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16 April 2024

Abu Dhabi, Dubai projects among world's most exciting

By Parag Deulgaonkar

Two projects in the UAE have been listed among 2015's most exciting building projects by CNN.com, an international news website.

Louvre Abu Dhabi and Marina 101 in Dubai have been listed among the 13 buildings worldwide with Al Noor Tower in Casablanca, developed by Dubai-based Middle East Development, also finding place in the list.

Tourism Development & Investment Company, the master developer of major tourism, cultural and residential destinations in Abu Dhabi, has completed the full installation of the Louvre Abu Dhabi dome structure, which consists of 85 super-sized steel elements and weighs 7,000 tonnes.

Louvre Abu Dhabi will encompass 9,200 square metres of art galleries. Its 6,681-square-metre “Permanent Gallery” will house the museum's permanent collection taking the visitor through a journey from the most ancient to contemporary through art works from different civilisations. The “Temporary Gallery” will be a dedicated space of 2,364 square metres presenting exhibitions of international standards.

According to CNN, the developer has invested $600 million to build architect Jean Nouvel’s creation, a design apparently inspired by Arabic architecture’s characteristic “Cupola” domes.

Opening in December, the gallery will host masterpieces by Vincent Van Gogh, Andy Warhol, Claude Monet and Henri Matisse – the first time many will be shown in the Middle East.

In December, CNN.com named Abu Dhabi among its top 10 destinations for 2015. The emirate is ranked alongside other desirable locations including Milan, the Bahamian Coast and Downtown Los Angeles.

Marina 101

Marina 101 in Dubai Marina will reach 426 meters when finished making it the second tallest tower in Dubai after 828-meter Burj Khalifa.

The first 33 floors of the skyscraper will comprise a 300-room Hard Rock hotel, with residential apartments above. Sheffield Holding Limited, the developer, claims it will contain some of the most expensive penthouses in Dubai.

The tower was launched in June 2006 and covers a total built up area of 1.68 million square feet. There are nearly 480 furnished apartments with a restaurant on the 101th floor. It is now scheduled for completion in June 2015.

Dubai Marina is home to 14 out of the 20 current tallest buildings in the emirate, according to the Council for Tall Buildings and Urban Habit (CTBUH), with Marina 101 as the 34th tallest tower in the world.

Al Noor Tower

The title for Africa's tallest building hasn’t changed hands with Johannesburg's 232-meter tall Carlton Centre holding the title since 1973. This year, Middle East Development hopes to beat it by starting work on 540-meter Al Noor Tower.

432 Park Avenue

Towering 50 meters above the Empire State Building, the tallest residential tower in the western hemisphere will open its doors this year. Already topped out, the 426-meter 432 Park Avenue will feature 104 apartments with residences starting at $17 million and full floor penthouses reaching $82 million.

Vietnam Pavilion, Milan

Created by bamboo architect Vo Trong Nghia, Vietnam Pavilion, Milan will focuses on sustainability in 2015 World Expo in Milan. A 25 bamboo structures and a ring of water will surround the two-storey exhibition space at the heart of the pavilion.