Dubai Frame

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Dubai Frame
برواز دبي
Former namesAl Berwaz Tower[1]
General information
LocationZabeel Park, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Construction started2013[2]
Completed1 January 2018
Opened1 January 2018
CostAED 230 million[3]
Architectural150 m (492 ft)
Roof150 m (492 ft)
Design and construction
ArchitectFernando Donis, DONIS
DeveloperDubai Municipality

The Dubai Frame (Arabic: برواز دبي‎) is an architectural landmark in Zabeel Park, Dubai.[4] It has been described by The Guardian newspaper as "the biggest picture frame on the planet,”[4] however is also controversial as the "biggest stolen building of all time.”[4]

The project was conceived by Fernando Donis,[4][5] and selected as the winner of a design competition by the Government of Dubai.[6] It is alleged that the designer had his intellectual property stolen and was denied credit for the design.[7] It holds the record for the largest frame in the world.[4]

Architecture competition[edit]

The design was selected as the winner of the 2009 ThyssenKrupp Elevator International Award from 926 proposals.[8] Participants from all over the world were invited to submit an emblem that would promote “the new face for Dubai". It is near the Star Gate of Zabeel Park and stands at 150.24 m (493 ft) [9] and 95.53 m wide.[10]

The ThyssenKrupp Elevator Architecture Award is an international architecture competition first held in 1988 and sponsored by one of the world's leading elevator companies.[11] An international panel of judges selected the winning idea from among 926 design proposals to create a Tall Emblem Structure for Dubai. The original jury consisted of 11 international architects — a former and current chairman of the International Union of Architects (UIA) and the regional chairman of ThyssenKrupp Elevator. Dubai Municipality’s director general and Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum were listed as ‘honorary’ jurors.[12]

Dubai frame

Donis' design was ultimately selected, for which he won an AED 367329.70 ($100,000) prize.[13] According to Donis, when designing the structure he saw Dubai as a city full of emblems and rather than adding another one, they proposed to frame them all: to frame the city. Instead of building a massive structure, the purpose of the proposal was to build a void of 150 meters by 105 meters to continuously frame the development of the past, current and future Dubai. To become the structure that celebrates yet constrains the city.[14]


The Dubai Frame is created out of glass, steel, aluminum, and reinforced concrete. It is positioned in such a way that representative landmarks of modern Dubai can be seen on one side, while from the other side, visitors can also view older parts of the city.[15]

The Frame opened in January 2018.[16][4]


In December 2016, the architect Fernando Donis filed suit in US court against the Municipality of Dubai and ThyssenKrupp Elevator.[7] In his suit, Donis claims that he has not received either a contract or compensation for his design, despite it being currently under construction.[13] As of 2018, the architect and the Municipality of Dubai were engaged in a legal dispute over ownership of the copyright for the building.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Nereim, Vivian (July 6, 2012). "Dubai in frame with landmark tower". The National. Retrieved 24 November 2015.
  2. ^ Mariam M. Al Serkal (October 31, 2015). "Dubai Frame to be opened for public soon". Gulf News. Retrieved 24 November 2015.
  3. ^ Mariam M. Al Serkal (October 31, 2015). "Dubai Frame to be opened for public soon". Retrieved 24 November 2015.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g Wainwright, Oliver (1 January 2018). "Dubai Frame: UAE's latest surreal landmark frames a controversy". The Guardian.
  5. ^ "Dubai Frame". DONIS.
  6. ^ Welch, Adrian (29 Apr 2009). "ThyssenKrupp Elevator Architecture Award, 2009, Winners". e-architect. Retrieved 2 January 2018.
  7. ^ a b "DONIS v. DUBAI MUNICIPALITY et al Federal Civil Lawsuit District Of Columbia District Court, Case No. 1:16-cv-02501". Plainsite. Retrieved 9 March 2017.
  8. ^ "'Dubai Frame' Wins ThyssenKrupp Architecture Award". Khaleej Times. Retrieved 4 February 2016.
  9. ^ "Dubai Frame: the city's latest landmark takes shape". Arabian Business. 1 November 2015. Retrieved 24 November 2015.
  10. ^ "Thyssenkrupp Elevator Architecture Award 2009". Thyssenkrupp. Retrieved 4 February 2016.
  11. ^ "Thyssenkrupp Elevator Architecture Award". Thyssenkrupp Elevator Architecture Award. Thyssenkrupp. Retrieved 4 February 2016.
  12. ^ Jeff, Roberts (May 12, 2009). "ThyssenKrupp Elevator Architecture Award 2009". Construction Week Online. Retrieved 4 February 2016.
  13. ^ a b Goodman, Peter S. "As Dubai's Skyline Adds a Trophy, the Architect Calls It Stolen". The New York Times. Retrieved 9 March 2017.
  14. ^ "DONIS architects". DONIS. Retrieved 18 January 2016.
  15. ^ "Dubai Frame: Among world's best new attractions". Emirates 24/7. 14 January 2015. Retrieved 5 January 2016.
  16. ^ "'Dubai Frame' to open to the public in January 2018". Khaleej Times. Retrieved 23 November 2017.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 25°14′08″N 55°18′01″E / 25.23548°N 55.30034°E / 25.23548; 55.30034