Top Ten Abu Dhabi Architecture

Abu Dhabi is an exciting place for architecture, with some of the biggest and most creative designs in the region right here on our doorstep. Here is our offering of which buildings we think are the capital’s best. Find out what is at number one below. (Only completed projects are listed)

10 - Sun and Sky towers, Reem Island

Sun and Sky Towers were designed to concept stage by the US architectural practice Architectonica, The project offers panoramic views of the sea mangroves and city views within a portfolio of one- to four-bedroom apartments and penthouses. Sky Tower has 474 residential units and Sun Tower will accommodate 680 residential units.

9 - Abu Dhabi Investment Authority

Taking inspiration from regional elements such as billowing sails and shifting sand dunes, the dramatic form of the corporate headquarters for the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) transforms the city’s waterfront skyline.

The design of the facility, which symbolizes the bank’s mission and values, emphasizes transparency and openness by folding the structure’s vertical plane three times to create two outstretched “arms” in an inviting gesture. Designed to represent contemporary commerce and culture in Abu Dhabi, the ADIA Headquarters building also subtly echoes themes found in age-old Islamic architecture. Its slim stair tower creates a dialogue with the slender minarets of the adjacent mosque: an intriguing juxtaposition of modernity and tradition.

8 - Etihad Towers
DBI Design

etihad towers

Etihad towers setting a new benchmark in luxury living, a path-breaking luxury development by Sheikh Suroor Projects Department (SSPD).
A reflection of Abu Dhabi's modern, sophisticated and luxurious ambitions, Etihad Towers is a spectacular five-tower development and a sparkling addition to the city's skyline. It also accomplishes the promise of a new lifestyle destination, which is much-sought after in the capital city of the UAE.

7 - Sheikh Zayad Bridge
Zaha Hadid Architects

The bridge design features cantilevered road decks suspended from symmetrical steel arches, which form a sinusoidal waveform – giving this huge structure its fluid silhouette.
Height: 64m
Length: 842m
Width: 61m

6 - Ferrari World Abu Dhabi

ferrari world

At the centre of the landmark, Yas Island mega-scheme in Abu Dhabi, sits the world’s first Ferrari Theme Park a thrilling brand experience like no other, a multi-sensory celebration of a design icon.
Ferrari World Abu Dhabi’s location, scale and purpose combined to present enormous architectural challenges. In response Benoy has delivered a revolutionary design solution.
Opened in December 2010, Ferrari World Abu Dhabi is the world’s largest indoor theme park.
The end result is an iconic landmark leisure destination that reflects both the integrity of the Ferrari brand and the ambitions of Abu Dhabi.

5 - Viceroy Hotel (The Yas Hotel)
Asymptote Architecture

the yas hotel

The Yas hotel, a 500-room, 85,000-square-meter structure made up of two twelve story hotel towers linked together by a monocoque steel and glass bridge A Grid Shell structure that both cross above and over the Yas Marina Circuit F1 race track. It is the first new hotel in the world to be built over an F1 race circuit. The hotel’s exterior surface is designed as an environmentally responsive skin that by day reflects the sky and surroundings and by night is lit by a full color changing LED lighting system that incorporate video feeds that are transmitted over the entire surface of the building.
YAS hotel won 2011 design award for best hotel fromTravel + Leisure.

4 - Al Dar HQ
MZ Architects

al dar hq

Voted "Best Futuristic Design 2008" by the Building Exchange Conference, HQ represents the most striking new addition to the Abu Dhabi skyline, whilst providing flexible office accommodation to the most astute of corporate occupiers.

In addition to the distinctive design of its structure, HQ's floor plates retain a high level of efficiency and provide functional, open plan office space with expansive column free areas which are capable of accommodating a multitude of fit out options. Built to international Grade A specification including floor to ceiling glazing to each elevation, HQ boasts impeccable common area finishes and an impressive double height dual entrance lobby incorporating unique modern Islamic design features.

Set upon an elevated peninsula affording spectacular views of the city, canal and sea, HQ's excellent location provides an unparalleled working environment through the integration of exceptional services and facilities as well as proximity to leisure and retail outlets located in Al Dana and throughout Al Raha Beach.

3 - Emirates Palace Hotel

Choosing the top 3 favorite architecture work in Abu Dhabi was a very hard job, as all of them deserved the first place no doubt.

Built in the style of a majestic palace rising from the sand, an elaborate and luxurious design combines a conference centre, guest palace and two luxury Kempinksi hotel wings. Modern techniques of etching and casting allowed traditional patterns to become an integral component of the facade design. Traditional materials and motifs were blended with the latest technology. The building's exterior of marble, granite and stone includes self-cleaning coated glass spandrels and balcony fronts.

84 hectares (200 acres) 394 guestrooms including 92 suites 22 residential suites for Heads of State Total area: 243,000 square meters (2,615,630 square feet)

2 - Capital Gate Building (ADNEC)
RMJM, Architects

capital gate abu dhabi

The Capital Gate is a spectacularly cantilevered building which adds its unique architectural form to the Abu Dhabi skyline.

A dramatic steel and glass façade shrouds the 35-storey building which sits on 490 piles which have been drilled 30m underground to accommodate the gravitational, wind and seismic forces caused by the distinctive lean of the building.

In June 2010, the Guinness World Records certified Capital Gate as the “World's furthest leaning man-made tower.” The new record shows that the Capital Gate tower has been built to lean 18 degrees westwards; more than four times that of the world famous Leaning Tower of Pisa. Investigation and evaluation, which was made by a Guinness appointed awards committee, started in January 2010, when the exterior of the 160-metre (524.9 ft), 35 storey tower was completed.

1 - Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nayhan Mosque

The majestic Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is probably the most imposing religious and national landmark in Abu Dhabi to date. It is also arguably one of the most important architectural treasures of contemporary UAE society - and one of the most beautiful in the world, once you visit it, you will fall in love with the amazing design and the small details. It is not questionable that will be our number one choice for best architecture work in Abu Dhabi and even UAE. Read more about the mosque here

Let us what you think about the list,did we miss something? share your comments below

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