Aera Vertical Resort: Inside Dubai’s exciting new megaproject

A farm-to-table restaurant, glass greenhouse, rooftop pool and zip line – here’s what to expect from the world’s first vertical resort. 

The UAE loves a megaproject. Whether it’s Etihad Rail or the World Islands, the country is filled with ambitious developments. So, it comes as no surprise to find that Aera Vertical Resort, a new vegetation-filled vertical structure has been proposed for the city. OBMI, the international architecture firm, are behind the concept that calls itself the world’s first vertical resort, which aims to recreate a private island in an urban centre. 

Aera Vertical Resort includes seven districts: dining, art, fashion, drama, garden, wellness and family. If you think Burj Al Arab’s seven-star hotel status is impressive, this aims to go one better and open up a new level of luxury in hotel categories. 

Aera Vertical Resort

Aera Vertical Resort is a sustainable architectural solution, as it uses less carbon footprint, thanks to its vertical rather than horizontal design. On the outside, a transparent wall gives you a glimpse into the building. On the inside, trees and vegetation line every level’s wall, giving the structure a green glow. 

Guests arrive in the parkland on the ground floor, and a glass lift transports them through the resort. The lift goes up to the sky lobby, which overlooks the city. Plus, a vertical panorama of the atrium interconnects the floors. Regardless of the weather conditions outside, you’ll find a curated climate with clean, pollutant-free and temperate-controlled air.

Aera Vertical Resort

Guests can enjoy a rooftop pool with a view, walking trails lined with greenery, and farm-to-table dining concepts that draw on the building’s own vegetables and herbs. Plus, there will be running trails in the forest, sidewalk-style cafes, climbing walls, a glass greenhouse and a zipline. 

As more than half of the world’s population lives in cities, this plans to bring nature into the heart of a city. Tim Peck, chairman of OBMI, believes that vertical living is the future of cities, and the project is spearheaded by Peck and his team. 

Aera Vertical Resort

Peck explains: “I believe that the urban five-star hotels are becoming closer and closer to resort offerings, but they somehow lack the full resort experience. In addition, more and more cities are offering incentives for the greening of buildings, but hotels are not taking advantage to improve the guest’s experience.”

Tareq El Zayat, managing director, Dubai, OBMI, adds: “Designed to seamlessly integrate into the skyline of major cities like Dubai, Aera Vertical Resort was conceived to reimagine the notion of domestic tourism. Without sacrificing the indulgences typically found on remote and exclusive destinations, guests of Aera can enjoy transformational experiences through imaginative architecture that celebrates culture, community and environment.”

Aera Vertical Resort

Aera Vertical Resort in Dubai won Best Futuristic Project award at the Construction Innovation Awards 2021. If approved for the UAE, the project would take four years to complete. 

Aera Vertical Resort in Dubai joins a list of exciting new megaprojects that have been proposed for Dubai. Love them or hate them, there’s no denying that they are bold. Take Downtown Circle, a 550-meter-tall ring around the Burj Khalifa, and Moon Dubai, a 735-foot-high spherical structure with a lunar surface. 

Since the UAE is a country where anything is architecturally possible, from the world’s largest artificial island to the world’s tallest building, Aera would feel right at home in Dubai.

 GO: Visit for more information.

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Kohinoor Sahota - Deputy Editor
A sucker for a good story, if you invite Kohinoor to a gallery, comedy night, new restaurant, hiking trip, cycle ride, pool day or just about any activity, she’ll probably say yes – that is if she isn’t busy planning her next adventure.

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