The city of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates is full of surprises. The metropolis always has one or more fantastic projects in the works. We can still remember Emirati officials flaunting the most luxurious hotel, one with more stars than the universe itself: the Burj Al Arab hotel. Later, we heard of an artificial peninsula–Dubai Palm Islands–shaped like a palm tree. And let us not forget the artificial archipelago that reproduces the world map, or the world’s tallest building, Burj Khalifa.
Once again, Dubai announces the creation of a new megaproject. We are talking about the largest Ferris wheel in the world. Dubbed Dubai Eye, it is inspired by the London Eye in the British capital. Other exclusive international destinations.
The London Eye, also known as the Millennium Wheel, rises above the South Bank of the Thames in the London Borough of Lambeth. The Ferris wheel, built in 2000, was the largest of its kind in the world. More recently, the Star of Nanchang made its debut in May 2006 in the city of Nanchang, in eastern China, with a 535-feet tall observation wheel.
However, in 2008 the Singapore Flyer exceeded its height by 20 feet. Although there is no formal competition between cities for the highest Ferris wheel in the world, everyone wants to be number one. At the moment, the Dubai Eye is unrivalled and will surpass all others with a height of 688 feet.
We should note that Starneth Engineering, the firm responsible for building the Dubai Eye, also created the London Eye. The Dubai Eye should be completed in mid-2015 and will be the centerpiece of a new artificial island presently under construction. The new development, Bluewaters Island, is a $1.6 billion enterprise that will feature five theme parks, a shopping center as well as restaurants, bars and residential buildings. A highway will connect this artificial enclave to the city.
The Dubai Eye, expected to generate considerable revenue, is estimated to receive about three million visitors annually. The spectacular wheel will offer magnificent views of the coastline and other landmarks such as the Burj Al Arab, Palm Jumeirah and Burj Khalifa.
The wheels base will serve as a venue for special events, conferences and entertainment. One of its distinctive details is its large LED display, which —thanks to its innovative electronic platform—can be used for broadcasting, advertising and interactive information. Dubai Eye is expected to become a key attraction in the United Arab Emirates, further enhancing the local economy and becoming an essential destination for those who visit this Arab country. ■
Photos: Courtesy Dubai Media.