World's Tallest Tower, Meet World's Tallest Ferris Wheel

You can see the Burj Khalifa from UAE's new 820-foot-tall Ain Dubai, or 'Dubai Eye'
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 29, 2021 1:01 PM CDT
Take a White-Knuckle Spin on World's Tallest Ferris Wheel
The sun sets behind the Ain Dubai, or "Dubai Eye," an 820-foot Ferris wheel in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on Jan. 12, 2021.   (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)

If you're in Dubai anytime soon, have at least 40 minutes to spare, and don't have a terrible fear of heights, there's at least one attraction there that might pique your interest. The Ain Dubai ("Dubai Eye"), the world's tallest Ferris wheel, is now open for business, towering 820 feet over the city from its perch on Bluewaters Island. For context, NPR notes the UK's London Eye is about 440 feet tall, while the previous world's tallest Ferris wheel, Las Vegas' High Roller, comes in at about 550 feet.

Built from more than 12,000 tons of steel—about 30% more than the amount of iron used to construct the Eiffel Tower, per the Ain Dubai website—the ride was eight years in the making, an idea greenlit in 2013 to bring more tourists to the region. There were several delays with production, though it seemed that the big wheel was finally set to open last year—until COVID hit. The attraction is said to come with a $270 million price tag, per another site for the Ferris wheel.

The length of each spoke is longer than a soccer field, and 15 London buses could theoretically be stuffed in each of the Ferris wheel's legs. The ride can seat up to 1,750 passengers at a time, with up to 40 allowed in each of the 48 air-conditioned cabins. You can bring food and drink (even booze) up with you as you soar above the Dubai skyline, which includes a view of the world's tallest tower, the Burj Khalifa. And you might need the snacks—a full spin around takes 38 minutes. One caveat: There are no bathrooms in the cabins themselves, so make sure you go before you go. Interesting Engineering notes a ticket costs about $36. (More Ferris wheel stories.)

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