Visions of the Emirates: when the superlative becomes reality

Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, is becoming known for its ultramodern architecture and record-breaking building projects. During the build of the latest development, Liebherr has supplied heavy-duty plant for the groundworks
Visions of the Emirates: when the superlative becomes reality Visions of the Emirates: when the superlative becomes reality Visions of the Emirates: when the superlative becomes reality Visions of the Emirates: when the superlative becomes reality Visions of the Emirates: when the superlative becomes reality

Keller is using a Liebherr HS 8130 with vibroflot for the soil compaction work

Where oriental tradition and ultra-modern design merge - that is where the building skills in the United Arab Emirates become apparent. Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world, dominates the Dubai skyline, at a height of 828m it is a symbol of the building boom in the Emirates.

To the west of Palm Jumeirah, the artificial island in the shape of a palm tree, a new port that will be almost two-million square metres in size is emerging as a further prestigious project in the country. It includes 1,110 berths for 1,400 yachts, a terminal for cruise ships, luxury hotels, shopping centres, residential buildings and a 135m high lighthouse.

This new harbour is a cornerstone for a vision of the Emirates and through the right choice of construction machinery, Keller Grundbau GmbH has managed to eliminate one costly time-consuming working process.

Ground improvement

In order for the project to be a success, the ground upon which the buildings are being constructed must be improved along the 2,675m long coast. For this purpose, Keller is compacting more than seven-million cubic metres of sand in an area of 380,000m². Through deep compaction, the load-bearing capacity of the ground to support construction loads is enhanced and the settlement of the ground is reduced. Keller is a pioneer for soil compaction and has been involved in a number of large construction sites in the United Arab Emirates, including Palm Islands. For the current harbour project, the company is using a duty cycle crawler crane from the Liebherr HS series. The HS 8130 is equipped with a vibroflot for deep compaction.

Efficient realisation

The long boom of the HS 8130 provides Keller with a large working radius. Without having to change the position of the duty cycle crawler crane, a wide radius of building ground can be compacted. The radius is a particular advantage for the steep drop into the sea. Work of this kind is usually carried out from a barge or land is temporarily reclaimed for the task and subsequently restored to the sea. Both these methods are considerably more time-consuming and cost-intensive.

Through the use of Liebherr's HS 8130 for the deep compaction, Keller has improved the building ground down to a depth of 19m. The aim is to withstand a construction load of 200kPa. In order to verify the geotechnical requirements of the ground, approximately 600 compaction points are being tested using SPT (standard penetration test). In addition to the large radius of the HS 8130, the complete HS series has proven itself through its all-rounder qualities.

  new harbour is emerging on the ersian ulf in front of ubais skyline A new harbour is emerging on the Persian Gulf in front of Dubai's skyline


The new harbour in the Persian Gulf is the cornerstone for the Emirates' vision of attracting 20 million tourists per year from 2020. For the harbour project in Dubai, Keller also has two drilling rigs and two crawler cranes from Liebherr in operation.