Dubai Pearl epitomises the new Dubai, a dynamic and environmentally sustainable composition of high-rise buildings transformed into a new building form that symbolises diversity, unity and efficiency, publicly conveyed through visual expression. The urban public spaces define the uses of the surrounding buildings by creating ‘fields’ that can house communal activities. Within these ‘fields’, details such as materials and scale help provide the ‘living city’ identity. Dubai Pearl will offer the best in entertainment, dining and shopping within a few steps of where you can live, work and play.

The concept behind Dubai Pearl is likened to an oyster within a shell. The idea behind the physical manifestation of the proposed Dubai Design Centre was born out of the topographical and cultural heritage of the area. It represents a fusion of the pearling boat and a pearl. The boat-shaped body of the smooth, glass building, the epitome of the Dubai modernity and the metaphorical pearl, is surrounded by a rough-cast wall – the oyster-shell – offering it protection but revealing, through its dune-like undulations, glimpses of its luminescent surface. Its architectural symbolism stands for commerce and enterprise of the modern Emiratis, containing within the building’s interior a treasure trove of beautiful objects for local use and for re-exporting, it is very much in the immemorial spirit of their pearl-fishing ancestors.

The proposed Dubai Design Centre is about 230m long and 100m wide. It features two circular courts, 40m and 25m in diameter, respectively. The space between the surrounding “shell” wall and the inclined glass wall forms a 6 – 8m wide Souk encircling the building. In its shady portions it will offer resting and refreshment opportunities and interactive permeability of the interior.

A generous water park, 50m in diameter, signifies the entry point into the Design Centre, whose boat-shaped prow splits it into two water courses which continue to meander through the Souk. The interior spaces aggregating to 15,000 square meters per level are connected horizontally by a grid work of avenues and vertically by two escalators, several stairs, enclosed lifts and glass lifts. The basement accommodates 570 cars, loading docks and goods handling facilities. It is proposed that the Design Centre be built at three levels with the total leasable area of about 45,000sqm. It is contemplated that the building could be staged vertically if desired, yielding about half its final potential area.