Interesting Facts About Dubai Creek Tower

Ian Mutuli
Updated on
Ian Mutuli

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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Dubai houses some of the world's most impressive edifices, towers, and high-rises. Numerous buildings here hold world records, making them distinctive tourist hotspots.

While the Burj Khalifa is currently the tallest tower in the world, soon the position could be held by the iconic Dubai Creek Tower, which is still in the works. So, if you want to learn more about the next tallest building on the planet, keep reading below.

Background Information

The construction of the Dubai Creek Tower began in 2016 under the EMAAR properties developer. It is also known as the Tower at Dubai Creek Harbour or the Iconic Tower. The former title was displayed on the foundation stone at the construction site, but the name Dubai Creek Tower caught up later. You can find this name on a gigantic model of the tower in Dubai Mall.

model of the Dubai Creek Tower at Dubai Mall

The Dubai Creek Tower is being built on a waterfront area in Dubai Creek Harbour close to the Ras Al Khor National Wildlife Sanctuary. Dubai Creek has a central position in the city's culture and history and will continue to do so as numerous buildings, and structures get built around the area.

The Dubai Creek Harbour is meant to be a new district in Dubai, with the Creek Tower as the centerpiece. This district will cover 6 square kilometers, which is about three times the size of Downtown Dubai. Also, the Dubai Creek Harbour will be sited nearly 8 kilometers east of the Burj Khalifa.

Height of The Dubai Creek Tower

The exact height of the Dubai Creek Tower is currently unknown and will not be made public until the Emmar properties developer announces the official opening. Withholding this information is meant to prevent competition from other developing projects.

Nevertheless, the estimated height of the Dubai Creek Tower is between 928-1400 meters which would make it the world's tallest building. According to reports from the chairman of Emaar Properties, the tower will go 100 meters higher than the Burj Khalifa, which gets 928 meters.

Jeddah Tower (left), Dubai Creek Tower (middle), Burj Khalifa (right)

Jeddah Tower (left), Dubai Creek Tower (middle), Burj Khalifa (right)

A video released in Dubai Mall in 2017 displayed that if the tower were stacked on itself eight times, it would reach around 11 kilometers. With this information, we can estimate that the tower will reach a height of 1300 meters. The video also implies that 5 Dubai Creek Towers could equate to 8 times the Burj Khalifa, which would take us to about 1345 meters.

If the Dubai Creek tower rises beyond 1300 meters, it will undoubtedly become the world's tallest building and manmade structure, even taller than the Jeddah Tower of Saudi Arabia, which is estimated to reach a height of 1008 meters.

The Controversy

However, much dispute has arisen about whether the Dubai Creek Tower will be recognized as the world's tallest building. This is because the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) holds that a structure is only considered a building if at least 50% of its height is habitable. Unfortunately for the Dubai Creek Tower, less than 30 percent of its height will feature habitable floors.

The CTBUH criteria are not accepted by everyone, which makes the issue controversial. Nevertheless, most public media and the Emaar Properties developer will probably refer to it as the tallest building globally despite having a form different from typical sightseeing towers.

The Dubai Creek Tower will primarily be a site for observation decks or sky gardens. About 20 floors will contain hotels, restaurants, and residences. Plus, the antenna situated on the peak is meant for broadcasting.

The Design

The design of the Dubai Creek Tower is a work of the Spanish-Swiss architect Santiago Calatrava Valls. If you've not heard of him before, you're probably familiar with some of his past projects like the Olympic Athletic Center of Athens, the World Trade Center Transportation Hub, the Turning Torso, and The Chicago Spire.

The architect identifies his inspiration for the Dubai Creek Tower to be the natural form of the desert lily, which was also the basis for the footprint shape of the Burj Khalifa. If you consider the cable arrays which anchor the building on two sides, you can see some resemblance to ribbing lily leaves. These cables are spread out on the ground to give the tower the stability it needs while standing over 1000 meters high.

