“Ain Dubai’ which implies “Dubai Eye” in Arabic, is due to open on 21st October in Dubai, and once open, it will be the tallest observation wheel in the world with a height of 820 feet, towering 270 feet above ‘Las Vegas’ High Roller observation wheel’.
The attraction forms the centerpiece of Bluewaters Island, an artificial island near the Dubai Marina, which opened in 2018.
Ain Dubai will be double the size of London Eye
Ain Dubai will eclipse the 165m Singapore Flyer, and is double the size of London Eye, noted Ronald Drake, the attraction’s General Manager.
On the whole, the structure will have 48 enclosed cabins, with most of them having the capacity to fit in 40 passengers. Overall, a total of 1750 people can ride the wheel simultaneously. But this capacity may be limited at present due to the global pandemic, and only 10 people may be permitted in each cabin, Drake explained.
The size of each cabin is bigger than two double-decker buses strapped side-to-side. The three types of cabins available are ‘observational’ cabins for basic rides, ‘social experiences’ which include lounge access and a drink, and ‘private’ cabins which could be customized for dinner parties, business meetings and other events.
Every ride lasts 38 minutes, and gives a bird’s-eye view of Dubai’s coast and city skyline.
Earlier, it was the ferris wheels that were being used, but now the term ‘observation’ wheel is being used, which is larger and more sophisticated form of ferris wheels.
Dubai is now a global tourist destination
The opening of Ain Dubai also indicates Dubai’s efforts to position itself as a global tourist destination.
“The focus on tourism is one of the main diversification strategies of UAE and Dubai in particular. Covid-19-induced oil volatility has made it evident that UAE needs to diversify away from oil and strengthen its other sectors,” said Usman Khalid, Assistant Professor in Economics at UAE.
UAE is also proving itself to be an adventure tourism destination with new attractions for thrill-seekers. In July this year, it launched the 200-feet ‘Deep Dive Dubai’, the world’s deepest diving pool. Recently it is also home to world’s longest urban zipline, ‘XLine’, and the ‘Emirates A380 flight simulator’ at the Dubai Mall.
Apart from luxury tourism and adventure tourism, Dubai has also improved its cultural tourism, with the hosting of upcoming Expo 2020 Dubai, featuring art, cuisine and technology involving participation of over 190 countries. This event is set to start on 1st October and ends on 31st March.