Nakheel's $1.6bn Deira Mall to get world's largest retractable roof

The fully motorised and automated roof was developed by Canada's Open Aire alongside Unec, RSP, Ted Jacobs

Open Aire developed Deira Mall's retractable roof.
Open Aire
Open Aire developed Deira Mall's retractable roof.

Canada-headquartered retractable roof designer and installer, Open Aire, has won a contract to work on Dubai real estate developer Nakheel’s under-construction $1.6bn (AED4.2bn) Deira Mall, which is due to complete in 2021, with the Canadian company stating that Deira mall will get the world's largest retractable roof.

According to the agreement, Open Aire will design and install a retractable skylight roof for the mall that is being built by United Engineering Construction (Unec).

Open Aire’s retractable roof at Deira Mall will span approximately 77x418m, with a fixed-glass half dome on both ends projecting 47m from each end of the skylight. This will result in the structure's overall length being 512m. 

Speaking on the contract win, president and chief executive officer of Open Aire, Mark Albertine, said: “The new Deira Mall [will be] fitted with the largest motorised and fully automated retractable roof in the world."

Open Aire's design is said to reduce the overall weight of the skylight structure and minimise the impact of the skylight loads on the base building structural systems.

The Canadian firm worked with project stakeholders RSP (architect) and Ted Jacob Engineering Group (engineering team), alongside contractor Unec on the project. 

“We also developed a proprietary sealing system to ensure a fully sealed and weather-tight thermally broken skylight when the retractable roof is closed,” Albertine added.

According to Open Aire, the retractable skylight roof will need 25 minutes to open or close. 

Deira Mall is a part of Nakheel Malls' $4.35bn (AED16bn) expansion programme that will raise its total retail space to more than 158ha.

Upon operational commencement, the mall will comprise more than 1,000 shopping, dining, and entertainment outlets, with multi-storey parking spaces enough for 8,400 cars.

The mall is being developed within the 83.6 ha Deira Central section of Nakheel's 15.3km2 Deira Islands master development. 

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