As millions around the world tuned in to watch the unveiling of the iPhone X, or what Apple calls “the future of the smartphone” on Tuesday, the pristine venue of the event bore testimony to Dubai’s advances in sustainability.
How? Because the massive carbon-fibre roof of the Steve Jobs Theater is made-in-Dubai. Not many know, but Dubai Investment Park-based Premier Composite Technologies (PCT) is responsible for building the unassuming glass dome that hides an aesthetically-pleasing subterranean auditorium that can host up to about 1,000 persons.
At 80 tonnes, 44 identical carbon-fibre panels and a whole lot of precision, Apple believes that this is the “world’s largest free-standing carbon-fibre roof”. And it’s thanks to Dubai.
After the panels of the roof were built and tested individually, they were shipped to its location piece-by-piece, via San Francisco.
The roof of the Steve Jobs Theater is “a massive statement piece, in addition to a design feat”, PCT says on its website. They do add that Apple doesn’t want you to call it a UFO – even if it does resemble one.
Apple’s new “spaceship” headquarters was a dream project of the late Apple co-founder and former CEO Steve Jobs. Apple Park, in which the Steve Jobs Theater is located, is powered by 100 per cent sustainable energy.
The new campus is in Cupertino, with the Jobs Theater on a hilltop overlooking meadows and the main building.
“Apple Park has been built to reflect Apple’s values for technology and the environment,” CEO Tim Cook said after paying tribute to late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs at the first-ever media event at the new campus Tuesday.
The value of the project is pegged at $5 billion (Dh18.37 billion), and he was deeply involved in its development until he passed away in 2011.
“Steve (Jobs) was exhilarated, and inspired, by the California landscape, by its light and its expansiveness,” his widow Laurene Powell Jobs said.
“It was his favourite setting for thought. Apple Park captures his spirit uncannily well.”
Cook began the first-ever media event in the theater with a tribute to Steve Jobs, whose image and words were shared with the audience.
“I love hearing his voice, and his inspiring message,” Cook said.
“We dedicated this theater to Steve because we loved him and because he loved days like this.”
Cook hosted an event at which Apple laid claim to the future of the smartphone with a 10th anniversary iPhone X, featuring facial recognition unlocking, augmented reality capabilities and other refinements the star of the presentation.
Dubai’s PCT, meanwhile, boasts a portfolio of large-scale projects, including the Mataf Elevated Walkway, the largest carbon-fibre-reinforced civil structure in the world in the holy city of Makkah; the Dokkae Tower Clock and Crescent in Makkah, the world’s largest clock; the Grand Atrium Dome at Abu Dhabi’s Emirates Palace; and interior structures at the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, also in the UAE capital, among several others.