November 12, 2008 The latest in a long-list of architectural wonders planned for Dubai's skyline, the Anara Tower is a 125-storey modern interpretation of the Minaret that will soar to almost 2000 feet and provide five million square feet of mixed use space including four sky gardens, a major Art Gallery, residential, retail and office space as well as a boutique 5 star hotel. Designed by UK based Atkins Designs Studio, the visually stunning skyscraper will become the new global HQ for developer Tameer Holding Investment, which already boasts an impressive real-estate portfolio including the Princess Tower, Eye-Park and the Podium, a recently announced tower that will incorporate the world's largest LED screen.
The project will be amongst the world's tallest structures when complete and along with the 250 room hotel and palatial penthouses - at least one of which will include a private elevator and a private pool - aims to retain a focus on arts and culture both in its form and through a permanent gallery, public art installations and facilities to host periodic auctions.
"Anara™ is not only a masterpiece in its own right, it is designed to enhance the well being of all residents and it is destined to become the most coveted address in Dubai," said Ghassan Sakhnini, CEO of TAMEER. "Anara represents the future of what is already the most future-forward metropolis in the world"
The process for choosing the design began with an international competition and ended up pitting three architects from the same firm against each other. Atkins was initially chosen from a global field, but Tameer decided they wanted a second internal contest, eventually choosing the design by the company's Dubai office led by Shaun Killa (Bahrain World Trade Center).
“Inspired by the vertical shape of the Minaret the central aim was to produce a form that would be instantly recognisable on the local, regional and international architectural stage. “ says Shaun Killa, design director for Atkins in Dubai. “The design combined with its orientation, allows 60 percent of the site space to have views out to the sea. Four connecting bridges at the rear of the building provide the flexibility for future expansion. Such ‘future proofing’ for further expansion is important in this key site and Atkins provided several options as part of our added value service.” Although little detail is available at this early stage, the designers aim to follow current sustainability best practice in the creation of the tower - "Anara will answer the environmental challenges posed to modern day skyscrapers by maximizing water and energy efficiency; and potentially including renewable sources of energy, in addition to conforming to the internationally recognized LEED certification requirements".
The winning design for Anara, also called the Sheikh Zayed Road skyscraper, was unveiled at last month's Cityscape in Dubai and construction is expected to begin late in 2009.