The world’s biggest and tallest Ferris wheel opened to the public last week in Dubai. Located on Bluewaters Island and offering views of the Dubai skyline, the Ain Dubai stands at around 820 feet tall and required around 11,200 tons of steel to build, according to their website.
To put that into perspective, the London Eye — one of the largest observation wheels in the world and one of the most well-known — is only around 440 feet tall. The High Roller in Las Vegas, which had held the title of tallest Ferris wheel in the world for nearly a decade, is around 550 feet tall.
The Ain Dubai also takes the cake when it comes to record number of passengers able to ride at the same time, with its seating capacity sitting at 1,750 (the High Rollers’ is 1,120) and each (mercifully air-conditioned cabin) able to hold a max of 40 riders. But a ride on this wheel won’t be as quick as say, a spin at your local county fair; one full rotation on the Ain Dubai takes around 38 minutes. Luckily, food and beverages from concession stands on the ground are allowed for the ride, including drinks from the bar.
During the opening night events on Thursday and Friday, the wheel was lit up at night and visitors were treated to a fireworks show, according to a press release.
It’s a celebration that was reportedly a long time coming. Officials in Dubai first gave developers the greenlight to build the record-breaking ride in 2013, as part of a larger project to increase tourism in the area, The Telegraph reports.
After a series of delays, the wheel was originally slated to make its debut last year, but organizers had to revise those plans due to COVID-19, according to another Ain Dubai website