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Aldar HQ. Al Dana. United Arab Emirates

Aldar Properties PJSC
Building Construction Engineering Expertise
Project partners
Arup, MZ & Partners, EC Harriss

Aldar HQ. Al Dana. United Arab Emirates

Aldar HQ. Al Dana. United Arab Emirates

Aldar HQ. Al Dana. United Arab Emirates

Aldar HQ. Al Dana. United Arab Emirates

Aldar HQ. Al Dana. United Arab Emirates

Full project details

A stunning landmark building that showcases the region's economic confidence channelled throughLaing O'Rourke's construction expertise.

With the distinction of being the first circular-shaped building in the Middle East, this stunning landmark is the iconic headquarters of Aldar Properties PJSC. Located in the Al Dana business district on the exclusive Al Raha Beach Development, it has been constructed to 'grade A’ quality standards and meets the exacting demands of international business.

Intended to create a sculptural iconic landmark through a novel architectural form, and resembling a giant disc balanced on its side at the water’s edge - the building’s shape was inspired by a clam: a design derived from the pearl-gathering heritage of those local to the Al Raha Beach area.

A diagrid solution enabled striking construction innovation

The introduction of a structural 'diagrid' – a diagonal grid of steel, also used in the Hearst Tower in New York and 30 St Mary Axe ('The Gherkin') in London – is the first of its kind in the UAE and largely eliminated the need for internal columns to support the building. The result for those working in the premises is an uninterrupted view of the Abu Dhabi coastline through the spectacular fully glazed facade. And the innovative construction means the building offers large, open-plan spaces. 

Extensive use of digital engineering

Our design team used digital engineering to create 3D models for the structure, design and mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) systems. Being able to interrogate the design in a 'virtual' environment enabled significant time savings, because changes could be incorporated and tested much quicker - more rapidly than when using traditional 2D (CAD) packages. Critical design interfaces were clash-detected early, which enabled key details to be ironed out in the virtual environment. The result was extremely accurate fabrication information for key areas such as the structural steelwork, facades, bathroom pods and concrete structures.  

An exemplary building with outstanding finishes

The complex steel frame, which forms the circular elevation, is clad entirely with glass panels, including floor-to-ceiling glazing at each elevation. This means it can boast impeccable common area finishes and an impressive double-height dual-entrance lobby. The project was also developed in line with the US Green Building Council LEED rating system and achieved Silver rating. This represents a 17% reduction in total energy consumption.

Offsite construction

One of the biggest challenges was the tight deadline for delivery, driven by the client’s desire to have the building completed for the 2009 Abu Dhabi Formula 1 Grand Prix. To help meet the deadline we manufactured precast columns, stairs, landings and factory assembled toilet modules to maximise offsite construction and accelerate the erection programme on site.


  • Best Futuristic Design - The Building Exchange Conference
  • Best Office Development – Arabian Property Awards
  • Tekla Middle East BIM Awards – Canopy
  • Highly Commended , Building and Structures Category - Engineers Australia NSW Excellence Awards

Project facts

An iconic landmark that announces the region's business confidence and intentions

Rapid construction – piling work commenced within three months; concrete cores completed within a year; the diagrid steelwork erected up to the fourth floor within 14 months

Numerous technological innovations such as an 'intelligent lift' system

Aldar HQ has the best office space I have seen and, because of the building shape and expanse of glass, all office areas have a great outlook, including wonderful sea views.

Randall HeinrichSenior Project Manager, Aldar

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