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Destination Dubai

Nidec provides control system for the largest observation wheel in the world

Ain Dubai reimagines the observation wheel experience in Dubai, offering more than just a 360° city view, they offer an entirely unique sightseeing attraction.

Standing at a height of over 250 meters, higher than any other observation wheel in the world, the Ain Dubai boasts 48 luxurious, brightly-lit cabins that are larger than two double-decker buses placed side by side, and can carry up to 1,750 people at a time. It took 11,200 tons of steel to build (33% more than the Eiffel Tower).

Nidec ASI and its experts at the Montebello Vicentino plant, a world center of excellence in the development of cutting-edge systems for the evolution of cableway transport, were involved in developing the three basic components that make up the “heart” of the wheel.

The Group has been involved in creating the wheel’s entire control system (ICS - Integrated Control System). The ICS is similar to those used in cableways and can be considered the real “brain” of this attraction. It controls all the wheel’s movement, guaranteeing the highest safety standards in the world for the protection of people. The Group has also supplied the communication system that incorporates the latest technologies in terms of digital radio transmission: it acts as the wheel’s “nervous system”, connecting every component, from the motors to the cabin interiors, enabling the relay of control and entertainment information.

Nidec ASI technologies also ensure protection against cyberattacks, which could occur in a project like this, adopting cutting-edge in-field solutions. The third element developed by Nidec ASI is the highly sophisticated multimedia system found inside the cabins that plays audio and video content and allows passengers to connect to the Internet, guaranteeing the best possible on-board entertainment. There are numerous on-board experience options which can be customized to suit different audience types, ranging from the organization of private events to attending exclusive parties, from unique culinary itineraries to packages more suited to families or more romantic experiences, all of which can be further enhanced by the diffusion of personalized multimedia content through this dedicated system.

“We are thrilled to have contributed to this successful initiative, which will boost tourism in Dubai. This city is not new to surprising us with attractions unlike any others in the world, and the record-breaking Ain Dubai could only have been built in this showcase of wonders. Its realization presented us with enormous challenges, which required us to observe maximum technological standards. Being able to complete this project, despite the pandemic and the closure of Dubai for several months, makes us particularly proud, and represents further confirmation of our Group’s leadership in the creation of automation systems applied to passenger transportation,” said Dominique Llonch, CEO of Nidec ASI and Chairman of Nidec Industrial Solutions.

The Group has played a fundamental role in over 600 installations located in every corner of the world, such as the Moscow cable car — inaugurated during the last World Cup — that connects the Luzhniki Stadium to the scenic viewing point at Moscow State University, and the Faloria cableway in Cortina d’Ampezzo, which will take tourists and winter sports enthusiasts to high altitude during the Milan-Cortina 2026 Winter Olympics.

The article "Destination Dubai" appeared in the December 2021 issue of Power Transmission Engineering.

observation wheel