Mega projects: Diamond-inspired Uptown Tower will be 'Dubai's next iconic building'

Work on the 79-floor skyscraper is due to be completed this year

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A 79-floor skyscraper under construction in Dubai, which was inspired by the shape of a diamond, has been described as the next iconic building in the city’s skyline.

Uptown Tower, close to the Jumeirah Lakes Towers community, will stand at 340 metres once completed, with work expected to conclude towards the end of this year.

The developer behind the project says it has been built in response to a growing need for office and commercial space, despite the continuing Covid-19 pandemic.

The National went on an exclusive hard-hat tour of the building to take a closer look.

Uptown Tower was inspired by the shape of a diamond
Sanna Farooq, development director with DMCC

“This is a new icon that will be the first thing people coming to Dubai from Abu Dhabi or Al Maktoum Airport will see,” said Ahmed bin Sulayem, chief executive of Dubai Multi Commodities Centre, the free zone behind the skyscraper.

The building, which will be the 14th tallest in Dubai once completed, will be mixed-use with offices and residential units, along with a SO Sofitel five-star hotel.

The project is another sign of how strongly the UAE is performing despite the pandemic, Mr bin Sulayem said.

A tour inside Dubai's newest skyscraper - Uptown Tower

A tour inside Dubai's newest skyscraper - Uptown Tower

“You just cannot miss this country because it stands out so much,” he said. “Just look at the numbers of people who are driving to the Expo every night.

“There are still people coming to Dubai in huge numbers from other countries who have never been here before.”

The 79-storey tower was created out to provide more office space and accommodation to cater the emirate’s continued growth, Mr bin Sulaymen said.

“The demand for services in Dubai is increasing all the time,” he said. “It is rivalling the traditional centres of the world and while the pandemic shocked a lot of people, Dubai proved itself during that time.”

More than 23,000 vehicles were involved in delivering around 140,000 cubic metres of concrete to Uptown Tower.

The skyscraper is reinforced by more than 30,000 tonnes of steel.

The ballroom will more than 1,500 people and there are more than 20 kitchens in the tower, said Mr bin Sulayem.

The building has also been created with sustainability at its core, he said.

It has been designed to save 15 per cent more energy than the average standard commercial building.

DMCC said at least 20 per cent of the materials were manufactured and bought within a 160km radius.

There are 22 floors dedicated to commercial use with another 10-storeys set aside for the hotel when it opens.

The building has a theme that is very much in keeping with Dubai’s reputation as a city full of glittering towers and attractions.

“Uptown Tower was inspired by the shape of a diamond as DMCC does a lot of trade in diamonds and gold,” said Sanna Farooq, development director with DMCC.

“That’s why you see a cubic shape to it. People are already talking about how beautiful it is.”

She said Dubai’s iconic Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building standing at 828 metres, was the only building that could be directly compared to Uptown Tower.

“Undertaking the building of a mixed-use skyscraper is not a joke. There is a lot of risk involved and many people have promised to deliver in the past and haven’t been able to,” said Ms Farooq.

“If it was easy the whole world would be doing it.

“You seldom see a mixed-use skyscraper because of how complicated it is to pull off.

“The Burj Khalifa is probably the only other super tall building that has managed it. Most buildings like this tend to be either fully commercial or fully residential.”

Updated: February 20, 2022, 1:36 PM