They say that in Dubai nobody does things by halves. And, at least from the point of view of the numbers, that opinion does not seem to be misguided. In the city of wonders, almost any inauguration carries a record as a surname. And the race is frantic, without pause. In spring we saw the new tallest outdoor infinity pool in the world. At the beginning of summer we learned that the deepest pool in the world was inaugurated, in which a submerged city has been recreated. And in autumn, on October 21, the tallest Ferris wheel in the world, 250 meters “from the ground to the top of the tallest cabin,” will join the party, according to the official version.
The project of Ain Dubai was born in 2013, although the first stone was not laid until 2015. Since then, six years of dreams as great as difficulties have passed, especially the pandemic and the delay of Expo 2020. Now, the great exhibition and the great Ferris wheel will open to the public practically at the same time, in October. On day 1, the Expo. The 21st, the Ferris wheel.
Ain Dubai is the new largest and tallest Ferris wheel in the world, with those 250 meters that leave in ‘little thing’ the 135 of the famous London Eye, in London (2000), or the 167.6 of the less popular High Roller, in Las Vegas (2014). Following the success of London, many other cities planned similar proposals, although some have never been carried out. The one in Singapore, which was completed, reached 165 meters in 2008. This new device that is now presented in society, with unobstructed views of the Dubai Marina, the Burj Al Arab hotel-sail or the Burj Khalifa building, have 48 cabins with capacity to transport 1,750 visitors on every trip.
The Ferris wheel stands as a challenge at one end of Bluewaters, an artificial island in which there are hotels and restaurants, which has complicated the work even more. The four legs rest on as many 35-meter pillars, which pierce the rock under the water. According to its technical managers (some of them worked on the London Eye), the structure has been designed to be earthquake- or hurricane-proof.
However, the figures for Ain Dubai are difficult to imagine or visualize, as is the case with huge amounts of money. For example: in the structure have been used 11,200 tons of steel, approximately 33% more than the amount used at the time in the Eiffel Tower. And another one: the Ferris wheel and the cabins have a combined weight of 7,500 tons, supported by 192 radios – each of which is made up of 107 high-resistance 9mm thick cables – designed for a safe and useful life of at least sixty years.
The cabins are 30 square meters and each wheel rotation takes 38 minutes. And the tickets, which are already on sale, cost about 30 euros. That is the simplest version, a normal tourist trip, but from there dozens of possibilities and celebrations are planned inside the Ferris wheel, from private dinners (a couple of turns of the Ferris wheel) to birthdays or events. In fact, its creators speak of the Ferris wheel as a ‘celebration destination’, with 19 booths dedicated to these experiences (up to 19 different ones).
The first Ferris wheel was built in 1893 for the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago. At the end, he was transferred to St. Louis to guide another ‘expo’. It was finally demolished in 1906. It was 80.4 meters high.