Dubai Creek Tower

Without the cable array, the tower evokes the image of a minaret, a structure whose features are based on Islamic architecture, which is meant to be a symbol of modern Islam. The tower has a slender stem that functions as the backbone, while the long oval-shaped section close to the peak evokes the idea of a lily's bud.

All these elements combine to give the tower a magnificent appearance. Although the structure is a tower, the usable floors will function as observation decks making it a unique piece in the real estate market.


The completion of the Jeddah Tower, which was to be built higher than the Burj Khalifa, was to be before 2020. This would have meant that Dubai would have lost the world's record for the Tallest Building. Since Dubai was to hold the World Expo 2020, they were to release the tallest tower, which could be as great as the Eiffel Tower in Paris and higher than the Burj Khalifa. In conjunction with the tower, the Ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed approved a plan to build a large complex, the Dubai Creek Harbour, in 2016.

Eiffel Tower

Eiffel Tower

While the heart of the complex was originally planned to be a pair of twin towers, the idea was eventually replaced with the Dubai Creek Tower. A tower this tall can serve as a huge tourist attraction, increasing its real estate value of the property, making the district a site to visit.

The development of Dubai Creek Harbour is under Emaar Properties in association with Dubai Holding. Developer Emaar is responsible for the Burj Khalifa and is the largest real estate developer in Dubai. Various international firms of architecture globally submitted about six design proposals, but the Ruler of Dubai chose the one by the architect Santiago Calatrava.

By July 2016, critical tests for wind and seismic factors were completed to determine the height of the tower. Later that year, in October, the preparatory work had begun, and about 170,000 cubic meters of soil were removed to make room for the tower's foundation. In May 2017, the foundation work had reached completion, and construction of the project above ground commenced.

The Dubai Creek Tower comprises a slender core structure that makes its construction much faster than a standard skyscraper like the Jeddah Tower. If the project were not put on hold, the tower would have been completed by 2020. Unfortunately, due to the coronavirus pandemic, construction was halted, pushing completion to 2022 or beyond.

CSEC, China State Engineering and Construction contractors responsible for numerous mega-tall skyscrapers in China, were reported to be involved in the construction of Dubai creek tower. An estimated cost of AED 3.67 billion, equivalent to 1 billion USD, costs to pull off this project.

The Pinnacle Room and Observation Deck

Dubai Creek Tower won't have one but ten observation decks in the oval-shaped structure close to the top of the tower. When standing on the observation deck, people can enjoy 360-degree views of the city. The inspiration for the observation decks is the ancient Hanging Gardens of Babylon which is why they will be decorated like gardens.

Other than the indoor decks, smaller revolving platforms resembling balconies at the margin of the deck allow people to enjoy more views from an open air space. Half of the platform will be inside, with the other half outside the facade.


According to a statement from Emaar, the Dubai Creek Tower will be a breathtaking landmark during the day and at night. It will feature dynamic illumination and movement lighting, which will be a sight to behold even in darkness.

Additionally, Aurecon, an engineering company, is working on the technology necessary for the tower to emit a beacon of light from the peak. This might evoke the image of a flower bud hovering over the structure.

Interesting Facts on Dubai Creek Tower and Burj Khalifa

There are several features which we can compare between Dubai Creek Tower and the Burj Khalifa.

1. Height

The Burj Khalifa

The Burj Khalifa

The Burj Khalifa stands 829 meters tall, 830 if you include the tip, but the Dubai Creek Tower is expected to reach a staggering 100 meters higher than the Burj Khalifa. So while Burj Khalifa is currently the tallest tower globally, the spot will soon go to Creek Tower.

2. Cost

In terms of cost, the Burj Khalifa took $1.5 billion while the Creek Tower will take about $1B to construct, making the Burj Khalifa is more expensive in construction.

3. Room

The Burj Khalifa features 163 floors, including 900 residential apartments and 304 luxury hotel suits. It also has numerous restaurants and nightclubs. On the other hand, we can't confirm the number of floors in the tower.

4. Inspiration

What the two buildings have in common is that the lily flower inspired both. 

Ian Mutuli

About the author

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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