On the 2nd of December this year, the United Arab Emirates will celebrate its 50th anniversary. It’s amazing to believe that in just 50 years, the country has achieved milestone after milestone when it comes to construction and architecture. In fact, it’s known as an epicentre of architectural excellence!
Let’s look at 8 of the most noteworthy historical buildings and projects that the UAE has developed since its establishment in 1971. Keep reading to see how the UAE has evolved over the years!
Sheikh Zayed Road (1990s)
Formerly known as Defence Road, the E11 started construction in 1971. It was later expanded in Dubai in the 1990s. This new part of the road was named Sheikh Zayed Road.
While its initial purpose was to pave the way for Dubai to expand to the south, the road now forms the main artery for some of the UAE’s main cities. It is 558.4 km in length, starting in Abu Dhabi and ending in Ras al-Khaimah.
Burj Al Arab (1994 – 1999)
The Burj Al Arab hotel in Dubai started construction in 1994 and was completed in 1999. To date, it remains one of the tallest hotels in the world!
The hotel, designed by architect Tom Wright, sits on an artificial island some 280m offshore of Jumeirah Beach. The building’s design resembles the spinnaker sail of a yacht and is well-known as one of the UAE’s most stunning architectural feats.
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque (1996 - 2007)
In Abu Dhabi, you can find the beautiful Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. The mosque is the largest in the United Arab Emirates.
This place of worship was the brainchild of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, a former president of the UAE. His intention was to marry the brilliance of architecture with the cultural diversity of the country. It is a testament to both art and the Islamic world.
Palm Jumeirah (2001 – 2006)
Palm Jumeirah, or “The Palm”, is an archipelago of artificial islands located off the coast of Dubai. Construction of The Palm started in 2001 and ended in 2006.
However, there are still plans to expand - both on and onto the islands. The Palm Jumeirah has a population of about 10 500, boasts over 30 hotels, and is a very popular tourist destination.
Emirates Palace (2001 – 2005)
The Emirates Palace is another magnificent UAE hotel, located in Abu Dhabi. The project launched in 2001 and opened its doors in 2005. It is the third most expensive hotel ever built.
British architect John Elliott designed the hotel with the aim of displaying both Islamic and modern architectural elements. The beautiful building consists of one central dome and 114 smaller domes. It hosts both guests and events.
Burj Khalifa (2004 – 2009)
Construction of the skyscraper Burj Khalifa started in 2004. Completed in 2009, it is still recorded as the tallest structure and building in the world.
The design of this impressive skyscraper is derived from Islamic architecture - and is almost 830 metres high! Inside the building, you can find a hotel, office spaces, apartments, a restaurant, a sky lobby, and observation decks.
Louvre Abu Dhabi (2009 - 2014)
The Louvre Abu Dhabi is an art museum on Saadiyat Island. It is the largest art museum in the Arabian peninsula and is named after the Louvre museum in France.
Construction started in 2009 and ended in 2014. Since then, the museum has attracted over 2 million visitors! It is the permanent home to artworks and exhibits like The Tower of Babel by Abel Grimmer and a fibula in the shape of an eagle from the Domagnano Treasure.
Office of the Future (2016)
Office of the Future in Dubai is a world first by Killa Design. It’s the first fully functional, permanently occupied 3D printed building on the planet. The Dubai Future Foundation has its offices here.
Built (or rather, printed) in 2016 using a 36m long 3D printer, it is made of concrete and only took 17 days to print. It is also the home of an exhibition space for future technologies.
In the UAE, the past 50 years have seen the construction of a number of architectural masterpieces. Our world is constantly changing and evolving, and construction is one of the main ways we can see this happening before our very eyes. The UAE certainly takes its projects to the next level and shows the brilliance that we can achieve.