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Dubai’s double-skyscraper is poised to become the longest cantilevered building in the world

One Za’abeel, a twin-skyscraper in Dubai, is poised to become the world’s longest cantilever structure, enhancing the city’s bustling skyline. A cantilever is a structure that extends horizontally beyond its vertical support, producing an overhanging part without the need for additional columns or supports, giving the appearance of defying gravity.

One Za’abeel has two towers: a 300-meter (984-foot) business tower with 68 storeys and a 235-meter (770-foot) residential tower with 59 floors.

The main characteristic of the construction is a 230-meter (754-foot)-long connector that horizontally links the two towers at a height of 100 meters (328 feet) above the ground.

The building is now striving to set the Guinness World Records title for the longest cantilevered building in the world, as stated on its website.

The highest cantilevered structure according to Guinness World Records is the Central Park Tower in New York. It is a 472-meter (1,550-foot) residential skyscraper with a cantilevered part that stretches 8.5 meters (228 feet). Although One Za’abeel’s overall height is less, its cantilevered part extends beyond, protruding an impressive 66 meters (216 ft).

One Za’abeel has 26,000 square meters (279,861 square feet) of high-end business spaces, a SIRO hotel, several serviced apartments, and 264 exquisite residential units. Late in 2023, renters and homeowners started to occupy the multipurpose building.

The cantilever “sky bridge” links the two buildings and has eight upscale restaurants and the longest rooftop infinity pool in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Building the horizontal “link” required impressive engineering skills. The construction of One Za’abeel began in September 2017, with the towers being completed in 2019. In September 2020, the 8,500-tonne cantilever structure was raised into position in one of the biggest single lifts in the area and now weights up to 23,000 tonnes.

The process of hoisting was remarkable. On August 18, 2020, a small 10-centimeter (3.9-inch) lift was conducted to assess cable stretching and the building’s response to strain. A week later, a 1-meter lift took place, and three days later, the final 100-meter lift, according to Dr. Fadi Jabri, an executive officer at Nikken Sekkei, the Japanese studio responsible for designing the building.

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