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Restoring Union House Dubai


Experts used 3D laser scanning technology to try and restore the historical Union House building in Dubai to its former glory

Located at the western end of the Al Diyafah Street, not very far from the sandy Jumeirah Beach, the Union Households an extremely vital place in the contemporary history of the United Arab Emirates. It was on the historic day of the 2nd of December 1971 when the Union House witnessed the signing of the Treaty that established the first federal state of the Arab world, United Arab Emirates, by joining the Emirates of Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Fujairah, Umm Al Quwain, and Ajman. The seventh Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah joined later.

The Union House is also renowned as the location of the United Arab Emirates’ second-largest flag, which stands atop a 120-meter high reinforced column and measures a staggering 40m X 20m. Today, the Union House is considered to be one of the foremost destinations for celebrating the country’s National Day, where citizens and residents from around the country congregate to mark the momentous occasion.


The project

Towards the end of last year, Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority announced a project, which entailed the restoration of this historic building in order to revive and preserve its heritage. The task of documenting the contents of the building and its engineering using three-dimensional technology was given to GEOTECH 3D, a Sharjah based company.

A 3D model of the building created by laser scan data would help to reconstruct the building accurately in its original dimensions, after demolition.

The mission

Construction work in the first phase of the project involved preparing the site, shifting and protecting artifacts and exhibits, demolishing the old buildings on the site, inspecting and treating the soil and shifting the utility lines.

GEOTECH 3D’s mission was to 3D scan and extract an as-is 3D model for the Union House. The accurate model was intended to be used as a digital archive and to carry out the renovation plans.

The execution

To carry out this complex task seamlessly, GEOTECH 3D used Leica C10 Pulse laser Scanner, in addition to 360° cameras to digitally record all the internal contents. The primary aim was to accurately record the dimensions of the main building.

The 3D digitizing system used in the task emits millions of points called a point cloud, and the received points are subsequently converted into one point model. During the processing stage, the company generated an accurate 3D reverse model of all the architectural details, dome and decorative templates on the ceiling.

Apart from that, GEOTECH 3D also created a web interface documentation, which presented a panoramic view integrated with the list of building parts and a flash animation video.

Some of the deliverables s from the project included panoramic images, flash animation web interface, set of high-resolution images, 3D Point Cloud Model, 3D Reverse Model as (such as DWG, DNG, 3DS, OBJ) and a video walkthrough.

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