Emirates Towers 
PO Box 72127 
Sheikh Zayed Road
United Arab Emirates

Hazel W.S. Wong, Norr Group 2000

Dubai's twin "Emirates Towers" are deliberately and successfully designed to provide an iconic profile, dominating the skyline of the growing business district to the south of the city center.


Taller than any other building in Europe and the Middle East at the time of construction, the slightly taller 355m, 56-story tower houses offices, while the other is mostly a hotel. The two rise from an oasis of shopping mall and implausibly green, lush lawns and gardens, looking out (beyond a rather isolating road junction) over horse racing grounds on one side and the Gulf on the other. Dubai Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum has his own office in the Emirates Towers.


As the architect describes the composition of the buildings,

“Clad in aluminium panels with copper and silver reflective glass, the towers capture the changing light of the desert sun. So as you drive around them, they change from every angle. It’s a dynamic composition rather than a static one, and that’s very important, especially when the buildings can be viewed from all parts of the city.

“To achieve the height, I started focusing on an equilateral triangle form, which serves a few purposes. First of all, it distributes the structural load at its three farthest corners, which would give the stability that a high building needs. But beyond that, it is a form that is evocative of the Islamic culture: in the pattern of a triangle, the points represent the earth, the sun and the moon. And recurring circle elements in the tower, at the base and at the top, echo the circle of the ‘timeless whole’, which means eternity in the Islamic context. So, very subtly, the Islamic culture is integrated.”


The gently curved curtain wall rising almost the whole height of one face of the hotel triangle provides a panoramic view from the dramatic, almost-full-height atrium, while the tighter curve of the "cut out" feature at the higher levels is used for rooms such as the hotel's Royal Suite.

Simon Glynn 2005, updated 2008

How to visit

Emirates Towers dominate the business district just south of the City and the Creek, on the Sheikh Zayed Road. To get there be car from the city center, follow Sheikh Zayed Road south, following signposts the the World Trade Centre until Emirates Towers are themselves signposted. There is parking beneath the buildings.

The office tower is not open to the public, but the other tower is Jumeirah's Emirates Towers Hotel, with a ground floor lobby, 51st-story bar and 52nd-story restaurant. For more information please visit the hotel web site at www.jumeirahemiratestowers.com.

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