Dubai opened its newest attraction today which is a huge feat of engineering. The Ain Dubai observation wheel is the tallest in the world by a huge margin. Standing at 250 meters tall, room for 1750 people and one full turn will take 36 minutes to complete. Build on the new waterfront you will get a very good view of the Arabian Gulf and Dubai. Mind you that the London Eye “only” stands at 135 meters tall. The now second largest observation wheel is just 167.5 meters tall and is called the Las Vegas High Roller.
More than 10 countries worked together to build this masterpiece of engineering, The Netherlands, France, and the United Kingdom contributed the most regarding their knowledge and building expertise. The pieces of the wheel were constructed in the EAE, Germany, and South Korea. The name Ain Dubai means: Eye of Dubai and took over 8 years to plan and construct.
Taking engineering to its limits, building the Ain Dubai was no easy feat. Before the wheel could support its own weight without collapsing on itself, the builders had to construct a temporary structure and add the steel beams rotating the wheel. This whole process took over 6 months. The four legs themselves are 126 meters tall and were hard to keep them standing while the spindle needed to be added. The spindle itself tied everything together.
The cabins are also very interested as they turn themselves as the wheel turns but counterclockwise. Making the cabins extremely stable. Sheikh Hamdan (The crown prince of Dubai) even proved this by sipping a coffee on top of one of the cabins.
The cabins have room for 40 people
Each cabin has room for 40 people, with a total of 48, so at one time 1750 people could be on the ride. Every cabin has a luxurious design and air conditioning aboard as it can be quite hot in Dubai. The whole wheel is also painted white. Painting pieces black would cause some materials to shrink too much which could be dangerous for the observation wheel. A whole turn takes 36 minutes. The whole cost of the project is 1,6 billion USD. Dubai wants to attract more tourists because they know that one day their oil will be dried up. So why not add another crazy tourist attraction?
Tickets are available and starting at 130EAD (35 dollars), for sunset views you would pay 180EAD (49 dollars) and for a whole private cabin, you would pay 1800EAD (490 dollars) and with a possible upgrade which would cost you 4700AED (1280 dollars). The whole experience itself will take you around 1 hour, in the building itself there is also a small museum regarding the construction.
In the videos below you can see how it was constructed and also take a look inside of the cabin and the amazing 360-degree view It offers. If I am ever in Dubai, this observation wheel would be on my list for sure.