Dubai's World’s tallest twisted tower buys airspace

Infinity Tower (Imre Solt)

Cayan Tower, formerly known as Infinity Tower, in Dubai Marina is the world’s tallest tower with a 90-degree twist. But that's not all, there is something more peculiar to this tower.

Due to the rotation of the tower, Saudi-based Cayan Investment and Development, in fact, paid to buy airspace, Emirates 24|7 can reveal.

Click to see gallery of View from top of world's tallest twisted tower in Dubai

“Due to the rotation of the building some of the façade is hanging over, which means that in this building some of the façade is outside the footprint of the building,” Dr Montasser El Raie, Senior Resident Engineer, Khatib & Alami, project consultant’s for the tower, told this website.

“… and that’s why the client [developer] had to pay fees for occupied airspace outside the plot limit. We never pay for the airspace, but in this building you actually have to pay because you are going outside of the plot limit. There is a hangover of seven to eight metres for which the client had to pay fees.”

Façade cleaning

For cleaning of the tower's facade, there are two methods used: one is called Building Management Unit (two tailor-made BMU systems have been imported from Spain) wherein they use a machine suspended from the roof carrying two people and takes about three months and the other one is called ‘abseiling’ wherein 18-20 people use rope access and this takes about three weeks.

A Cayan spokesperson said:  “The building façade will be cleaned at least four times a year as it is very important as to maintain the beauty of such a landmark tower.”

When asked about the safety precautions in place for the cleaners, the spokesperson added: “As a standard precaution, of course, each cleaner wears a harness and safety helmet. But in addition to this, the building's fire alarm is linked to the machine so in case of emergency it will get them to evacuate immediately and keep them away from harm.”

According to El Raie, the tower’s exterior has about 3,000 stainless steel brackets to aid in keeping the cradles in place.

“For the cleaning we had to find a system that will enable the workers to clean the facade in a safe manner. Since the façade is vertical and inclined in the same time, cleaners will to have pull themselves back to the façade so we have fixed 3,000 stainless steel brackets that will enable the cleaners to keep the cradle locked in one place."

Another challenge was how to make the apartments more pleasant for residents as the rotation had led to each slab penetration at different location.

Simply said, in a conventional building, one finds the bathroom and kitchen one above the other in all floors.

“We had a problem of coordination because every slab is a little bit rotated (1.08 degree) in comparison to the slab below. And so all penetrations in the slab above come in different locations from the slab below.

“Due to the rotation of the tower, the penetration from the slab above comes in the living area or bedroom below, which is very abnormal so we had to find a technical solution to conceal these kind of penetrations.”

Cayan Tower

  • The tower is 310-metre high with 75 storeys
  • It has 495 apartments (studios to penthouses)
  • Construction started in 2006 and was finished in 2013
  • It has seven high-speed lifts (eight metres per second)
  • It has six underground basements
  • Total steel reinforcement grade used is 25,000 tonnes
  • Depth of excavation is 27 metres