No buyer for Ra­mada’s iconic glass struc­ture

7 Days in Dubai - - NEWS -

The world’s tallest stained glass struc­ture is go­ing to be dis­man­tled when the Ra­mada Ho­tel in Bur Dubai is de­mol­ished.

No buyer could be found for the 41m high struc­ture that has resided there since the ho­tel was built in 1983.

“We are go­ing to dis­man­tle the mu­ral and store it in a safe place for fu­ture use,” said Ab­dul­lah Es­soni, CEO of Ab­jar Ho­tels In­ter­na­tional, which owns the Ra­mada fran­chise in Dubai.

Es­soni said the struc­ture did not blend in with any of the cur­rent projects, but may even­tu­ally be res­ur­rected in a fu­ture ho­tel.

“It’s good news that it’s not go­ing to be de­mol­ished with the rest of the ho­tel,” added Es­soni.

“I ad­dressed the press four or five months ago con­tin­u­ously to see if they could find some­one in­ter­ested to sal­vage it, but no­body came for­ward to us.”

Es­soni said he couldnt put a price on the mas­ter­piece’s sen­ti­men­tal value.

“It’s hard to put a value on it re­ally. It’s a piece of art,” he said.

“If you’re just look­ing at the face value of what it orig­i­nally cost 30 years ago, it was al­ready in the mil­lions.”

He said the de­con­struc­tion process, start­ing in a mat­ter of weeks, will be an ag­o­nis­ingly com­plex and tech­ni­cal task.

“We’ve en­gaged a spe­cial­ist to do that, it’s cost­ing us a bun­dle to keep it in­tact,” he said.

Es­soni lamented the lack of ap­petite for his­toric arte­facts in the city.

“No one is in­ter­ested, which is quite sur­pris­ing ac­tu­ally. I think peo­ple have other pre-oc­cu­pa­tions th­ese days,” he said.

No auc­tion will be held for the pil­lar, de­signed by the late Bri­tish stained-glass artist John Law­son.

“I’m just glad we’re go­ing to pre­serve it and I’m sure it will be re­in­stated in all its glory,” he said.

Ra­mada staff have been re­lo­cated among the group’s nine other ho­tels, as work­ers busy them­selves tear­ing down the in­te­rior of the build­ing, ready for de­mo­li­tion at the end of Novem­ber.

“A great num­ber of them were re-lo­cated within other ho­tels within the group. Some of them de­cided to go home and re­tire. So it’s a happy end­ing for ev­ery­one,” Es­soni said.

Built in 1983, the ho­tel will be razed to make way for a five-star ho­tel com­plex with res­i­dences and re­tail shops.

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