|Former names||Al Berwaz Tower|
|Location||Zabeel Park, Dubai, United Arab Emirates|
|Completed||1 January 2018|
|Opened||1 January 2018|
|Cost||AED 230 million|
|Architectural||140 m (459 ft)|
|Roof||140 m (459 ft)|
|Design and construction|
|Architect||Hyder Consulting, Arcadis|
The Dubai Frame (Arabic: برواز دبي) is an observatory, museum, and monument in Zabeel Park, Dubai. It holds the record for the largest frame in the world. The building has a height of 140.24 meters and a width of 95.53 meters. The building mainly serves as an observatory, providing views of old Dubai in the north and newer parts in the south.
The project idea was initially conceived by Fernando Donis, and selected as the winner of a design competition by an international jury. The designer has alleged that he had his intellectual property stolen and was denied credit for the design. The final project was completed by Hyder Consulting, part of Arcadis NV, and opened in January 2018.
The design was selected as the winner of the 2009 ThyssenKrupp Elevator International Award from 926 proposals. 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) tall and 95.53 m (313 ft) wide.
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. 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.
Donis' design was ultimately selected, for which he won an AED 367329.70 ($100,000) prize. 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.
The Dubai Frame is created out of glass, steel, aluminum, and reinforced concrete with designs of the logo of Expo 2020 embedded on the outer facade. 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. An observation deck spans the top of the frame, with glass-bottomed floors looking down almost 150 meters onto the building's lower span. The lower span contains a museum showing the history of the city, and a video exhibit predicting the city's future.
Intellectual property controversy
Five years after Fernando Donis won the competition, Dubai Municipality released images of a redesigned Dubai Frame, which aside from its shape had little resemblance to the original design that was designed by Donis. According to Donis, he was offered a contract by Dubai Municipality, but one of the clauses stated that he waive his intellectual rights to the project and that he would not be able to use the completed design to promote his own practice. He said that clause was a direct breach of an earlier clause in the original competition brief which stimulated that the author will keep his copyright of his work. Donis refused to sign the clause, hence Dubai Municipality hired Hyder Consulting, a branch of Arcadis, to build and redesign the project. Thyssen Krupp described the controversy as “a commercial disagreement” and stated the company “does not have any possibility to interfere”. According to Dubai Municipality, the current Dubai Frame is very different from the one Donis made and Donis didn’t have the proper licenses to work on the project.
In December 2016, Donis filed a lawsuit in the United States federal court against the Municipality of Dubai and ThyssenKrupp Elevator. In his lawsuit, Donis claims that he has not received either a contract or compensation for his design, despite it being currently under construction. In 2018, it was reported that Donis and the Municipality of Dubai were engaged in a legal dispute over ownership of the copyright for the building. New York-based lawyer Edward Klaris represented Donis in the United States federal court against the Dubai Municipality and ThyssenKrupp Elevator, but the case did not reach any conclusion.
- Nereim, Vivian (July 6, 2012). "Dubai in frame with landmark tower". The National. Archived from the original on 25 November 2015. Retrieved 24 November 2015.
- Mariam M. Al Serkal (October 31, 2015). "Dubai Frame to be opened for public soon". Gulf News. Archived from the original on 24 November 2015. Retrieved 24 November 2015.
- Mariam M. Al Serkal (October 31, 2015). "Dubai Frame to be opened for public soon". Archived from the original on 24 November 2015. Retrieved 24 November 2015.
- Wainwright, Oliver (1 January 2018). "Dubai Frame: UAE's latest surreal landmark frames a controversy". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 2 January 2018. Retrieved 2 January 2018.
- "Dubai enthralls the world with its unique framework". Arab News. 17 January 2018.
- "Dubai Frame: A must see tourist destination in the UAE". Gulf News. 20 October 2021.
- "Dubai Frame". DONIS. Archived from the original on 2016-08-20. Retrieved 2016-02-04.
- Welch, Adrian (29 Apr 2009). "ThyssenKrupp Elevator Architecture Award, 2009, Winners". e-architect. Archived from the original on 2 January 2018. Retrieved 2 January 2018.
- "DONIS v. DUBAI MUNICIPALITY et al Federal Civil Lawsuit District Of Columbia District Court, Case No. 1:16-cv-02501". Plainsite. Archived from the original on 6 April 2019. Retrieved 9 March 2017.
- "Architect in row over design of Dubai Frame". The National. 3 June 2014.
- "'Dubai Frame' to open to the public in January 2018". Khaleej Times. Archived from the original on 15 December 2017. Retrieved 23 November 2017.
- "'Dubai Frame' Wins ThyssenKrupp Architecture Award". Khaleej Times. Archived from the original on 3 January 2017. Retrieved 4 February 2016.
- "Dubai Frame: the city's latest landmark takes shape". Arabian Business. 1 November 2015. Archived from the original on 24 November 2015. Retrieved 24 November 2015.
- "Thyssenkrupp Elevator Architecture Award 2009". Thyssenkrupp. Archived from the original on 6 April 2019. Retrieved 4 February 2016.
- "Thyssenkrupp Elevator Architecture Award". Thyssenkrupp Elevator Architecture Award. Thyssenkrupp. Archived from the original on 6 April 2019. Retrieved 4 February 2016.
- Jeff, Roberts (May 12, 2009). "ThyssenKrupp Elevator Architecture Award 2009". Construction Week Online. Archived from the original on 4 February 2016. Retrieved 4 February 2016.
- Goodman, Peter S. (8 March 2017). "As Dubai's Skyline Adds a Trophy, the Architect Calls It Stolen". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 9 March 2017. Retrieved 9 March 2017.
- "DONIS architects". DONIS. Archived from the original on 19 August 2016. Retrieved 18 January 2016.
- "Dubai Frame: Among world's best new attractions". Emirates 24/7. 14 January 2015. Archived from the original on 26 December 2015. Retrieved 5 January 2016.
- "Dubai Frame: Emirate's controversial mega structure opens". CNN. 15 January 2018. Archived from the original on 29 July 2021. Retrieved 29 July 2021.
- "Architect in row over design of Dubai Frame". The National. 3 June 2014.
- "Frame Dubai". Travel Service Support. 10 June 2021.
- "Architect of new Dubai Landmark sues municipality for copyright infringement". Architecture Update. 10 March 2017.
- "The controversial Dubai Frame opens to public despite copyright claims of the architect". worldarchitect.org. 17 January 2018.
- Dubai Frame Will Become the Most Visited Place in UAE UAE Business Finder. Retrieved 1 January November 2016.
- Drop your jaws! The untold spectacular Dubai Frame is here. UAECentral.com Retrieved January 20, 2018.
- A guide to Dubai's newest landmark, now open in Zabeel Park. TimeOutDubai.com. Retrieved March 26, 2019.