A striking high-rise complex, funded and managed by UAE-based developers and constructors, will be launched in the heart of Astana in 2017, further contributing to the young capital's fascinating skyline and state-of-the-art architecture, as well as its growing status as an international hub.

The most iconic mixed-use complex in Central Asia is currently being developed in Astana and is set to further transform the Kazakhstani capital into a modern, global city with striking architecture. There is no mystery behind the development's name, Abu Dhabi Plaza. The complex is being developed by Aldar Properties PJSC, a real estate investment, development, and management company headquartered in the Emirate through its subsidiary Aldar Eurasia. The developer is well known across the other Emirates and the Middle East for its high-quality developments; its portfolio of projects in Abu Dhabi include, among others, the waterfront development Al Raha Beach, considered to be the “ultimate water city” and the site of the internationally recognized, circular building that is home to the company's headquarters. Other projects include the award-winning Gate Towers, a mixed-use development comprising four towers, and The Arc in Al Reem Island, as well as Yas Island, which includes a Warner Bros theme park and a Formula One circuit.

Abu Dhabi Plaza is the first project for Aldar Properties outside of the UAE, a clear sign of the growing investment and diplomatic relations between the two countries, which were also emphasized by President Nazarbayev on occasion of his UAE visit in early 2017. In 2013, Aldar awarded the contract for the construction of Abu Dhabi Plaza to Arabtec Holding, a fellow Emirati company and the largest construction firm in the Persian Gulf by market value, which will construct the complex within the framework of a joint venture with global constructors Consolidated Contractors Company. The UAE is considered to be among the world's experts when it comes to iconic, eye-catching, and modern urban developments, and Aldar has brought not only this expertise, but also a real piece of the UAE to the young and flourishing Kazakhstani capital. In fact, in occasion of the presentation of Abu Dhabi Plaza, the Chairman of Aldar Properties, HE Abu Baker Siddiq Al Khouri, said the same innovations and exclusive features used in the construction of facilities in the UAE will equally be implemented in Astana's Abu Dhabi Plaza.

The project, for an overall investment of USD1.6 billion entirely funded by the UAE, occupies a total area of 510,000sqm and consists of a matrix of various slender towers of different heights—resembling Chicago's Willis Tower, also known as Sears Tower. At a height of 382m and 88 floors, Abu Dhabi Plaza's residential tower is set to be the tallest skyscraper in Central Asia. In fact, at just one meter taller than New York's Empire State Building, it is destined to be among the 30 tallest buildings in the world. Planned as an integrated mixed-use development, Abu Dhabi Plaza includes 568 luxury apartments, a five-star hotel that will be operated by the Starwood Group through its Sheraton brand and includes 190 hotel rooms as well as 100 additional serviced apartments, 107,000sqm of commercial office space, a 50,000sqm retail podium, and four basement car parks providing space for more than 4,000 vehicles. The complex is connected by a 4km-long street to the Expo site and Astana International Airport, both routes also covered by the metro network. Moreover, it was designed with Astana's extreme climate in mind and will therefore maximize solar heat in winter, when temperatures can drop by up to -40 degrees, and avoid overheating during Astana's hot summers through a well-insulated north façade. Solar panels on the south side attract energy to heat water, making it a completely environmentally sensitive design.

Over 5,000 people, including about 3,350 Kazakhstanis, are involved in the construction of Abu Dhabi Plaza, as part of an agreement between both sides to engage local construction companies and construction materials producers. This, of course, is one of the measures to develop Kazakhstan's construction within President's Nazarbayev's industrialization program, launched with the aim of diversifying the country's economy away from oil and gas. Abu Dhabi Plaza is a landmark development towards this goal. The latest addition to Astana's increasingly dazzling skyline, though seemingly not the last, Abu Dhabi Plaza gives further impetus to the ongoing transformation process of Astana into a forward-looking global city and an international financial, diplomatic, and tourist hub.