubai were set in place last year and the final structure will include approximately 9,000 tonnes of steel.
“With the first five sections of the wheel rim already connected to the hub, two winch devices have been fitted to rotate the wheel in a way that will allow Ain Dubai to receive the sixth, and subsequent sections of the wheel rim. Each rim section weighs roughly the same as two Airbus A380 aircraft and must be rested on five temporary support structures connected to the hub, as well as two 115-metre spokes,” explains Omar Delawar, Chief Projects Officer at Meraas.
All eight sections of the rim have been manufactured using high grade German and Korean steel and individually shipped to Ain Dubai by barge. They are being manoeuvred into position in a complex operation by a team of engineers and technicians using cranes with a lifting capacity of 3,000 tonnes.
The wheel rim sections are connected to the hub and spindle by a total of 192 heavy-duty cables, each of which is comprised of over a hundred separate wires that are pre-tensioned with up to 300 tonnes of force. These cables will eventually support the combined 7,500 tonne weight of the rim and its capsules.
48 high-tech passenger capsules are currently being manufactured by Swiss Rides on behalf of the project’s main contractor, Hyundai.
The 30 sqm double-glazed capsules are designed to comfortably accommodate 40 passengers. They are clad in glass that is equipped with ultraviolet and infrared protection, a glassmaking technology used to produce military aircraft canopies. This process will ensure maximum light and visibility.
The interiors will be finished with stone flooring and Corian benches. Capsules will have the flexibility to be converted into a dining area that can accommodate up to 12 guests, while six Premium Capsules will offer upscale culinary services.
Passengers will enjoy a comfortable ride with a
Smart climate control and two motors, located under the floor of the capsules, will ensure stability and a smooth ride as the wheel rotates.
The capsules are expected to be installed in 2018.