Gearhouse In2Structures supplies First Igloo in Dubai

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The first Gearhouse South Africa In2Structures MaxiDome temporary venue has been installed in Dubai, on the left bank of Dubai creek with the InterContinental Dubai Festival City as a backdrop.

The elegant 26 metre internal diameter spherical venue will initially be in place for 15 months and utilised for a myriad of private and corporate functions from product launches and conferences to weddings and parties.

The superstructure tent, officially branded as the “first Igloo in Dubai” was supplied to the InterContinental hotel at Dubai Festival City, in a project led by Area General Manager, Tom Meyer.

Aesthetics and flexibility were paramount. The Hotel sought a good looking structure that would offer sufficient space, weight loading - each MaxiDome arch can accommodate a 1500 centre point load or a 2500kg uniformly distributed load (UDL) - and technical capacities to facilitate the wide variety of events planned.

They also needed something that would fit neatly onto the footprint of a 30 circular metre ‘island' built into the creek and accessed via a 100 metre curved causeway from the back of the hotel. The Igloo's 28.6 metre external dimensions make it a perfect fit.

Tom Meyer was already aware of the MaxiDome product. In addition to supplying exactly the right venue for the location, In2Structures was able to respond extremely quickly, constructing, exporting and completing the site build of the brand new venue within a tight 6 week timescale before the first event was staged.

The Dubai Igloo has an apex height of 12 metres and a total load capacity of 6 tonnes. Real Events is supplying a basic lighting and sound rig, which can be augmented to a flown line array PA system and sub-hung trusses for lighting and video elements when larger occasions demand. A stage, variable seating or tables, etc. can also be installed as required.

The Igloo tent is covered with a combination of white and translucent skins – the latter enabling the best views overlooking the creek and marina in front to be clearly enjoyed by guests inside.

In2Structures supplied a team of 5 riggers from South Africa to build the Igloo, who worked alongside 8 local crew, in an operation that took 10 days and included installing an entrance foyer and doors at the back of the venue, a new air conditioning system and a bamboo floor.

Because the island loading was restricted to 1.5 tons a square metre, a crane could not be used to erect the dome, so instead, a telehandler with a 17 metre reach was utilised to lift the main arch into place, after which each of the remaining 9 individual fingers were fitted.

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