A City Framed

Dubai, a country that is home to mammoth sized structures, extravagant facilities and magnificent skyscrapers. This is a nation that has been enticing visitors from across the world who are drawn to its shores to imbibe its grandeur and experience the myriad of its feats and achievements.

What better way to show off its extravagance than to frame it? That’s pretty much what the team at Donis Design in collaboration with the Dubai Municipality did. Rising 150 meters from Zabeel Park, Dubai Frame is “The World’s Largest Picture Frame” that overlooks the entire city and is worth Dhs 160 million.

The city’s latest landmark features two transparent towers; each of which is 150 meters tall and are connected by a bridge extending up to 93 meters in length. The distinctive architecture of the building allows visitors to savour a 360 degrees’ view of both old and new Dubai. On one side, the structure frames the iconic landmarks on Shaikh Zayed Road like Burj Khalifa, Emirates Towers and the Dubai Fountain to name a few. While on the other side, the visitors are given a contrasting glimpse of ‘old Dubai’ with the views of Deira, Umm Hurair and Karama.

The Dubai Frame was conceptualized to offer panoramic views of the skyline while framing the city’s breathtaking backdrop and awe-inspiring coastline. The design was selected as the winner of the 2009 ThyssenKrupp Elevator International Award from 926 proposals where participants from all over the world were invited to submit an emblem that would promote “the new face for Dubai”. The project is an undertaking of Dubai Tourism. On ultimately winning the prize, Fernando Donis, the principal architect at Donis Design, decided to frame the city that is “already full of emblems”. So instead of building a massive structure, the purpose of his proposal was to build a void of 150 meters by 105 meters to cautiously frame the development of the past, current and future Dubai.

 The frame is fabricated out of glass, steel, aluminium and reinforced concrete. While the construction commenced in 2013, it opened for the general public on 1st January 2018. Apart from the views at the Sky Deck; the frame also comprises a Dubai Past Gallery that describes the project and tells the story of city’s evolution, a Dubai Future Gallery that is supported by augmented reality activated screens, by which the visitors can identify buildings and landmarks and a glass floor 48 floors above the ground waits for the brave, a Social Media Wall and a Souvenir shop to engage its visitors. 

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