Abu Dhabi authorities to demolish Meena Plaza

Abandoned Meena Plaza


Thirteen years after construction started on Meena Plaza, one of Abu Dhabi’s iconic buildings, authorities in the country have marked it for demolition. Construction on the 246,500-square-metre development, comprising three apartment towers and an office block, began in 2007, but was halted twice before being abandoned in 2015.

However, the authorities said, the abandoned Dh1 billion development that was under construction in Abu Dhabi’s Port Zayed for more than a decade, will be pulled down. Already, the authorities had carried out a test to help plan in the demolition of Meena Plaza on Thursday.The Department of Municipalities and Transport last week issued a notice ahead of the planned demolition test, urging residents living nearby to expect some noise.

It also carried out a pilot test for development projects that will take place in the Port Zayed Area. “This may lead to some relatively strong noise, which may be heard by those in the vicinity in the morning”, said Abu Dhabi Government media office.

The office stressed that the pilot test was to assess the amount of explosive materials that would be required to demolish the structures, as well as determining protection specifications for volatile substances, measuring noise levels and analysing the vibrations caused by the explosion.

It was learnt that the demolition will “revitalise the area in line with the new vision for the port area”.According to the Emirate’s 2030 vision, the Port Zayed area was to be turned into a media hub, but that project was moved to Yas Island. In 2018, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, approved a major regeneration project in the Port Zayed area.

The Meena Plaza was conceived to include luxuries such as a ­helipad sunbathing deck, a covered spa and wading pool as well as a private medical centre. But in November 2012, work was stopped after the project’s owners and builders became embroiled in a dispute.

Construction was due to begin again in October 2014, but the work was never completed.In 2015, the Malaysian construction company appointed to build the towers announced it was pulling out because it had not been paid.

The buildings stood half-finished for years at the end of the Corniche, constituting a rare eyesore on Abu Dhabi’s skyline.The plans included the redevelopment of fish, vegetable, wood and carpet markets to create a multi-use seafront.The Department of Municipalities and Transport notice stated that the Meena Plaza demolition would be carried out to “revitalise the area in line with the new vision for the port area”.

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