A new botanical wonder has taken root at the heart of the world’s largest natural flower garden in Dubai. Emirates Airline has teamed up with Dubai Miracle Garden to construct the world’s largest floral installation through a life-size version of the Emirates A380, covered in more than 500,000 fresh flowers and living plants. When in full bloom, the aircraft structure will have an unprecedented total stem count of 5 million flowers and will weigh over 100 tonnes (take-off weight of an actual A380 is 575 tonnes).
The flowers and plants used for the ‘living’ Emirates A380 installation were sustainably grown and harvested over a four-month period at Dubai Miracle Garden nurseries in the UAE. The A380 installation comprises of seven varieties of flowers including the Petunia, Coleus, Marigold, Snapdragon, Viola, Geranium and Gaillardia. A medley of over 9,000 flowers and plants made up the Emirates iconic logo, and 100,000 blossoms formed the enormous wings, which reach over 80.27 metres wide.
Over 200 installation crew members meticulously worked 10 hours a day for 180 days to build, layer and mount the textural foliage on the 30 tonne steel structure that makes up the Emirates A380. The life-size installation is over 72.93 metres long. The fuselage stands 10.82 metres from the ground and the tail at 24.21 metres from the ground. The aircraft structure even includes moving engine fans and other key design features that capture the essence of the original aircraft design. The installation is the largest structure to ever be built at the garden and is set on a flowerbed of 7,460 square metres, roughly 10% of Dubai Miracle Garden.
Sustainable use of plant resources
Dubai Miracle Garden’s approach to sustainable horticulture and landscaping practices means it grows and transports flowers and plants with a minimal carbon footprint. Vertical plantation practices were used to minimise water consumption, with high quality hybrid seeds sewed into trays and then transferred to a special variety of soil, allowing for proper aeration and water retention. After the Dubai Miracle Garden season comes to an end, the soil will be used as an organic fertiliser. The Emirates A380 structure was built from recycled materials and the flowers and plants are irrigated through a drip water system specially designed for the structure that will keep the A380 installation hydrated and lush throughout the season. The Emirates A380 installation will be on display for the public from 27 November and can be viewed from a special platform comprising of two levels in the centre of Dubai Miracle Garden