Capital Gate isn’t just a 35-storeyed skyscraper, it’s the challenge accepted by Abu Dhabi to put itself on the map. It’s the “farthest man-leaning building” building according to Guinness World Records, being the epitome of architectural beauty in the region, with a total of 728 custom-designed windows that are cleaned twice a month by a team of 12.
According to Ahmed Al Mansoori, a lead engineer of Capital Gate and the Director of Engineering at Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company, the building leans 18 degrees to the west, which is about 5 times the angle of the renowned Leaning Tower of Pisa, and the 17 floors on the top seem to be hanging over the edge, putting tremendous pressure on the core of the building.
The building was inspired by the natural landscape of Abu Dhabi – the windswept dunes and the waves of the gulf. It looks as though it can collapse at any time, but it’s been constructed in such a way that it hasn’t since it’s development nearly 10 years ago. The gravitational pressure is balanced with the world’s 1st “pre-cambered core”, that was built to be slightly off-centre and straightened as the building was developed.
Capital Gate consists of 15 floors of offices, restaurants, bars, as well as a hotel - The Andaz Capital Gate with about 200 rooms, that are all different because of the way the building is structured, and a deluxe Presidential Suite that is partly on the 18-degree incline. The hotel’s restaurant and swimming pool, facing Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre by being on the edge of the building, were added during construction.
After being overshadowed by Dubai, in terms of tourism, for so long, Abu Dhabi is on its way to becoming the cultural hub of UAE. And, according to Asad Haroon, hotel employee, Abu Dhabi will never be something like Dubai and it doesn’t even want to because it’s not somewhere one would just spend a few crazy nights but actually get to experience the UAE culture.