25 April 2007

Spiderman on the Burj Al Arab

The cleaning systems on the Burj are a work of engineering art. The cleaning platforms which service the curved façade windows, run on tracks mounted on each side of the windows. Likewise, the platforms on the outer curved support columns run on tracks which can be seen in the above image on the front of the structure.

The side windows are cleaned using a conventional platform suspended from divots mounted on the roof.

The underneath of the helipad has another custom platform which rotates on rails around the underside.

The rest is done by men like this guy - dangling from a rope, using a water-blaster, and praying that the rope doesn't break!

He's got about 200 metres between him and terra firma!


Pandabonium said...

No thanks. I wonder how one learns to do that job?

Kishor Cariappa said...

No wonder it is rated as the only 7-star hotel in the world!

Radha said...

Thats scary!! The poor guy must really need thay paycheck!!

Paresh said...

Dang. I wonder how he got conned into that one.

Paresh said...

More importantly, what if he needs to go the bathroom.

If man 200 meters above ground pees into the air, does anyone notice?

The Lady said...

How do you keep up with me?! I barely posted, and a comment was on there!

Great shot - what lens were you shooting with? 500mm? I'll have to send you a link to some of my ...erm, work!

Seabee said...

Not for a million dollars could I do that.

elle said...

Well at least they thought about a cleaning system for the exterior of the building. We use to live in a building that had curved windows in the lounge. After continuous complaints the landlord got someone out from Dubai to do the job with a crane. I doubt they've been done since! As for our current building they had a bright idea of given us a 30cm balcony to get the window done. Only problem is you cant do the top of the window otherwise you might fall over the rails. Story of my life....dirty window!

Paresh said...

Elle - telescoping rods fo rhte work you do might behoove your situation, unless you like nosedives off the balcony.

Peceli and Wendy's Blog said...

Sobosobo! Actually I reckon no building should be higher than a coconut tree - so call me old-fashioned - but I hate heights and won't even go into a lift unless absolutely pushed.

BuJ said...

the best company around is OCS.. i've spent many a long afternoon designing the building to hold these spidermen and their equipment.. lol.. it's so hard to make the thing stable.. i tell u that!

btw, loads of companies do this kinda training here.. it's used to inspect bridges too.. as u see a ladder going a few hundred meters is kinda hard to find :)

nzm said...

Pandabonium: Here in Wild East Dubai, I have visions of them just giving the man a waterblaster, fastening him into the harness, pushing him off the edge and not reeling him in until he's finished!

But according to BuJ's comment, they do have training!

Kishor Although it is spectacular, it's self-rated as a 7-star hotel - one star for each of the 7 UAE emirates!

Radha: yeah - tell me about it. I bet that he doesn't get danger money!

Paresh: with summer coming on, the cold water is coming out at about 35degC at the moment. No one would notice the difference if he peed! But then with 40degC air temperatures, it most probably evaporates before it hits the ground anyway!

The Lady: I'm psychic! Seriously it was just a fluke! Welcome back to blogging! I took image on my piddly little Canon Ixus 400 and cropped the image - that's why it's grainy! Would love to see your images!

Seabee: exactly! I got the wobbles up the Eiffel Tower in Paris - and that's without being lowered over the side in a harness!

Elle: practically goes out the window (!) when it comes to cost-savings!

Wendy: my father would agree with you!

BuJ: maybe in the UK they train, but do they train here in Dubai?

Heh - long ladder - someone should design one!!

nzm said...

Elle: that first word in my response is meant to be "practicality".

BuJ said...

Well, let me be frank, if this guy is not trained he will only be doing one job, or maybe two at the max. I know people who have done the training, and I assure you it's not simple or for the faint-hearted.

nzm said...

I can believe that!

He did know what he was doing - we watched him for some time. He was very agile climbing all over the beams. At one stage, he was even free-swinging as he waterblasted the glass behind and below the helipad.

BTW - This post has made it into 2 weeks of Gulf News Blogosphere reports: April 25th and May 1st :-)

halfmanhalfbeer said...

NZM: the fame, fortune, glory it is all yours! Congrats on your honourable mention in Gulf News!

I think that guy has a brilliant job, he gets to work in the frsh air and just imagine the views he gets!


nzm said...

HMHB: thanks! Yes he does have a great view.

I once toyed with the idea of giving 50 of Dubai's construction crane drivers each a disposable camera and getting them to take one photo per day for a month and then publishing a book of the best images.

Of course, I never did enything with the idea cos I was too busy elsewhere!

I suppose that someone will steal the idea now that I've sritten it here!

littejimmy said...


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