In Dubai the most imaginative tourist attraction in the world has been inaugurated, a huge painting that frames the future and the past of the territory.
Thanks to the fusion of architecture and tourism, Dubai has become one of the most popular cities in the world and a gigantic contemporary amusement park. As a frame shows, no button. Specifically, the largest frame ever built, one that places the modern city on one side and the old part on the other. We talk about the Dubai Frame, and yes, it is visitable.
This monument of colossal proportions is located in Zabeel Park, a family park of 47.5 hectares, which makes it one of the largest in the region. This park has the badge of being the first technological park in the gulf, although the best are its 3,000 palm trees and more than 7,000 trees of 14 different species. The park is divided into different sections, all connected by pedestrian bridges. Through door number four you can access (upon payment) a… a photo frame that you cannot put at home!
The design of this unique construction was generated by an international competition generated by the German elevator company ThyssenKrupp Elevator and the local administration in 2009. It should be noted that a whopping 926 design proposals were submitted to the contest, which makes it more meritorious the triumph of Mexican architect Fernando Donis, who based his idea that “Dubai is a city full of emblems. Instead of adding another, we propose to frame them all: frame the city.” Very well thought.
Since January this year (2018), it is open to the public with great expectation and managers expect to attract two million visitors a year, a figure of vertigo. How vertigo are its dimensions: 150 meters high and 93 meters wide, by which you can climb to the cusp through Thyssenkrupp elevators, of course, and have 360-degree views while stepping on a 25-square-meter glass pavement that will put you the creeps.
The total surface area of the structure (for number lovers) is 7,145 square meters, the facade consists of 2,500 modules of laminated glass with golden yellow color (simulating gold) and half a square meter, which filter ultraviolet and infrared radiation , preventing the greenhouse effect and providing great energy savings.
But the impressive framework of Dubai is not just a viewpoint, on the ground floor it houses a museum that shows the region’s past through exhibitions and presentations. It has 3D active screens where visitors will enjoy the environment as they would never have imagined and, at the other end, an impressive display of lights and sound effects will guide you through a vortex that simulates a time travel from the present to the future of Dubai.
Construction began in 2013 and ended in December 2017, just in time for its inauguration on the first day of the year. Its opening hours are from 9 in the morning to 9 in the afternoon and it costs 50 dirhams (11.37 euros) for adults and 20 (4.55 euros) for children, yes, those over 60 will be able to climb for free. The capacity is 1,800 people a day although they can get more, according to the organization, due to the exhaustive control they have of visitors at all times.
The real estate company Emaar Development is responsible for the management of this recreational center, which manages the At The Top in the Burj Khalifa (the tallest building in the world for now) or the Dubai Aquarium, among others. The ‘building’ has 46 floors high, its main structure is reinforced concrete at the base and sides, and metal trusses on the cusp or roof. The sides have elevators and stairwells.
However, everything has not been a path of roses, the architect Fernando Donis filed a lawsuit against the local administration to understand that the contract of the contest had been violated, performing the work without counting on him in the execution. Thus, the design of the Mexican was modified in part, changing the white and unadorned facade for the decorative coating imitating gold … Donis does not get angry, but I like this version more. However, nowadays both the architect’s website and that of the tourist attraction meet him as what he is: the creator.
Tripadvisor users are delighted with the picture, so much that 86 percent rate it as very good or excellent. They emphasize how “amazing” it is to see the two faces of the city: the vertiginous city of today and the old town with its historic buildings, knowing what is expected of the city by 2050 and its humble past as a fishing village. In addition, many visitors believe that it is best to enjoy the picture at night, when thousands of led lights (always led) denote their silhouette with different colors.
And that they probably do not know that the total cost was 50 million euros, which to create the work used three different formwork solutions: the ACS self-climbing formwork with which the Santiago Calatrava auditorium was made; the VARIO wall formwork used in the four towers of Madrid, and TRIO panel formwork, with which the Marqués de Riscal Hotel was built, all the formwork of the PERI company.
The aerial bridge or upper part of the construction weighs 3,000 tons and supports on slabs of 1.4 meters thick that protrude 3.5 meters in cantilever, allowing loads to be transmitted horizontally through steel trusses and thus guaranteeing sustainability of the most important element of all: users. It doesn’t seem like a bad place to visit if we approach the most famous Emirates of the world, right?