Business | Construction

Pentominium reflects Dubai's soaring skyscraper ambitions

Construction of the 618-metre-tall Pentominium tower in Dubai Marina will boost investor confidence and help Dubai reinforce its position as a city with a large collections of skyscapers.

  • By Saifur Rahman, Business Editor
  • Published: 22:56 September 5, 2009
  • Gulf News

  • Image Credit: Supplied photo
  • When completed, the residential tower will host 120 floors above ground.
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Dubai: Construction of the 618-metre-tall Pentominium tower - one of the world's tallest man-made structures - in Dubai Marina will not only boost investor confidence, but also help Dubai reinforce its position as the city with one of the largest collections of skyscapers.

When completed, the residential tower will host 120 floors above ground. Designed by architects Aedas and funded by developers Trident International Holdings (TIH), the project is expected to be completed in 48 months.

According to reports, Dubai currently has 390 completed high-rises, with 321 more under construction, and 551 planned.

In addition, Dubai is expected to be the site of more buildings with 100 floors or more than any other city in the world by 2015. Some of these supertall buildings include Burj Dubai (162 floors), The Pentominium (120 floors), Burj Al Alam (108 floors), Marina 101 (101 floors), Princess Tower (107 floors) and the now on-hold Nakheel Harbour Tower (more than 200 floors, 1.4 kilometres). This far outpaces other leading metropolises in terms of towers with more than 100 habitable floors.

No city other than Dubai and Chicago hosts more than one supertower. Chicago has two - the 108-storey Sears Tower and the 100-storey John Hancock Centre. A third, the 118-floor 7 South Dearborn tower, is under construction.

The city of Dubai has 53 buildings under planning, development and construction that stand taller than 180 metres, and 44 buildings stand taller than 200 metres. Only Hong Kong and New York City are ahead of Dubai in highrises taller than 200 metres with 52 and 50 high-rises respectively.

By the end of 2010, Dubai will have more than 80 high-rises taller than 200 metres However, by the end of 2008, Dubai had already built nine high-rises whose heights exceed 300 metres; in comparison, Hong Kong and Chicago have six.

Wazir Daredia, Executive Director and CEO of Trident International Holdings, told Gulf News, "Pentominium is a unique project that escalates the concept of luxury living to new heights and with construction major ACC [Arabian Construction Company] on board, the project has joined an exquisite bouquet of brand partnerships we have forged for the development. ACC is one of the leading players and their portfolio of accomplished and ongoing projects speaks volumes about their expertise and creditability.

"Following completion of probably the world's most challenging enabling works, which involved pilings up to a record 65 metres to support approximately 3,500 square metres of footprint area and installation of approximately 250 piles by the world's leading enabling company - Swissboring - ACC has mobilised to take over the Pentominium development programme with a value of $400 million (Dh1.47 billion)."

The Pentominium will be the tallest all-residential building in the world upon completion and it currently has the highest projected height of any residential building under construction, according to Aedas.

"It is expected to be 8 metres taller than the 150-storey Chicago Spire, which is on hold in Chicago. The Pentominium is projected to be the second-tallest building in the world after the Burj Dubai," the company's website says.

The word Pentominium has been derived from two words - penthouse and condominium. Each living space will have its own foyer and smart biometric access control.

Every apartment will consist of either a half or a whole floor (more than 600 square metres).

ACC has been assigned the construction contract to build the project, TIH announced yesterday.

"With a strong pedigree of iconic projects under its belt, ACC also boasts solid expertise in high-rises, with structures such as Princess Tower (414 metres), Elite Residence (380 metres), Rose Tower (333 metres) and The Westin Hotel. ACC came across as the natural winner and choice," Daredia said.

The partnerships for Pentominium include the world-renowned Italian luxury brand Salvatore Ferragamo which is doing a select few Salvatore Ferragamo branded penthouses in which other brands such as Rolls Royce, Swarovski, Bang and Olufsen, Tiffany and Co, Damas, Quintessentially, Davidoff, Azimut Yachts and Six Senses Resort and Spas are other strategic utility providers.

"It is the first time that these brands have lent their name to a realty proposition. They would be providing niche offerings from their respective portfolios to the exclusive Pentominium residents. Noor Islamic Bank which maintains the escrow management for the Pentominium is also the banker to the project," Daredia said.

