Dubai Creek Tower – Dubai’s next tallest tower receives rapid progress

May 10, 2018 in Infrastructure

With Dubai’s highly ambitious plans for urban growth in the next few years, prominent developer Emaar Properties envisioned a financially viable and ecologically responsible city built for future generations. Thus, the launch of their Dubai Creek Harbour (DCH) as a flagship, mixed-use development project designed to provide homes to the city’s rapidly growing population.

Located across the Dubai Creek, north-east of Downtown Dubai, the DCH will feature a wide mix of land use comprising residential, retail, hospitality, office, community, and cultural facilities spread across nine district zones. It is bounded to the south by the Ras Al Khor road and to the north by the proposed Sixth Creek Crossing. An iconic tower will stand at the centre of the DCH, drawing in visitors and tourists alike.

Dubai Creek Tower is a hyper-tall tower under construction in Dubai, the tower will become the World’s Tallest Building upon completion in 2020. The name may be a provisional name, like Burj Khalifa had been named Burj Dubai before opening.

When this tower was first reported by the medias in February 2016, it came with no name, the developer called it The Tower at Dubai Creek Harbour or Iconic Tower, the name The Tower at Dubai Creek Harbour was also displayed on a foundation stone at the construction site. Since the mid 2017 they started using the new name Dubai Creek Tower, as it is planned to be the centrepiece of Dubai Creek Harbour. A giant model of the tower displayed in Dubai Mall is labelled with this new name.

Dubai Creek Tower will be built on a site in the vicinity of Dubai Creek, which is a waterfront area located near Ras Al Khor National Wildlife Sanctuary, Dubai Creek was the city’s centre of history and culture. A large project named Dubai Creek Harbour is being developed there, lots of new buildings will be built, Dubai Creek Harbour is planned to be a new district in Dubai, just like Dubai Marina, Business Bay and Downtown Dubai, but this district will be three times the size of Downtown Dubai, covering an area of 6 square kilometres (2.3 square miles), Dubai Creek Tower will be the centrepiece of this project.

The developer Emaar will not announce the exact height of Dubai Creek Tower until its official opening in 2020 or later, in this way they can efficiently prevent its height from being surpassed by some potential competitive projects.

After Dubai Creek Tower was unveiled in February 2016, the son of the architect Santiago Calatrava told the medias that the tower will be a notch taller than Burj Khalifa, and several months later in June 2016, the Chairman of Emaar Properties used to tell the media that the tower will be 100 meters taller than Burj Khalifa, which means it will be 928 meters tall, since then many medias started to using the figure 928 to introduce the height of Dubai Creek Tower.

In August 2017, a video displayed in Dubai Mall gives a hint of the height of the tower, according to the video, it can be approximately speculated that 8 Dubai Creek Tower stacked on each other will reach 11 kilometres, hence the tower will be at least 1300 meters.

For a tower supported by many cables anchored on anchors that spread on two sides, this height is not difficult to archive, people had built many supported towers that rise around 2000 ft in America in last century.

If it will really be over 1300 meters tall, then it will become the tallest structure in the world, as it can be sure that the Jeddah Tower in Saudi Arabia is not likely going to be that high.

And maybe it will be recognized as world’s tallest building as well, since it’s not totally a supported tower, what differentiate it from the supported tower is that it has habitable floors, a feature can only be found on buildings.

Dubai Creek Tower will be mainly used for observation decks or sky gardens. And there will be 20 floors occupied by hotels and restaurants as well, and even residences. The antenna on the peak will be used for broadcasting.

Dubai Creek Tower was designed by Spanish-Swiss architect Santiago Calatrava Valls. Some of his best-known works include the World Trade Centre Transportation Hub in New York City, revamped Olympic Athletic Centre of Athens in Athens. He had also designed some skyscrapers, one is Turning Torso in Malmo, an iconic spiral shaped building, another skyscraper is the renowned Chicago Spire, a cancelled tower in Chicago that was once intended to become the tallest building in America.

For Dubai Creek Tower, Santiago Calatrava claims the inspiration of his design was drew from the natural form of lily, a kind of plant that can be found in desert areas, lily also inspired the foot print shape of Burj Khalifa.

The most distinctive feature of Dubai Creek Tower is those cable arrays, which was inspired by the ribbing of lily leaves. These sturdy cables connect the tower to the anchors that spread on the ground on two sides of the tower, making the structure more stable and safely to be built to over 1300 meters.

Apart from the cable array, the tower itself resembles a minaret, which is a sort of structure and feature prevailed in Islamic architecture, it can be seen built around numerous mosques.

