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  • Urban Development

Al Hamra Tower is one of the tallest buildings in the world. It is a complex comprised of offices, health club and a high end shopping mall. The skyscraper’s design responds to the intense heat of Kuwait’s desert climate by minimizing solar gain through angular cut window on its southern facing side. The building’s asymmetrical shape protects the tower from powerful winds, creating an architectural design worthy of recognition.

This iconic building was designed by US based architectural firm, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP. They are known for setting very high standards in terms of quality. During the tendering stage it was the architects who chose Hitachi because of its knowledge and expertise in the field of vertical lift, able to exceed the standards and deliver in a timely manner. Hitachi’s team designed 53 high-speed elevators and 16 escalators that allow patrons to travel with ease and comfort through the tower’s impressive interior.


  • Challenge
    Hitachi, along with Ahmadiah company, the main supplier of elevators, had to create distinctive solutions for the tower’s lifting requirements with high speed and minimal allowable space. Great consideration was given to the elevators in the design and construction phases to ensure the installation and testing could be accomplished without any serious complications.
  • Solution
    Working together with the client, Hitachi and Ahmadiah developed innovative solutions for lift, installation and testing of their products. Customized elevators and escalators where created to fulfil the required stipulations of load and speed. Hitachi’s Research & Development Group was able to produce the first elevator that travels at 10 meters per second.
  • Going forward
    Guided by the theme of sustainable design and enhanced comfort, Hitachi strives to create public infrastructure that serves people from around the world with a focus on setting new records for elevator speed.


Hitachi faces the challenges of meeting the requirements of Al Hamra Tower and lifting the heavy motors

On the Al Hamra Tower project, Hitachi and Ahmadiah were given minimum space to accommodate a large number of elevators. The ultra fast elevators designed for this building required motors weighing 18 tons each. The immense motors posed a problem since construction cranes were not able to hoist such substantial machinery to the top floor’s mechanical room in a timely manner. Hitachi’s team had to come up with a technique to assist lifting of the cumbersome motors to the buildings peak. The project called for the customization of lift, in terms of both load and speed, each of which were outside of Hitachi’s production range.

Al Hamra Tower architects faced challenges of designing a building with minimum space in order to accommodate a large number of lifts, yet not to disturb the office areas. And they also had put in place a lot of criteria in mind, one being the speed at which the elevators will travel and the capacity due to Al Hamra’s complex vertical transportation system which came from the building’s unique design.

Eng. Wael M. Daoud
Engineering Unit Head
Al Hamra Real Estate Co.

Additionally, there were heavy tower transformers weighing 10 tons each that needed to be hoisted to the upper floors as well, keeping in mind their potential replacement later on. The onsite team decided this move would be done through the tower’s service elevator which is capable of lifting 4500kg and the speed of 6m/s, resulting in another lifting challenge for Hitachi.

Achieving the required specifications and installation techniques of the most distinctive high rise elevators were the most challenging tasks. It was necessary to devise new methods for designing the rails alignment in order to ensure rapid movement.

Adel S. Tayea
General Manager
Ahmadiah International Elevator Co. W.L.L.


Pioneering technology brought success to Hitachi at Al Hamra Tower

Designing the first 10 meter per second elevators from scratch to fulfil the clients’ needs by our Research & Development Group had kept Hitachi at the top of the competition.

Jenson Wong
Manager, Hitachi.

The issue of speed was given to Hitachi’s Research & Development Group to solve. The team was able to break new ground by creating the first elevator to travel at 10 meters per second. Being committed to the success of this project, Hitachi dispatched engineers to support the installation, testing, commissioning and handover of the elevator systems. It was also the first time that Hitachi and Ahmadiah designed, installed and tested a customized elevator.

A service lift and customized lifts were designed by Hitachi in order to solve the lifting challenges especially with the motors of the ultra-high speed elevators and transformer, but through employing an experienced team, installation techniques and innovative technology, we were able to solve all these challenges.

Adel S. Tayea
General Manager
Ahmadiah International Elevator Co. W.L.L.

The service elevator was deployed to properly place the 10-ton power transformers. By slowing the lift down to 0.5 m/s, the electrical motors were able to hoist the 10 ton weight to the building’s upper floors. Again this success was attributed to the quick thinking of the onsite team.

Hitachi was very helpful in overcoming obstacles during many stages of the project, with their professional approach that had contributed to the success of the project.

Eng. Mohammed Al Matook -MBA
Deputy General Manager
Al Hamra Real Estate.

Hitachi also dealt with the complications that the enormous 18-ton motors presented. The on-site team converted the service elevator into a moving platform, since the tower cranes were not capable of moving a load of this magnitude. This operation required a high level of creativity on the part of engineering professionals.

Going forward

Hitachi incorporating pioneering IT and infrastructure technologies to improve people's everyday lives.

Hitachi is dedicated to meeting customer needs, customizing products, and delivering superior after sales service. Hitachi looks to enhance long-term relationships with its many valuable clients.

As Al Hamra is a long term project we have signed a long term contract with Hitachi to maintain the entire conveying system.

Eng. Wael M. Daoud
Engineering Unit Head
Al Hamra Real Estate Co.

Hitachi’s strength comes from strong communication and coordination with its local partner Ahmadiah. Hitachi continues its work with Al Hamra Tower through maintenance and service, ensuring the smooth undisturbed operations for years to come.

We hope that collaborative design, customization, quality service and support will keep clients using Hitachi as their preferred supplier for years to come.

Ahmadiah is keen on having continuous coordination throughout future projects with Hitachi to ensure the best products for exceptional projects.

Adel S. Tayea
General Manager
Ahmadiah International Elevator Co. W.L.L.

Combining IT with advanced infrastructure is the core of Hitachi’s Social Innovation business. These solutions ensures the safe comfortable travel on the many elevators and escalators the company builds. Hitachi strives to create public infrastructure that serves the world in the age of the Internet of Things.

Our future vision is to break our own current record of ultra-high speed which is (20m/s)

Mr. Makoto Nagashima
Deputy General Manager
Global Elevator & Escalator Division.
Hitachi, Ltd. Building Systems Business Unit

Release Date: September 2016
Solutions By: Hitachi, Ltd., Building Systems Business Unit