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Uptown Tower Dubai, UAE

On-time completion, a challenge in itself given the global pandemic, precedent setting quality, and a human-machine collaboration, all meant the new installation at Uptown Tower exceeded expectations.

Key facts

Challenges and client brief

  • COVID-19 pandemic coincided with construction
  • Emerging new city area important to Dubai and the Gulf
  • High-profile project perfect for innovation in construction

Schindler solutions

  • On-site and virtual teamwork between humans and robots
  • Project logistics, global teams, and double-deck elevators
  • Schindler R.I.S.E – the latest in construction tech

Project stakeholders

  • Client: DMCC
  • Investor: DMCC
  • Developer: DMCC
  • Project Management: TiME (Turner International Middle East)
  • Architect: Woods Bagot
  • General Contractor: Besix

Project highlights


people go into the building each day


Schindler 7000 double-deck elevators


meters of shaft

Pandemic response

The pandemic has changed our world since it started in early 2020. This coincided with the busiest construction phases of Uptown Tower, a 340-meter tower in the south of the city. No one had a playbook for the pandemic. The installation team at Uptown was resilient and quick to react. They moved from public accommodation into designated private housing, set out to limit possible contagion

and allow quarantine. As many activities as possible went online. Constant communication and coordination within the Schindler team and with all the other project partners allowed work to continue. Despite the challenges, Uptown Tower was still completed on time. Its dramatically tapered glass façade is proof that progress is possible, even in a crisis.

Growing Dubai

Uptown Tower is the foundation for a new Uptown development area in the south of the city near Abu Dhabi. Developer DMCC is positioning Uptown Tower as a new node for Dubai – and as a new link with Abu Dhabi. The entire complex was constructed sustainably; even the construction site was powered by solar panels on the parking lot roof. The tower is designed to achieve LEED Gold certification, to bring more sustainable construction to the fast-growing desert city.

Offices, residences, and a five-star hotel, along with retail, restaurants, and services will bring up to 3500 people into the building each day.

To handle this complex range of human traffic, Uptown Tower has Schindler 7000 double-deck elevators, a first in the Middle East. The client wanted a solution that could serve peak periods as efficiently as possible. Our solution was to use nine Schindler 7000 double-deck elevators as the spine of the building circulation. The two heavy-duty Schindler 7000 machines sit in the 78th floor machine room, each one weighing over two tons.

Uptown Tower has over two kilometers of elevator shaft in total. Most people think of land-based horizontal transportation distances, but we know that vertical transport can also take you far.

Schindler R.I.S.E Robot rides UP

We believe in the potential of technology and innovation to help build cities of the future. We invented the Robotic Installation System for Elevators (Schindler R.I.S.E) for smart cities – and smarter construction. We call the one we used in Uptown "Sarah". Sarah and our other Schindler R.I.S.E robots are the first and only mobile robotic system for elevator installation in existence today.

Schindler R.I.S.E Robot

Unmatched efficiency, safety, & accuracy

The first and only mobile robotic system for elevator installation today

"Teamwork between talented engineers, project staff, and robots is the future," commented S. Haydar Icli, Product Manager of Schindler R.I.S.E.

Schindler R.I.S.E helped us to drill holes and set anchors with unmatched efficiency, safety, and accuracy at Uptown Tower. The use of Schindler R.I.S.E at Uptown Tower resulted in such a smooth ride, our customer did not realize their elevator was actually moving the first time they rode in it. The ride quality is an amazing 4 milli-g – a new precedent.

Ride quality is measured in terms of acceleration expressed in decibels, known as milligal or milli-g! Anything under 10 milli-g is considered superior. 4 milli-g for Schindler 7000 double-decks is impressive indeed – leading to elevator movement that is nearly imperceptible. 

Sarah is designed for speed, highly autonomous 24/7 operation, and precision. It is also perfect for mastering climatic, technical, and spatial issues that present safety, ergonomic, and even endurance challenges for humans.

Climate and logistics

Dubai has a harsh climate, regularly reaching 40°C with 90% humidity in the summer. Consequently, working hours are restricted for human safety. It is a simple but brutal challenge to construct buildings in the desert. Uptown Tower was a perfect deployment for the Schindler R.I.S.E Robot, which can operate in nearly any climate. We integrated it into our team and our planning. “Project logistics is the most important factor for success in large projects,” Uptown Tower Project Manager Sultan Hazeem commented.

Heights of collaboration

Tall buildings and large projects always require careful on-site collaboration. The pandemic made this even more essential, even as it made meeting in person more complex. Yet at Uptown Tower, these challenges brought out the best in everyone. We worked even more closely – but still socially distanced for safety (of course!) – with the entire site management group. "We had one option to get the project done: we put all hands on deck and did it together," said Project Director Rami Youssef with a smile.

From left to right: Muhammed Hashim, Nikesh Salvi, Latson Paulson, Rami Youssef, Roy D’Silva, Sultan Hazeem, Durga Rao

Schindler teams

We are proud of our team culture at Schindler. At Uptown Tower, Rami and Sultan have nearly three decades of Schindler experience between them. They have worked as a team throughout the Gulf. Rami is one of a handful of globally certified Project Directors, who are our premiere team leaders around the world. He was trained by some of our true veterans. Many Schindler employees stay with the company for a long

time, some for their entire working lives.

This means we have a huge collective knowledge base. "The best part about Schindler is that someone, somewhere in the organization always has an answer if you have a question or challenge," Sultan commented. At Uptown, this was useful for everything from mundane "nuts and bolts" questions to ongoing guidance for the Schindler R.I.S.E Robot!

Global culture

Dubai is a glittering global hub, famously glamorous and full of tall towers. We are working with people from around the world to help build the Dubai skyline. It is also one of the most internationally diverse places to live and work in the world. "It is a challenge – we have 70 or 80 different nationalities working in Dubai," explains Sultan. "It is also a benefit. Projects like Uptown prepare people to work internationally, with different working styles and cultures," he adds.

Collaboration and empathy mean productive teamwork is possible, regardless of our individual differences. Building and sharing knowledge and skills makes our operations socially sustainable, across cultures and geographies. This supports our global operations from the ground up, one building site at a time.

Uptown Tower

A new icon of technology and innovation in the Middle East, witnessing the combined forces between Schindler R.I.S.E and our talented, diverse workforce.