Mohamad Al-Dah is Director of Technical Affairs for Dubai Land Department, where he is leading a survey of Dubai’s buildings. He is also the Institution’s regional representative in the Emirate. Here he picks out some of his favourite structures which are under construction or have been recently completed in the UAE.

1: O14 Tower 

This tower in Business Bay is special in that the external columns were replaced with a ‘swiss cheese’ perforated concrete exoskeleton, which frees the core from the burden of lateral forces and creates highly efficient, column-free open spaces in the building’s interior. The building was opened in 2010.

2. The Pad 

Also in Business Bay, this luxury flat development is slanted at six degrees from the vertical, giving the impression of a ‘docked’ mp3 player. A sleek finish is achieved by a glazed aluminium façade extending 11m above roof level. We love it so much we invited the chief structural engineer to give us a talk about it.

3. The Opus

Similar to the Pad, this Zaha Hadid building is a very challenging design with crazy geometry – it’s constructed of three separate towers but will appear as a single building ‘hovering’ above the ground, with a distinctive free form void at its core. It’s currently under construction and we can’t wait to see it finished.

4: Bukhatir Building 

I spotted this building on the outskirts of Sharjah and took these pictures. I like it for its striking slanted columns. The building is supposed to be a 24 storey office block and should be ready in late 2017.

5. Abu Dhabi Airport

The numbers associated with the new terminal at Abu Dhabi Airport are amazing: it will have 700,000 square metres of public space, a roof span of 319 metres at the widest point, 275,000 square metres of aluminium cladding and 69,000 tonnes of structural steel.

6. The Cayan Tower  

Formerly known as Infinity Tower, we love this building and prefer the old name! It stands 306 meters tall and opened on 10 June 2013.

The structure is very challenging and it's the tallest tower in the bunch.

While the skyscraper’s 73 floorplates are all identical, each is slightly rotated against the story below it, resulting in a full 90-degree twist over the course of the tower's 307-meter rise. 

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