World's longest footbridge links Marriott apartments

The footbridge being lifted into place.

After delays due to gusty winds, the world's longest footbridge was finally lifted and put in place in Dubai, adding a new architectural signature to the city's fast-changing skyline.

Dubai residents who have been hearing about the structure have been waiting a while to see it being put up, and when it finally was, it went up without too much of a fuss.

The 73-metre footbridge will link the twin Marriott Executive Apartments near the Clock Tower roundabout in Deira on the 19th floor, giving residents and visitors easier access to the other building. It will also make it easier to access the shared leisure facilities including a swimming pool, gym and sauna.

The footbridge beats the current record holder, the Petronas Towers footbridge in Kuala Lumpur, by some 19 metres, and the Tower Bridge in London by 12 metres.

The buildings themselves are each 20-storeys high, occupying a prime site overlooking Dubai Creek and are a prominent landmark feature for people entering Deira from Bur Dubai across the Maktoum Bridge.

The complex operation involved 37 companies, from the design and fabrication of 240-tonne bridge, until it was finally lifted and fitted around steel frames earlier fitted onto the top floor.

It had an additional 18.6-tonne cladding for the length of the bridge.

Noel Dolan, Managing Director of Al Naboodah Laing said, "This has been a huge project in all areas.

"Although as a company we have been involved in numerous and varying construction projects, it's not often a company can say that they have been involved in something of such significance.

"Technically it has been demanding, but this has allowed us to exhibit our true ability and a main contractor ensuring that there is consistency throughout all aspects of the project and with all companies involved."

Other companies involved in the development and construction of the Skywalk Bridge include: Eversendai Engineering LLC - bridge erecting, Emirates Building Systems (a Dubai Investment company) - steel structure fabrication, DMI (Danish Maritime Institute) - Wind Tunnel Testing, Structural Mechanics And Damping (SMD) - damping devices designed and fabricated, Ian Banham & Associates / Thermo Electrics LLC - MEP Consultant, Bureau Veritas - independent third party checking organization and TTS International / Crescent Carriers ñ Transport.

The high-rise towers have been recognised as significant new landmarks on the ever-changing Dubai skyline. They are very noticeable when you motor in to Deira across the Maktoum Bridge when coming from the Bur Dubai side.