DUBAI // Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid on Monday “broke ground” on the world’s tallest tower – a structure that will define Expo 2020 as the Eiffel Tower defined Paris for its 1889 World Fair.
“The new tower sets another challenge in the history of human architecture – a race the UAE deserves to lead,” said Sheikh Mohammed, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, after a ceremony at the site of the Tower at Dubai Creek Harbour.
“We strive for new achievements. A new heart for our city and global landmark. Humankind has no ceiling or border but our imagination.”
The Tower is described as the centrepiece of Dubai Creek Harbour, a commercial and cultural area being developed by Emaar Properties.
It will have a hotel, rotating balconies and observation decks, with dynamic lighting.
The futuristic design, chosen by Sheikh Mohammed, was by Spanish-Swiss architect Santiago Calatrava Valls, whose works include the World Trade Centre Transport Hub in New York, the Calgary Peace Bridge and the Turning Torso Tower in Denmark.
The Tower’s design is inspired by the lily and evokes the image of a minaret. Its observation decks were modelled on an elongated, oval-shaped bud, with the rest of the structure its slender stem.
The Tower will be linked to the ground with sturdy cables that replicate the delicate ribbing of lily leaves anchoring the bud securely to the ground.
The design includes a Pinnacle Room with views of the city, and VIP Observation Garden Decks recreating the splendour of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
Also at the event were Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, Crown Prince of Dubai; Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed, Deputy Ruler of Dubai; Mohammed Al Gergawi, Chairman of Dubai Holding and Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs and Future, and Mohamed Alabbar, Chairman of Emaar Properties.
The six-square-kilometre Dubai Creek Harbour development is near Ras Al Khor National Wildlife Sanctuary and a 10-minute drive from Dubai International Airport.
When completed it will be twice the size of Downtown Dubai, Emaar said.