Canadian group wins Deira Mall retractable roof contract

Deira Mall will be the centerpiece of the current $4.4bln expansion project of a mixed-use community in the heart of Deira Islands

Work under way on Middle East’s biggest mall as Nakheel inks contract to build AED6.1 billion Deira Mall

Work under way on Middle East’s biggest mall as Nakheel inks contract to build AED6.1 billion Deira Mall

Nakheel/Handout via Thomson Reuters Zawya

OpenAire, an industry leader in large span retractable roofs based in Ontario, Canada, said it has won a contract to design and install a state-of-the-art retractable skylight at the Deira Mall, the newest retail destination being built by master developer Nakheel in Dubai.

Deira Mall will be the centerpiece of the current Dh16-billion ($4.4 billion) expansion project of a mixed-use community in the heart of Deira Islands.

Once completed by 2021, the mega development will boast more than 1,000 shops, cafes, restaurants and entertainment outlets and also feature a multi-storey car park with 8,400 parking bays.

The Canadian group said it had conducted months of detailed analysis and worked closely with the contractor - Dubai-based United Engineering Construction (UNEC), one of the leading construction companies in the Gulf region with over 35 years of construction excellence - besides the architect (RSP Architects Planners & Engineers) and the engineering team (Ted Jacob Engineering Group) - to achieve a design that reduces the overall weight of the skylight structure and minimizes the impact of the skylight loads on the base building structural systems.

The retractable roof at Deira Mall will be 77 m x 418 m with a fixed glass half dome at each end projecting about 47 m from each end of the skylight, resulting in an overall length of about 512 m.

"Dubai is known for being on the cutting edge of innovation, fashion, technology, and shopping," remarked Mark Albertine, the President and CEO of the retractable roof, designer and installer at OpenAire.

"It is therefore fitting that the new Deira Mall has been fitted with the largest motorized and fully automated retractable roof in the world, that will bring the outdoors into the mall providing guests with a unique new, world class shopping experience," he stated.

When opened, the mall will be home to the largest volume of leasable space in the UAE (boasting a total retail space of over 1.6 million sq m) with the star attraction being the state-of-the-art retractable skylight, which will bring natural light into the complex and allow for the feeling and experience of open-air shopping year round.

A major player in the global retractable roof sector, OpenAire has been designing and manufacturing beautiful, retractable roof structures and skylights for 30 years, and is no stranger to design and construction for large-scale facilities.

"The OpenAire team had to develop a design that reflects the client’s vision of having a fully open sky view, which meant moving the massive skylight steel structure hundreds of meters along both sides of the skylight. We also developed a proprietary sealing system to ensure a fully sealed and weather tight, thermally broken skylight when the retractable roof is closed," he added.

Thanks to the innovative and future-focused mechanical and electrical engineering by the OpenAire structural and mechanical engineering teams, the skylight will travel from the fully closed position to fully opened (and vice versa) in 25 minutes, said the Canadian group in its statement.

By working closely with the facilities’ management team, it will be able to integrate the skylight control system with the mall’s building management system, allowing for the efficient and convenient control of the skylight through the mall’s main control room, noted Albertine.

"Close collaboration with all stakeholders, open communication, and a commitment to bringing the client’s vision to life led to a fantastic result that will enthrall the shoppers of Deira Mall," he added.-TradeArabia News Service

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