DUBAI If you’ve driven past Jumeirah Beach Residence (JBR) lately you couldn’t have missed the two massive A-shaped steel frames that have risen up like a behemoth from the sea.
The gargantuan frames are actually the support structure for Dubai Eye, billed to be the world’s largest ferris wheel.
Coming up on Meras Holding’s Dh6-billion manmade Bluewaters Island off the coast of JBR, the Dubai Eye will rise nearly a staggering 690 feet, from the ground, dethroning the 550-foot High Roller in Las Vegas as the tallest in the world.
Even the New York Wheel, currently under construction on Staten Island, will be 60 feet shorter.
Ready to roll in about two years, the Dh1-billion attraction will offer spectacular views of iconic landmarks such as Burj Al Arab, Palm Jumeirah and Burj Khalifa from its 48 luxury capsules which are capable of holding up to 1,400 passengers at a time. An 80 metre digital screen mounted on the wheel will broadcast movies and interactive information.
The area around the ferris wheel will have an entertainment plaza featuring a bespoke souq, al fresco dining outlets, retail stores and a big hall where fresh food produce will be sold in a traditional market atmosphere.
Bluewaters Island will be home to a boutique five-star hotel and various residential options.
The project will have its own monorail system linked to a Metro station and a pedestrian bridge in JBR. There will be a cable car to bring people from the mainland to the entertainment plaza.
According to the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), a futuristic Dh475 million bridge with two lanes designated for a driverless electric car system will link the megaproject with Shaikh Zayed Road.
Fast facts on Dubai Eye
The $1.63 billion development is located 500 metres off the coast near JBR.
Once ready, Dubai Eye will suprass the 550-foot High Roller in Las Vegas as the world’s tallest ferris wheel.
Bluewaters Islands will include entertainment, hospitality and retail zones, and is forecast to attract over three million visitors annually.