The Dubai Frame

The Dubai Frame: facts and figures

Image credit: Alamy

A new visitor attraction in Dubai provides contrasting views of a city’s past, present and future.

Covered in gold-coloured stainless steel cladding, this eye-catching addition to the Dubai skyline opened to the public in February 2018 and is expected to attract millions of visitors each year.

The 50-storey structure, constructed from glass, steel and aluminium, is positioned so that landmarks of modern Dubai are seen when looking from one side and the older parts of the city from the other. Ticket-holders ascend one arm by lift before crossing a horizontal glass-walled ‘sky deck’ that gives 360-degree views across the city. The ground-level section hosts a museum with immersive 3D exhibits recounting Dubai’s transition from fishing village to global tourist destination. A Future Gallery depicts what the city might be like in 2050, with flying taxis, Hyperloop transport, 3D-printed buildings, drones and robots performing routine maintenance tasks.

The project hasn’t been without controversy. Architect Fernando Donis, who was responsible for Dubai’s Porsche Design Towers and the Dubai Renaissance Tower, won a 2009 competition to design a landmark promoting ‘the new face of Dubai’. He claims that after collecting the $100,000 prize, his involvement was limited to an advisory role and he was required to relinquish any intellectual property claims over the Frame.

Despite the building’s completion, he is still engaged in a legal dispute with the Municipality of Dubai regarding copyright ownership.

The Dubai Frame, again

Image credit: Alamy


Height of the Frame’s vertical sides


Length of the horizontal ‘sky deck’


Area of glass panel in the middle of the sky deck offering a 360-degree view over the city


Storeys tall


Price of adult ticket

Two million

Number of tourists the Dubai Municipality expects to visit each year


Visitors per hour


Switchable smart-glass panels in the floor of the bridge change from translucent to transparent as visitors walk across


Laminated glass used in construction


Number of giant hydraulic jacks that took two days to raise the central bridge, at a speed of 3.5mm per second


Elevators designed by ThyssenKrupp to take visitors to the top in a 75-second ascent


Cubic metres of concrete used in base and legs

2,000 tonnes

Steel used in construction

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