Trident remains the only private developer with the highest project announced to delivery ratio. Trident has delivered four towers out of the six announced with the fifth racing to be delivered in the fourth quarter of this year.

"In the current market dynamics and new world order, deliverables will be the measure of success," Daredia said.

This is expected to boost investor confidence, analysts say.

"The Pentominium was launched as a niche product. Its developer has developed customers for such a luxury niche product. It's a very good sign," property analyst Sudhir Kumar, managing director of Realtors International, told Gulf News.

"With this, Dubai is reinforcing its position as a global centre for development and growth. It proves that mistakes could be corrected even in times of economic recession. The private sector is playing its role in realising the government's development vision."

Tarek Ramadan, chairman of Tharaa Holding, said, "It's definitely good news and will help boost investor confidence, especially at a time when developers have been shelving projects. This is one private developer which is showing that one could withstand the pressures of economic crisis. With building material costs down, Trident has also managed to lower construction costs significantly, which will help it to manage construction better."

ACC is renowned for its credentials in working fast track across the segments in which it operates including infrastructure and civil construction, turnkey contracting, value engineering.

Hassan Auji, General Manager of ACC, said, "This assignment further endorses ACC's passion for developing quality projects throughout the Middle East and consistently demonstrates its ability to deliver to the highest of expectations."

Trident has engaged Hyder Consulting for structural engineering, cladding and glass curtain wall, vertical transportation, etc.

"The Pentominium Tower will be a reminder to future generations of Trident's ambition and vision together with ACCs construction and organisational skills and capabilities. "We have mobilised a team of our top high-rise experts to start planning this challenging project," Auji added.

The design aim is to provide the most luxurious apartments in the world, with each residence having access to a 24-hour-a-day butler service.

Trident has also secured deals with external companies to ensure owners can make use of a Rolls-Royce or high-end sports car of their choice, and sailing trips on luxury yachts in the Gulf.

The top floors of the Pentominium will contain a Sky Lounge, Sky Pool, Business Centre and a private observation deck along with health clubs and a cigar lounge, squash courts, a banqueting hall and private theatre.

The history of Dubai skyscrapers

The history of skyscrapers in Dubai began with the construction of the 149-metre Dubai World Trade Centre in 1979, which is regarded to be the first skyscraper in the city. At the time of its completion, it was the tallest building in the Middle East.

Since 1999, and especially from 2005 onwards, Dubai has been on an extremely large skyscraper building boom, with all 28 of its buildings over 200 metres tall completed after 1999.

Dubai currently has 390 completed high-rises, but that number is increasing every year. With 321 highrises under construction, and 551 planned highrises, Dubai's skyline is rapidly changing. In addition, Dubai is expected to be the site of more buildings with 100 floors or more than any other city in the world by 2015.

It will also have the biggest number of high-rises taller than 200 metres, surpassing New York City and Hong Kong.

The largest and arguably the most famous construction project currently taking place in Dubai is the Burj Dubai, which began construction in 2004.

The Burj Dubai is now topped out and is the tallest building, freestanding structure and man-made structure of any kind ever built on the planet. The Burj Dubai topped out on January 17, 2009 at 818 metres and it became the tallest free-standing structure in the world on September 12, 2007, surpassing the 553-metre CN Tower in Toronto, Canada.

The building also surpassed the height of Taipei 101, the current tallest building in the world, on July 21, 2007.

However, as only completed structures are measured as buildings, Burj Dubai will not officially gain the title of tallest building in the world until its completion this year.

The proposed Nakheel Harbour Tower is another extremely tall development planned for construction in Dubai. Set to rise at least 1,400 metres in height, with 200 floors, this building would surpass the Burj Dubai to become the tallest structure in the world if constructed.
- Staff Report

Definition: No norms

A skyscraper is a tall, continuously habitable building. There is no official definition or height above which a building may clearly be classified as a skyscraper. Most cities define the term empirically; even a building of 80 metres may be considered a skyscraper if it protrudes above its built environment and changes the overall skyline of the city.
-Staff Report

Highest height: Records

The Pentominium will be the tallest all-residential building in the world upon completion and it currently has the highest projected height of any residential building under construction. It is expected to be eight metres taller than the 150-storey Chicago Spire, which is on hold in Chicago. The Pentominium is projected to be the second-tallest building in the world after Burj Dubai.
- Staff Report

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