The largest and tallest Ferris wheel in the world located in Dubai has completed half of its construction stage, Gulf News reported. The installation of the fifth of the eight 107-metre sections of the wheel’s rim was confirmed on Wednesday by Meraas. Ain Dubai, as the wheel is named, when completed will be the tallest observation wheel in the world standing 210 metres tall, towering easily over the 167-metre high roller coaster in Las Vegas and the planned 190 metre high Ferris wheel in Staten Island, New York.
The wheel is being made by developers Meraas on their Bluewaters project which is an artificial island just off the Jumeirah Beach residence coastline near Dubai Marina. The wheel, when completed, will give give a spectacular 360 degree bird’s eye view of the Dubai city, coast line and the Persian Gulf’s blue waters.
The Gulf news report quoted Abdulla Al Habbai, group chairman at Meraas, as saying: “Ain Dubai reflects our ambition of creating new destinations that contribute to His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, vision of a city where people are encouraged to create, explore and enjoy. The destination is designed to bring people together from around the world and will enhance Dubai’s reputation as a leading choice for business and leisure travellers. It also embodies the pioneering and innovative nature of a city that has pushed the boundaries of modern engineering.”
The hub and spindle of the imposing structures were installed last year and it is expected to have around 9,000 tonnes of steel. Just to bring into perspective, Eiffel Tower wasn’t made with steel but with puddling iron which was a precursor to steel in construction technology. Around 7,000 tonnes of puddling iron was used to build the Eiffel Tower which is, by weight, 2,000 tonnes less than the Ain Dubai.
“The assembly of the rim at Bluewaters is one of the most exciting phases in the construction of Ain Dubai, as it marks the arrival of the centrepiece of the island and another addition to Dubai’s impressive skyline – one that creates a new meeting point for the city and economy, as well as an open place for people to share many new experiences together,” the report quoted Omar Delawar, chief projects officer at Meraas.
He added: “With the first five sections of the wheel rim already connected to the hub, two winch devices have been fitted to rotate the wheel in a way that will allow Ain Dubai to receive the sixth, and subsequent sections of the wheel rim. Each rim section weighs roughly the same as two Airbus A380 aircraft and must be rested on five temporary support structures connected to the hub, as well as two 115-metre spokes.”