Live Design Blog Archive

Unusual Rigging & Engineering scale the heights of Mall of the Emirates

When dpa Lighting Consultants were tasked with bringing the lighting in the Galleria and Via Rodeo areas of Dubai's Mall of the Emirates into line with other locations in the Mall, the project presented two major challenges. The first was an extremely short timescale for the whole project, which the client required to be completed before the start of Ramadan. The second was the actual logistics of the installation.

The Mall is open to the public seven days a week, from 10am until midnight, which meant that the installation could only take place at night. Added to the time limitation was the height of the atria a full 46 metres.

Following a review of the existing lighting installation and consideration of the options of how to increase the lighting levels, dpa had recommended replacing the existing tungsten halogen spotlights with Erco Stella metal halide lamps, thus improving energy efficiency and reducing maintenance costs. However, they wanted to install the new track and fixtures as high in the atria as possible, so called in Dubai's Unusual Rigging and Engineering to solve the problem of working at such a height.

With just two days in which to devise a safe system, Leon Ingram, project manager for Unusual Rigging and Engineering, designed a 1 ton working platform which his team pre-built in the company's workshop. This enabled them to ensure it would meet all safety standards, and also to number individual parts, making the on-site build quick and easy.

Unusual Rigging and Engineering installed a series of electric chain hoists onto the existing gantry of the various atria, so the working platform would be suspended, and lowered and raised as required. Thus the platform could be lowered for the installation team at the start of each shift, and ‘parked' out of sight in the roof of the atria when not in use. The platform was moved to the different atria by motor bridling from bay to bay, with protective flooring and coverings preventing any damage to the fabric of the Mall.

The completed installation comprised 192m of Erco lighting track, with 202 Stella 150W HIT 6⁰spotlights. Damien McKay, Senior Designer at dpa Lighting Consultants commented: Everyone involved with the project was very impressed with Unusual Rigging's efficiency, cooperativeness and professionalism.

Unusual Rigging and Engineering LLC can be contacted at PO Box 283586, Dubai,UAE; telephone +971 (0)4 885 9009, fax +971 (0)4 885 9008; or email at


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