Top 8 Architectural and Engineering Wonders of Dubai

Christopher McFadden

With oil reserves dwindling, Dubai has needed to re-invent itself to stay relevant in the modern world. Prince Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum has worked tirelessly to invest in Architecture and Engineering projects in the region to lead the "wonders of Dubai". Dubai's investment is expected to attract many millions of tourists over the coming years.

Here are our Top 8 Architectural and Engineering Wonders of Dubai:

1. Burj Khalifa: World's tallest building

Completed in 2009, The Burj Khalifa forms part of the 2 km2 area known as "Downtown Dubai". Designed by Adrian Smith in 2006 the Burj Dubai stands at 828m. The building's budget was around 4 Billion USD.

The Burj Khalifa is recognized as the tallest building and man-made structure in the world.

It's height isn't it only claim to fame. The Burj Khalifa has the highest mosque in the world (158th floor), highest swimming pool (76th floor) and the highest viewing platform (124th floor).

The tower also contains the world’s highest mosque on the 158th floor (of 160), the world’s highest swimming pool, on the 76th floor, and the world’s highest viewing platform, on the 124th floor.

Its shape is purportedly inspired indigenous desert flowers which are common in Islamic architecture. This design is not only aesthetic. The stepped shape ensures the mass of the building reduces with height to make the structure stronger. The building is a mixed-use facility with shops, offices, residential sectors and entertainments venues.

burj-kalifa-326542_960_720[Image Source: Pixabay]

2. Palm Islands: Palm-shaped man-made island

An iconic engineering landmark of Dubai the Palm Islands are among the top ten largest artificial islands in the world. The Palm Island project consists of the Palm Jumeirah, Palm Jebel Alo and Palm Deira). Currently, only Palm Jumeirah has been completed and inhabited.

These Islands are located off the coast of The United Arab Emirates in the Persian Gulf. When complete they will add around 520km of beach to the area. These impressive man-made islands are considered the eighth wonder of the world.

The islands when complete with house luxury hotels, beachside homes, water theme parks, marinas, as well as leisure and entertainment centers.

3. Cayan Tower: World's second tallest high rise building with a 90-degree rotation

If twisting the buildings' structure around 90 degrees from base to roof isn't enough, the structure has no structural pillars. Completed in 2013, the building is 306 meters tall and consists of 73 storeys. Its primary use is residential with second to none views of the surrounding waterfront (depending on elevation obviously).

The rooms of the tower are designed in such a way as to mitigate direct sunlight with titanium colored paneling clad onto concrete columns. There are staggered to reduce solar gain into the residential spaces. The apartments also lack balconies provide additional solar shading.

dubai-1120373_960_720Cayan Tower pictured far right [Image Source: Pixabay]

4. Jumeirah Beach Hotel: The World's only 7 Star Hotel

This Hotel is the only "7-Star" hotel in the world. It features a Skyview bar, underwater restaurant, and an outdoor tennis court. It has become an iconic landmark in Dubai and is apparently one of the most photographed buildings in the world. Its design mimics a sail from an Arabian dhow. Standing at 321 meters the building is beautifully light at night with choreographed color sculptures of water and fire.

It is the fourth tallest hotel in the world; however, 39% of its total height is made up of non-occupiable space.

Some features of the hotel were complex engineering feats. It rests on an artificial island, 280m offshore. To ensure a solid foundation, engineers were required to drive 230 40m concrete piles into the underlying sand. The building also has a ground/surface layer of rocks with concrete honeycomb encirclement to protect the foundation from erosion. In total, the reclaimed land took three years to complete with the main structure taking less time to complete. The building contains over 70,000 m3 (92,000 cu yd) of concrete and 9,000 tons of steel.

burj-al-arab-690768_960_720[Image Source: Pixabay]

5. The World Islands: World map inspired man-made islands

Consisting of a collection of 300 man-made islands, the World Islands, are situated 4 km off the coast of Dubai. Created from dredged and reclaimed tons of sand and rock its covers an area of 6km wide to 9 km in length. The site is also surrounded by over break waters. The total globe form is only visible from space or the top of the Burj Khalifa, conveniently.

Each island ranges from 23 to 84 thousand km2 with 50-100m of water separating each island.

iss022-e-024940[Image Source: NASA]

6. Dubai Mall: largest mall in the world

After several delays, the mall finally opened its doors in 2008. Dubai Mall is, by area, the largest shopping center in the world. Attracting more than 750,000 visitors a week the mall has 1,200 shops, 160 restaurants, massive entertainment zone and a hotel. It also contains the Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo. The mall is also home to the Dubai Fountain. The mall consists of a 1,124,000 m2 of space.

7. Ski Dubai: largest indoor ski resorts in the world

Claimed to be the world's largest indoor ski resort, Ski Dubai is a 22,500 km2 indoor ski center. It forms part of the Mall of the Emirates. In order to maintain the sub-zero temperatures required for the facility the facility has extremely efficient insulation. This is required to maintain the -1-degree celsius during the day and -6-degree celsius during nighttime needed to create and maintain snow.

The facility opened in 2005 and features an 85-metre high indoor "mountain" with 5 slopes of varying difficulty. It includes a 400-metre long run, the world's first indoor black diamond run and other features that are changed regularly (boxes, rails, kickers etc).

8. Dubai Miracle Garden: A garden within a desert

Yes - you heard us right, Dubai has a garden in the middle of the desert. Dubai Miracle Garden is the largest "natural" flower garden in the world. It is a 72,000 m2 site with more than 45 million flowers formed in various shapes such as hearts, stars, igloos etc.

The garden is located in the district of Dubailand, Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The garden was launched on valentine's day in 2013. The Guinness Book of Records recognizes Dubai Miracle garden as having the world's largest flower clock.