No buyer for Ramada’s iconic glass structure
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.