Sunkid supplies the world’s first concave loading conveyor belt

“Ain Dubai”, the worlds largest and tallest Observation Wheel  is now standing in Dubai. Its cabins are entered via an loading conveyor belt and access gates by Sunkid.

Ain Dubai, at more than 250 metres, is now the largest and tallest observation wheel in the world, outdoing even the High Roller in Las Vegas (168 metres), the Singapore Flyer (165 metres), and the London Eye (135 metres).

The observation wheel is circled by 48 luxurious passenger cabins that can carry about 1,750 guests at a time together.


A challenging project

Construction of the observation wheel commenced back in 2015. Companies from more than 10 countries around the world were involved with it, including Sunkid with its Moving Carpet. For Sunkid, this project meant an enormous effort that was technically handled through Bruckschlögl GmbH in Bad Goisern. On top of development and production, more than 2,000 hours went into planning and project management. While the initial complete assembly for acceptance by TÜV Süd could be done in the Austrian assembly hall, final assembly in Dubai needed to be done at night. Although this at least avoided the most extreme temperatures in the late summer of 2020, the assembly team was nevertheless working under great strain at 35 °C and more, in high humidity and narrow spaces. Following Covid-caused delays of the overall project, the facility with its conveyor belt and access gates was officially accepted in the summer of 2021. It was officially opened  to the world on 21st October 2021.


Higher capacity and safety by loading conveyor belt and access gates

The Sunkid conveyor belts – originally developed as ski conveyor belts and proven there a thousandfold for passenger transport – keep surprising their users with new functions, technologies, and applications.

The passenger cabins are entered by access gates and loading conveyor belts by Sunkid.

Since the observation wheel never stops turning, the loading conveyor belt makes sure that the speed difference between the moving gondolas and the static platform is optimally compensated to ensure that the required safety and maximal capacity can be achieved. The Sunkid loading conveyor belt allows the Observation Wheel to move by 30% faster, increasing its hourly capacity by 30%. The loading conveyor belt also serves as part of the evacuation route in emergencies.


Sunkid as a master for special requirements

This project had to meet some other very special requirements as well. Find a brief summary below:

  • Special U-shape (concave) of the “rolling platform”, following the special shape of the platform
  • Special link chain design for safety, silent operation, and slip-proofness
  • Link chain with colour marks to easily indicate the edges and movement direction to the passengers
  • Antistatic design of the link chain
  • Special cleaning function to comply with the local climate situation (heat, dust, wind, sea)
  • Special chain tensioning for elimination of vibrations
  • Independent control of the loading conveyor belt communicates with the control of the observation wheel + access gates


Interesting facts

  • Sunkid develops and builds all of its conveyor belts fully at the Bruckschlögl GmbH site in Austria, where not only the Moving Carpet for skiing applications, but also conveyor belts for transporting people or tyres in water parts or wild water facilities originate.
  • “Ayn”, or ain – is the 16th letter of the Arabian alphabet and translates as “eye”.
  • Every single spoke of the “Wheel” exceeds a football field in length.
  • Every single cabin is larger than two double-decker buses placed side by side.
  • 11,200 tons of steel are installed in total.
  • One complete rotation takes approx. 38 minutes.


Fact box:

  • Width: approx. 1.6 m
  • Length: approx. 44 m
  • Capacity observation wheel: up to 1750 persons at the same time
  • Speed: adjusted to the rotational speed of the Observation Wheel. Regular speed: 0.2 m/s. Deceleration at emergency stop: 0.15 m/s²
  • Requirements: Built to the conveyor belt standard EN 15700, local directives and customer specifications


Photocredits: Sunkid, Ain Dubai

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