The Dubai Skyline Sets a New Record

The 25th-floor lobby.

Photo: © Hufton + Crow

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A view across the pool toward the Dubai Skyline.

Photo: © Hufton + Crow

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The Link from below.

Photo: © Hufton + Crow

Rising above the sands and streets of Dubai, the new One&Only One Za’abeel hotel is an oasis of luxury, with fine-dining destinations galore, top-notch accommodations designed by Jean-Michel Gathy, and seemingly limitless opportunities to indulge. But its building, one of an asymmetrical pair, is also a marvel of contemporary engineering by the architects Nikken Sekkei. Spanning and extending beyond the side-by-side skyscrapers is a gleaming horizontal platform, dubbed The Link and hailed as the world’s longest cantilever at 755 feet. (Weighing over 9,400 tons, it must also rank among the heaviest.) To construct it required seamlessly joining eight separate sections, the combined breadth of which is now home to a sweeping infinity pool and beach club in the sky. “How can we come up with a new symbol that is different?” mused chief architect Koko Nakamura of the design challenge, alluding to the high stakes of designing One&Only’s first urban resort while standing out from local edifices like the Burj Khalifa. Skylines, of course, are best seen from a distance—and these days there’s no better view than that from The Link.

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