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Al Habtoor Tower: Piercing the skies

In the heart of Dubai’s ever-evolving skyline, Al Habtoor Tower promises to stand tall, not only in height but in innovative practices as well

Al Habtoor Tower

A couple of months back, Al Habtoor Group announced the official launch of the highly anticipated Ultra Residences & Sky Villas at Al Habtoor Tower, situated at the very top of the tower, which aims to be among the tallest residential skyscrapers in the world.

Offering unparalleled 360-degree views of the Arabian Gulf, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai Canal, Business Bay, Burj Khalifa, and Meydan from floors 76 to 82, there is more to the tower beyond luxury finishes and high-speed elevators.

We explore the technicals.

Revolutionary foundations

The project spans 3,517,313ft2 across 81 floors in a G+7+73 configuration. Construction is set to be completed within 36 months. Engineers at Imperial College London, Seattle Structural PS Inc., and SETEC in France consulted on the project design. According to Al Habtoor Real Estate’s General Manager Ghalib Kharbash, investment in the project is estimated to be $544.7 million (AED2 billion).

Thomas Murdoch, the Deputy General Manager of Al Habtoor Real Estate and in charge of sales and marketing for this project, told CW Property Middle East that the tower is 345.1 metres in height, adding that China Railway 18th Bureau Group Ltd. is the main contractor on the project.

“My personal favourite part is the fact that it’s another landmark in Dubai,” said Murdoch. “No matter your preference of view or style of unit, it’s catered for within the tower.”

At the core of this architectural marvel lies its deep piling foundation. Driving 80m-deep barrettes and incorporating a plunge steel column reaching 15m in height, this approach allowed the contractor to commence superstructure construction immediately, shaving six months off construction time.

Al Habtoor Tower also uses a unique single-column barrette structure that boasts a carrying capacity of up to 22,000 tons. This structural innovation, developed by a local engineering firm affiliated with Al Habtoor Group, underwent rigorous validation through a detailed engineering peer review by international experts at Structural San Francisco, Imperial College London, and Terrasol Paris.

In a bid to emphasise sustainability, the project has used high-quality grade steel, leading to a reduced need for steel rebars, which results in a significant offset of carbon emissions. Al Habtoor aspires to attain LEED Platinum Certification for the project the highest accolade in green building rating systems worldwide and the latest buzzword in sustainability.

On that note, Murdoch emphasises efforts to make the all-glass building more sustainable, relying on air gaps between double- and single-glazed glass for greater insulation (“expect a 60% reduction in energy bills”) as well as soundproofing against sounds of the city’s arterial Sheikh Zayed Road.

Efficiency

Adopting the top-down construction method, in which the underground structure and superstructure are built simultaneously, has been described as a game-changer for this project, trimming a full year from the construction timeline.

This approach meant that 350,000m2 of built-up area was executed in 1,000 days. Implementing this approach enabled the retention of existing basement floors, leading to considerable time and cost savings. Construction could commence right above the ground surface after a short period, preserving existing parking floors in Al Habtoor City.

Incorporating high-grade steel and concrete into the project also allowed for a significant reduction in the size of columns and beams, which have been treated for fire safety and left exposed, resulting in more net usable space.

Unparalleled luxury and amenities

Beyond its structure, the Al Habtoor Tower is opulent and luxurious, in plain and simple words. The project boasts three amenity levels, and 18 passenger elevators operating at speeds of six and eight metres per second. This improves time efficiency by ensuring a minimal waiting time for residents and visitors.

The tower’s standout feature is its wraparound infinity pool—one of the longest in the world, that stretches to 285m along three sides of the building and offers 270-degree views of the Dubai skyline. All three amenity decks will offer 360-degree views.

Facilities include indoor and outdoor relaxation spaces, a luxurious spa, steam, and saunas, padel tennis courts, multiple gyms and fitness spaces, as well as a library and quiet spaces to work. Al Habtoor Tower will also be home to licensed cafes and restaurants in addition to event and networking rooms, and joins a neighbourhood of luxurious addresses in Al Habtoor City.

The upper floors hosting the Ultra Residences & Sky Villas are positioned at heights exceeding 300m, and offer panoramic views of the city. The Sky Villas consist of 16 units that, with their 3.8-metre ceiling height and unit merging options, each provide a unique view within the tower. Complete with private gyms, gardens, and infinity pools, these ultra-exclusive spaces are set to redefine convenience, luxury, and comfort.

A residential haven

With 1,619 keys spread across one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments, Al Habtoor Tower is in the running for having one of the largest residential area and the largest number of units in the region. The unit distribution includes 958 one-bedroom apartments, 574 two-bedroom apartments, and 87 three-bedroom apartments equipped with top-class Miele appliances, as per Murdoch.

As it gears up to pierce the Dubai skyline, Al Habtoor Tower will not only redefine the cityscape but also set a precedent for future high-rise constructions in the region.