Etihad Towers

Architectural Metalwork / Balustrades / Column Cladding / Fit Out / Mashrabiya / Screens


Hotel & Residential


Stainless Steel




  • Location Abu Dhabi, UAE
  • Client H.H Sheikh Suroor Bin Mohammed Al Nahyan
  • Design Architect DBI Design
  • Engineer Aurecon
  • Main Contractor Arabian Construction Company
  • Status Completed - 2011

Project Summary

The development is located on the Corniche of Abu Dhabi, the capital city of the United Arab Emirates. The towers are designed as a collection of buildings intended to be emblematic of the city and its economic and cultural aspirations. The tallest tower has 76 storeys and is over 300ms in height. The sculptural form is the combination of several important Arabic symbols referring to sails, swords and falconry.

After a two-stage international competition, DBI was commissioned for architectural, interior design and landscape services. Hill International were assigned as project managers, and the Arabian Construction Company (A.C.C) were awarded the construction contract. This five-tower complex includes three residential towers, one business tower, and the 280m tall, five-star hotel tower with more than 380 rooms and 199 serviced apartments, connected by a central podium that accommodates the many public spaces within the hotel.

Grankraft provided metal screens with a bespoke design of unique patterns and various customised shapes and structures which have been used as internal partitions and the balustrades of the feature staircases. The pattern was carefully integrated into the framing with a concealed mechanical fixation detail to enhance the beauty of the mashrabiya pattern.

Furthermore, all stainless steel column cladding (32 in total) was fabricated by Grankraft and are most prominent in the hotel lobby, where they feature in the 12m high space from where visitors have uninterrupted views to the Arabian Gulf and beyond. The cladding consists of 1.5mm thick stainless steel (grade 316 mirror #8 finish) sheets which are rolled to diameters varying from 900 to 1500mm. Whilst the panels for this project have been relatively small, with sizes varying from 150 to 1500mm long, we are able to produce panel sizes up to 3000mm long and accommodate seamless design concepts. For the Etihad tower design the horizontal joints were limited to 1500mm and are intentionally expressed. The number of vertical subdivisions of the cladding depended upon the diameter of existing concrete columns but were limited to two or four vertical joints. Our know-how and expert craftsmen were key to achieving an even surface appearance without weld or stud marks. A particular feature of the columns are the onyx granite inlays. The polished stainlesssteel harmonises with the other materials chosen by the designer to create spaces that undergo dramatic transformations creating a rich journey as guests move throughout the hotel.

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