August 5, 2021

Looking cool in the shade


Renowned company wt Burden built a series of sunshades along the first 7km of the Jumeirah Corniche running track in the Emirates. The stylish structures also had to be tough enough to handle beach-front conditions.

Running along an area behind the Dubai Marine Beach Resort & Spa up to Burj Al Arab Hotel, the Jumeirah Corniche running track is a 14km path – the longest in the Emirates. The paved walkway and running track was constructed to encourage residents and tourists to enjoy a variety of sports, including jogging and walking, as well as other open-air activities.

The project, the vision of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum to provide quality life for the people of the UAE and its visitors, involved the construction of a 14km corniche with a 4m wide beach running track and 5m wide boardwalk, featuring commercial kiosks, shaded benches and other public facilities overlooking the beach.

Parsons International was awarded the contract for managing services by the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA). M S Wade Adams was appointed as main contractor and selected wt Burden as sub-contractor for the supply of street furniture for the ambitious beach front development, including benches and seats, waste bins, bollards, planters and stylishly shaped shading structures

Working closely with RTA and Parsons, wt Burden was commissioned to design different shading concepts and matching street furniture based on three main themes: wave, nautical and traditional. From wt Burden’s initial concepts, the wave style was selected as the main landscaping theme.

After initial concept meetings and proposal presentations, RTA and Parsons gave wt Burden a design and material brief for two styles of customised shade structures, which had to be aesthetically beautiful and light yet robust enough to survive windy seaside weather. The client also requested that the structures should be suitable for families to enjoy picnics.

In addition, wt Burden was asked to design aesthetic details for the project, including colour palette and technical solutions, and to suggest the most appropriate materials and finishes for an environment where a combination of sea salt and hot temperatures, typical in the region, often lead to corrosion and discolouration of materials.

The company designed beautifully curved double-wave and triple-wave sunshades in two sizes. Each shade was made of marine-grade ply okoume, 100% FSC, and a steel structure treated with a protective coating with a guaranteed durability of more than 15 years. To enhance its recreational functionality, each shade had granite tables and custom aluminium seats incorporated for beach dining, while to highlight the wavy shape of the roof and create a sophisticated and convivial atmosphere in the evening, a specially designed, blue-effect LED was also installed in each structure.


The target deadline for the completion of the 26 shades, including installation, was three months and the project was completed on time, featuring quality products with a minimum warranty of 10 years, even for the shades located directly on the beach.

The project also included the design of the benches and seating to enhance and follow the wave appearance of each shade’s roof. Seats by mmcité – a leading street furniture brand represented by wt Burden in the Middle East – were selected. Originally constructed using concrete parts, the seats were personalised and softened with wooden lamellas and aluminium steel structure to match the sunshades. The Diamante wave bench and the Sedis Torsion seating by Metalco completed the overall aesthetics, adding some Mediterranean style.

The client also requested specially designed tree ring benches. Working closely with mmcité designers, wt Burden suggested a vertical rather than horizontal backrest, which helped to keep manufacturing costs down. Metal structures were manufactured using marine-grade stainless steel with a special coating. To complete the rest areas, concrete planters, powder-coated bollards, and Metalco litter bins equipped with ashtrays were dotted along the length of the running track.

As with many projects of such scale, the major challenge in the Jumeirah Corniche running track project was producing tailor-made products while adhering to budget and deadline. Offering bespoke design encompassed a high level of expertise and flexibility in identifying cost-effective solutions, without compromising on quality. Moreover, having to source materials not only from the local market but globally, imposed an extremely tight time schedule. After pricing and value engineering, wt Burden was also contracted to produce full, detailed CAD drawings and engineering calculations for technical submittal.

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