The tower is mostly comprised of a slender stem, which serves as the spine of the tower, there is an elongated oval-shaped structure near the tip of the tower, evoking the bud of lily, the diameter of bud is much larger than the stem, this makes the tower look more majestic and more like a building than just a tower, and there will be many usable floors inside this bud, many of them will be used as observation decks.

As Jeddah Tower in Saudi Arabia was estimated to be completed before 2020, and it will be built higher than Burj Khalifa, Dubai does not want to lose the crown of World’s Tallest Building, and in another hand, Dubai will hold the World EXPO by 2020, Dubai want to surprise the visitors and show its power to the world by this opportunity, and as height can always bring the visibility, a new tallest building was proposed to be built by 2020, they wish the tower could comparable in greatness to Eiffel Tower in Paris and in height to the Burj Khalifa.

Apart from the tower, a large complex named Dubai Creek Harbour was planned to be built just off the Dubai Creek, the complex was approved by Sheikh Mohammed, the Ruler of Dubai on February 7, 2016.

The Creek Tower will serve as the centrepiece and heart of the complex, the centrepiece of the district was originally planned to be a pair of twin towers which would become the tallest twin towers in the world, and they were eventually replaced by the current Creek Tower.

A building that tall can drive numerous tourists and thereby makes significant positive impact on real estate valuation of the area around the tower, and eventually makes Dubai Creek Harbour a center of tourist and lifestyle.

Dubai Creek Harbour is being developed by Emaar joint with Dubai Holding. The Creek Tower will solely be developed by Emaar, which is the largest real estate developer in Dubai and which also developed the Burj Khalifa.

Six proposals for the design of Dubai Creek Tower were submitted by several international architectural firms around the world.

In the late of February 2016, these designs were shown to Sheikh Mohammed, the ruler of Dubai, he chose the one designed by Santiago Calatrava, and announced this final design on February 27.

In late July 2016, engineers completed seismic studies and wind tests, the tests is critical to define the final height of the tower.

The preparation works began in October 2016, around 170,000 cubic meters of soil was excavated to make space for the foundation of the tower. After that 145 piles were laid and inserted into the bottom at 75m deep, 210 thousand tonnes of concrete were poured to form the foundation. The foundation work was completed in May 2017.

Construction is set to be completed in 2020. Dubai Creek Tower is an observation tower that mostly comprised of the slender core structure, the progress of construction will be much faster than an ordinary skyscraper building like Jeddah Tower. Additionally, it’s a supported tower, which means the construction time will be much shorter, for reference, the 629-meter KVLY TV Mast in North Dakota took only 30 days to complete, so completion in 2020 is totally possible.

It is estimated the construction for the tower will cost AED 3.67 billion which equal to 1 billion US Dollars. Dubai Creek Tower will have ten observation decks inside the oval-shape structure which is near the top of the tower, these observation decks offer 360-degree views of the cityscape of Dubai from a perspective of an unprecedented height.

The observation decks will be decorated like gardens, which is inspired by the ancient Hanging Gardens of Babylon. Aside from the indoor decks, there will be many smaller revolving platforms that resemble balconies set at the margin of the deck, half of such a platform is outside the façade of the tower. These rotating platforms can take visitors to an open-air space to enjoy the more impressive views.

The race to the top has just gotten tighter, with two rising mega-towers in the Middle East battling to become the world’s tallest. Construction has now begun on The Tower at Dubai Creek Harbour, a vast waterfront development, with completion scheduled for ahead of Dubai’s Expo 2020 world fair, which kicks off in October that year.

Piercing through a canopy of clouds, The Tower, at 3,045ft (928m), aims to take the title of world’s tallest tower, which the 2,723ft-tall (830m) Burj Khalifa, also in Dubai, has held since 2010.

But it’s got competition. The Jeddah Tower, in Saudi Arabia, is also slated to finish in 2020.

When completed, this gleaming vertical will be 236ft (72m) taller than Dubai’s creation.

If The Tower in Dubai wants the world title, even for a short time, it has to open its doors before the Jeddah Tower.

The Tower will be the heart of Dubai Creek Harbour, one of the largest tourist and lifestyle developments in the world stretching across 2.3 square miles (6sqkm). The Tower will be the heart of Dubai Creek Harbour, one of the largest tourist and lifestyle developments in the world stretching across 2.3 square miles (6sqkm).

The Tower, in Dubai, is being constructed by Emaar, the real estate giant also behind the Burj Khalifa, and will anchor the Dubai Creek development, serving — developers hope — as a magnet for tourists. Designed by Swiss-Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava Valls, it will feature The Pinnacle Room — an observation point offering 360-degree views of the emirate — and public vertical gardens, while 18 to 20 floors have been reserved for homes, restaurants, shops and a boutique hotel. If construction runs to schedule, this $1 billion tower will have been thrown up in just three years.

