The United Arab Emirates has experienced rapid development through the building and construction of and skyscrapers (Abravanel, 2001). Just over 10 years ago, downtown Dubai did not have many buildings. The streets were open and the area was verse. However, from the beginning of the new millennium, Dubai has experienced rapid construction of new buildings and skyscrapers that have been constructed using the latest technology and expertise (Bidgoli, 2004). It is now quite difficult to compare the look of the old city with that of the new one. Buildings such as Burj Al Arab, Burj Khalifa and the Abu Dhabi Central Market are just bit examples of buildings that have been constructed recently giving the UAE a whole new look.
This paper will focus on two buildings in the United Arab Emirates; The Dubai Mall and the Abu Dhabi Central Market. It will critically analyze the differences and similarities of these two buildings. It will also focus on the cost that was incurred to construct the buildings, their qualities, size (in terms of area), height, the materials, methods and equipment used in the process of construction, the time it took to construct the buildings and their ages. All these factors will be critically analyzed in this paper in order to get an in-depth understanding of the architecture and construction of these two buildings.
Architecture and Construction
These two buildings have been constructed using the latest technology, tools, materials and techniques that are available (Herczog, 2011). The owners, architects and contractors have astonished the world by taking building and construction to a completely new level. They have faced astonishing challenges, overcome setbacks and applied their innovations coupled with the use of the latest technology and skills to give out desirable results that have amazed not only the people of UAE but the entire world. The two structures that will be discussed in this paper have gained the same recognition and respect all around the world.
As stated earlier, The Dubai Mall is one of the latest and most creative buildings in terms of construction and architecture in the United Arab Emirates. The mall is located in downtown Dubai, next to the worlds tallest building, Burj Khalifa (Nambiar, 2008). The total cost of construction is estimated to be around $20 billion. The building has been rated as the largest mall in the whole world. It has a total retail floor area of 3.7 million square feet, over 12 million square feet total area and a height of 629 feet (Ahmed, 2009). This size is nearly equivalent to fifty football fields. the interior finishing of the mall is superb. It is fitted with an indoor aquarium and an underwater zoo. It also has a fashion avenue that is about 440,000 square feet and several theatres, fast-food restaurants and other entertainment facilities (Gillespie, 2010).
Fig. 1: Dubai Mall
Construction of the building began on 4th May 2004 and lasted for four years. It was completed and opened to the public on 4th November 2008 (Jones, 2010). The building is now approximately three years old. However, the building had been delayed on two occasions due to technical difficulties. It was initially expected to be completed in 2006. Despite this, the 2008 completion was successful and on opening, the mall had over 600 retailers and received over 750,000 visitors daily. Built on the worlds tallest building, the mall and the larger building have a height of 700 meters and 160 floors (Sofroniou, 2010).
The main materials that were used in the construction were concrete and steel. The main structural system consisted of three subsystems namely: the lateral load resisting system, the floor framing system and the foundation system (Abdelrazaq et al, 2008). The lateral load resisting system was constructed mainly with the use of reinforced concrete ductile walls at the mechanical levels. The floor framing system consisted of flat framing slabs that span at least 9 meters between the exterior column and the interior walls. The foundation system was also made up of concrete slabs. By the end of construction, the building had used over 13, 550 tonnes of steel; more than what was used to construct the Eiffel Tower (Salvendy, 2009). These were the basic materials and methods that were used in the construction of the building.
On the other hand, the Abu Dhabi Central Market is still under construction. The first phase of the project has just been completed. The construction is a development that will have multiple uses once completed. The project comprises the construction of three megastructures; The Domain, Trust Tower and (Adam, 2010). The tallest of these three towers will be 382 meters long (Adam, 2010). This will be the tallest building in Abu Dhabi. However, as compared to Burj Khalifa where the Dubai Mall is situated, this building is relatively shorter.
The Central Market
Fig. 2: The Central Market
Construction of the building is being done in three phases. The first phase was the construction of the central market. This phase was completed in the last quarter of the year 2010 (PERIM, 2011). The tower is thus barely less than one year old. This tower was constructed on the Arabian Souk and covers an area of 14,500 square meters. This building was constructed using the latest technology. It is one of the many projects in Abu Dhabi that has been constructed using environmentally friendly technology. The materials that were used in the construction of these buildings.
The construction of both modern and traditional methods of architecture. Like the Dubai Mall, the Central Market tower was constructed using a mixture of steel and concrete. However, the roof, the ceiling and the walls of the building have been constructed in a remarkable manner. The roof and ceilings are retractable. This aimed at improving the lighting of the building while using natural sources of energy, which in this case is the sun. As a result, visibility in the building has been improved and at the same time, the energy consumption has been reduced (The National, 2011).
The Dubai Mall The Central Market
Stakeholders Emaar Properties Aldar Properties
Contractors Turner International (contractor)
Samsung, Korea base contractor;
Besix, Belgium base contractor; and Arabtec, Dubai base
Foster and partners (contractor)
Halvorson and Partners, , BDSP Partnership, DPA Lighting Consultants, Emmer Pfenninger and Partners, Lerch Bates and Associates, Systematica, Warrington Fire (subcontractors)
Problems during construction The sandy nature of the soil made the setting of the foundation to be difficult No major problems have come up so far
Similarities These projects were constructed in UAE using the latest technology. They are used for accommodation, shopping, offices and entertainment.
The contractors had a duty of gathering the labor force, materials and equipment and ensuring that the project is completed on time.
For the last two decades, there has been a lot of building and construction in the United Arab Emirates. This has led to the emergence of high-quality buildings that have been constructed using the latest technology. The Dubai Mall in Dubai and the Central Market in Abu Dhabi are examples of recently constructed buildings in the region. Both of these buildings have been constructed using the latest technology and are used for shopping, accommodation and recreation. However, some differences were also identified in the manner of construction. While the Dubai Mall (Burj Khalifa) was constructed using normal materials and equipment, Central Market was constructed using materials that are environmentally friendly. These materials reduce the use of manmade energy sources thus minimising the carbon emissions in the atmosphere. Construction projects should therefore adopt this trend to ensure that we have a clean and safe environment as we experience infrastructural development.