Hong Kong / PRC

U-Bora Towers is a group of buildings with a singular 263 m high tower overlooking Dubai's Business Bay not
far from the Burj Kalifa, the world's tallest building. Conventionally buildings are widest at their bases and
diminish in height as they go up – just like the Burj. Instead, the U-Bora Towers starts with a relatively small
1,100 sq m base and swells out and up in a graceful shallow arc a modicum of twist for 58 floors. Around the
middle of the arc the floors grow to as much as 2,000 sq m but they diminish a little by the time the top is reached.
The two accompanying components of the scheme are a 17,000 sq m
Retail and parking podium on four levels and a curving 30,000 sq m residential block rising from 12 storeys at the end nearest the tower to 15 storeys at the western end where the apartments command sea and city views and are low enough to register as a neighbourly environment. In plan it is a slightly curving linear block with four vertical access cores accessing a mix of one, two and three bedroom apartments. It has a big rectangular hole punched through its middle suggesting a kind of gateway which actually has a grand stairway leading down to the edge of a big artificial lake adjoining the site.
The base of the tower has a five storey high atrium with cafés, prayer rooms, public facilities and a three lift lobby. There are double height mechanical services rooms at levels 26 and 40 and two levels under the roof.
As with most of Bromberg's gravity defying buildings, this achieves its surprise effect using standard enough statics. That is to say there is rarely any dramatic but expensive cantilevering of structure and there is always a core, usually a substantial one, which bears quite a lot of the load of the building and remains the same cross section all the way up. The floor slabs are supported on beams spanning between the core and the vertical, or, often enough, slanting columns of the facade. Each of the floorplates is differently shaped to create the various curves of the exterior and the cores are not necessarily always in the centre of the floors.
There is a 10,000 sq m public space on the roof of the podium
Underneath which are five floors of parking and retail. It has the function of holding the three elements of the site together. One corner is a glass-clad restaurant pavilion with water features and terraced gardens connecting different levels up to the public space which incorporates an event space, a shade garden and a communal swimming pool with an infinity edge and an integral jacuzzi. The outdoor shade gardens occupy the space underneath the residential block and are lush with small semi-private tropical landscapes with pools and garden furniture all providing a cumulative response to the harsh desert sun.


Bando Engineering and Construction Co Ltd


Design and Project Architect

Completion year


Gross area

119,298 sq m


Andrew Bromberg of Aedas


Perspective Awards 2012

Certificate of Excellence, Architecture (Professional) Mixed Use

Perspective Awards 2012

Certificate of Excellence, Architecture (Professional) International Architecture

Cityscape Awards Real Estate MENA 2012

Winner, Built Commercial, Office & Retail Project Award
Finalist, Built Mixed Use Project Award

Cityscape Abu Dhabi Awards 2012

Winner, Built Commercial, Office & Retail Projects Award

Arabian Residential Property Awards 2009

5-Star, Best Architecture (Multiple Units), Dubai
5-Star, Best Development, Dubai
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