Omnium is delighted to be working with Emaar Properties PJSC on delivery of Dubai Creek Tower. Dubai Creek Tower is set to form the stunning centrepiece of Dubai Creek Harbour, Dubai’s landmark new waterfront master planned development which will not only deliver residences, commercial, leisure and hotel accommodation but open community spaces and incorporation of the unique Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary, highlighting the Creek’s important contribution towards Dubai’s biodiversity.

Recently, Emaar’s Chairman Mohamed Alabbar together with senior executives, managers and government officials, welcomed His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum to the site where he was able to review and celebrate the project’s latest milestone.

The Tower is a mega-tall project, and its foundations are critical to a successful build. Construction of the Tower’s pile cap commenced in June 2017, and its core has now reached its highest point. With over 50% of the pile cap now completed, the remainder is scheduled for completion in mid-2018.

As an indication of the Tower’s size, to date around 60,000 tonnes of concrete has been poured to form the pile cap, with approximately 12,000 tonnes of steel reinforcement – twice the weight of the Eiffel Tower! 145 barrette piles were laid to a depth of 72 metres, forming a foundation structure tested to world record loads.

The Council of Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) recently released a comprehensive list of the world’s twisting tall buildings that are either completed or under construction. From Shanghai to Dubai, CNN takes a look at these spectacular spiralled skyscrapers, as well as some of the other tallest buildings in the world. This $1.23 billion construction project is, however, already 40 floors off the ground, with 212 left to build — it’s undeniably farther along than the Dubai Tower. But to think Dubai could finish first is not “as farfetched as it sounds”, according to Jason Gabel, communications manager for the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH). “The Dubai project is an observation tower, and therefore won’t require nearly as much lead time as a full-blown skyscraper,” Gabel tells CNN. “2020 is a real possibility for completion.” Because less than 50% of The Tower’s height is occupied by usable floor space, it is defined by the CTBUH as a “supported tower” rather than a “building”.

This technicality precludes The Tower from achieving the distinction of being the world’s tallest building. Rather, it would be the world’s tallest man-made structure, or tower, until the Jeddah Tower is completed.

Home to more than 65 high-rises over 656 feet (200m) tall and counting, Dubai has become synonymous with futuristic skyscrapers, and has been a pioneer of this in the Middle East.

“Historically, no Middle Eastern country has come close to building skyscrapers at the rate and height of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), but notable pockets of high-rise development are occurring in Qatar, Israel, and Saudi Arabia,” says Gabel. “The competitive situation we now see between Saudi Arabia and the UAE very unique.”

Dubai’s lofty intentions debuted in 1979, with the 39-story Dubai World Trade Center. It was the city’s first high rise, and the tallest building in the Middle East.

Subsequent iconic buildings, such as the Burj Khalifa and the Burj Al Arab, have given Dubai global notoriety.

“Height produces iconicity and visibility on a global stage,” says Gabel, explaining why Dubai has focused on building big. “Visibility is itself an asset that can have a positive impact on real estate valuation, investment flows, tourism numbers, and public identity.

“Put simply, structures like this are very expensive upfront, but the benefits of having the ‘tallest’ are often worth the trouble — as was the case with the Burj Khalifa.” 

Aric Chen, the design and architecture curator M+ visual culture museum in Hong Kong, tells CNN that for emerging economies a skyline can be a powerful communications tool.

“These soaring profiles are in many ways symbolic,” Chen tells CNN.

“Places like Dubai and, to some extent, places like China, are still trying to put themselves on the map and prove that they have arrived as modern global and technologically advanced nations.”

The rapid speed at which Dubai can throw up a mega-tower has not, however, escaped criticism. A series of fires in the past few years, including a blaze that tore through a luxury skyscraper on the Palm Jumeirah artificial island in Dubai this month — have called into question the quality of some towers, and their fire-proofing.

“Super tall buildings are not unproblematic and there are safety concerns,” says Chen.

Valls, however, is confident that The Tower will not succumb to such issues.

Rise of the glass giants: how modern cities are forcing skyscrapers to evolve

“Extensive studies were undertaken in preparation for the ground breaking, and the learning that we have gained from the experience will add to the knowledge base of mankind,” he said in a statement. Developers have installed multiple damper and shock absorption systems throughout the building, to ensure its stability.

They also completed a series of wind tunnel, climate and seismic tests analysing 12 scenarios across varying heights to check the behaviour of the building under stressful conditions. “We need to have a balanced and careful look at skyscrapers,” says Chen. “But they do serve to again push technologies and push what’s possible.

“We can certainly learn from that experimentation.”