Abu Dhabi: This weekend, Abu Dhabi’s beloved Mina Zayed area will close in order to facilitate the demolition of Meena Plaza.
Four towers comprising 144 floors will be brought down in a controlled explosion that will last just 10 seconds. Ahmed Al Shaikh Al Zaabi, director of delivery at Modon — the master developer responsible for the demolition — told Gulf News that people in the vicinity will be able to hear a blast.
“With the help of our explosives specialists, we developed a noise vibration report to understand the impact the demolition would have on people and assets. Based on our report, we predict that the noise restricted area would extend to 1,100 metres around Mina Zayed. People within the area [will] hear an explosion-like blast,” Al Zaabi
In preparation for the demolition, the Department of Municipalities and Transport has announced that the port area will be closed from 7pm on Thursday, November 26, until 4pm on Friday, November 27. This will include the fish market, plant souq, Abu Dhabi Cooperative Society, carpet souq, the livestock market, the slaughterhouse and vegetable market. Authorities have urged customers to visit alternative locations for their planned purchases during this time.
Al Zaabi added that a number of procedures had already been completed ahead of the tower demolition, including drilling works, wrapping of columns, fencing installation, demolition of ancillary buildings, and utility protection.
“We have also completed the transportation and installation of explosive materials, in coordination with Abu Dhabi Police. Dust, noise and vibration analysis reports have also been issued, checked and verified [to convey the nature and impact of the project],” he added.
High safety levels
The planned ‘complete demolition by structural explosion’ was chosen for the project as it ensures a high level of safety. “Modon’s strategic plan guarantees maximum protection and security, not only for the local community and the workers, but also taking into account the environment. The approval of the action plan came after an assessment and risk analysis, which included reducing disturbance to the minimum level, as well as reducing the sound, vibration and dust,” Al Zaabi explained.
The demolition work is part of the second phase of redevelopment for Mina Zayed, the port area first established in 1972 that has become Abu Dhabi’s hub for seaborne trade. A master plan for the redevelopment, which will transform Mina Zayed into a tourist, commercial and residential centre, was completed in the first phase, including designs for a new fish market and the demolition of out-of-use outlets at the wharf. Three million square metres have been marked out for the port upgrade.
The third phase is scheduled to begin after the Meena Plaza demolition. Al Zaabi said the plans include a complete overhaul of the existing s, including the fish market and plant souq, and the addition of a new seasonal market. A new fruit and vegetable market, meat market, carpet souq, date souq and wholesale souq will also be established.
Master developer Aldar will also play a key role in the redevelopment, setting up prime land plots in a seafront destination that will span 1.5 million square metres.