New observation wheel planned for UAE's Bluewaters Island

A new observation wheel has been planned for UAE's Bluewaters Island.
A new observation wheel has been planned for UAE's Bluewaters Island.

A new project on Bluewaters Island, adjacent to the Jumeirah Beach coastline near Dubai, is promising a revolutionary up-in-the-air experience for visitors.

An observation wheel known as “Ain Dubai” or “Dubai-I” will bring guests over 120 meters up into the air for stunning panoramic views of the Dubai skyline and local areas.

A Dubai company called Meraas, known for its innovative real estate designs, brought pieces of the observation wheel structure, a hub and spindle, from the Dubai mainland out to Bluewaters Island, where cranes with booms 180 meters long are deployed to set up the apparatus, which weighs nearly 2,000 tons. 

Soon, those with access will be able to get a real “bird’s eye view” of a Persian Gulf topography that’s becoming a cosmopolitan, global destination for both business and entertainment, a city that’s constantly getting updated with new luxury hotels, resorts, restaurants and other attractions.

“Once completed, Ain Dubai will emerge as an engineering masterpiece, the first of its kind in the industry and a truly spectacular must-visit attraction, adding a unique experience and vantage point to the list of things to do in Dubai,” Meraas Chief Projects Officer Omar Delawar said in a press statement. “Ferris wheels and observation wheels offer the gentle thrill of being conveyed up in the air and have fascinated people for several hundred years. Our iconic attraction heralds a new era in the world of entertainment and will introduce the unforgettable option of viewing Dubai from the skies.”

In a recent interview with Gulf News Journal, Meraas spokesperson Brian Schofield elaborated on project details.

“Ain Dubai will offer a unique experience and is unlike any other structure of its kind,” Schofield told Gulf News Journal. “To achieve this, there are a number of very important features that go into developing a structure of this magnitude … the talented team of international consultants have constantly been required to push engineering boundaries by the use of pioneering techniques and technology to provide an unparalleled experience and iconic structure.”

Schofield said Ain Dubai will be surrounded by dedicated retail, residential, hospitality and entertainment zones. Guests will get up into the wheel through a terminal building with various other attractions and amenities for visitors.

The architecture and engineering of this project, Schofield said, was a truly international one. Structural engineers from the Netherlands collaborated with consultants from the U.K. and the U.S., as well as Germany and other nations.

“We have engineers and project managers working from more than 25 countries on the project,” Schofield said. 

As for the specific height, the details are still being worked out.

“We will be sure to communicate further details in due time,” Schofield said. “However, Ain Dubai will be the largest and tallest observations wheel in the world.”

With so much development happening around the Jumeirah Beach area, the wheel will likely prove a popular spot for guests wanting a quick jaunt away from lower vistas, as Dubai’s tourist inflow continues.