Queen Elizabeth opens billion dirham bridge

Sheikh Khalifa, president of UAE, and Queen Elizabeth II opened the bridge on Thursday with a spectacular light display
Queen Elizabeth opens billion dirham bridge
BRIDGE OPENING: HH Sheikh Khalifa and Queen Elizabeth officially opened the Sheikh Zayed Bridge on Thursday
By Elizabeth Broomhall
Thu 25 Nov 2010 04:30 PM

Sheikh Zayed Bridge, Abu Dhabi’s billion dirham gateway, was officially opened on Thursday afternoon in the presence of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, president of the UAE and emir of Abu Dhabi.

The bridge, which was nominated for infrastructure project of the year at this week’s Construction Week awards and given special mention by local media personality Tom Urquhart, presenting, was officially opened at 4pm with a spectacular light display.

“The bridge will be opened today at 4pm in the presence of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and His Highness Sheikh Khalifa,” confirmed bridge builder Six Construct’s general manager, Philippe Dessoy. “A full demonstration of the dynamic feature lighting shall take place this evening and on Friday night.”

In sharp contradiction with standard engineering principles, the bridge was one of the most difficult structures to build in the world.

Uniquely designed by female architect Zaha Hadid, the bridge was intended to be an iconic ‘landmark’ as well as a piece of infrastructure, and one which would reduce traffic congestion into Abu Dhabi city by 15 minutes in line with the emirate’s 2030 economic vision.

Among its most iconic features are the “sand dune”-shaped arches, meant to represent the desert dune hills of the Middle East, as well as the unique, colour-changing feature lighting supplied by Danway.

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