Construction has commenced on a striking new 320 metre canopy that will arch above the existing roof of the historic Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre grandstand.
The celebrated grandstand, which was built in 1979, is one of Abu Dhabi’s oldest landmarks and was used by His Highness Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nayhan, the late President of the UAE, to view national parades and other major celebrations. Today, it is an integral element of the exhibition centre and provides the Presidential viewing point for the opening of the International Defence Exhibition (IDEX).
The new canopy will sweep across the historic grandstand and connect to Capital Gate, the iconic gravity defying tower that’s under development by ADNEC adjacent to the exhibition centre, symbolising the strong bond between tradition and modernity that is embedded into the UAE capital’s developmental approach, according to venue management.
Capital Gate’s exterior contains an eye-catching ‘Splash,’ running down the tower from level 18, which will link to the grandstand canopy.
The grandstand canopy consists of curved and tapered steel truss wrapped in lightweight fabric and is supported by columns and steel cables built 11 metres above the existing roof. Weighing approximately 200 tonnes, the canopy will contain seven flagpoles, which are 20 to 24 metres in length.
Besides the building of the canopy, ADNEC is concurrently building a royal box as well as enhancing the grandstand terraces in preparation for the opening of IDEX 2011.
When fully complete in 2011, the Capital Gate tower will house the 5-star Hyatt Capital Gate hotel, as well as premium Grade-A office space.