© Irfan Naqi / Schott Middle East
© Irfan Naqi / Schott Middle East


The Souk - Central Market



Order Volume

873 m² (Phase I) | 1.798 m² (Phase II)


Foster + Partners


2010 (Phase I) | 2013 (Phase II)



The Souk - Central Market

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Windows fit for 1001 Nights - Individual OKALUX insulating glass panes for "The Souk" in Abu Dhabi's Central Market

The famous London architects Foster + Partners have successfully completed the building of the Central Market, a complex of shops, offices hotels and apartments in Abu Dhabi.The key feature of the 500,000 m² complex is a shopping mall based on the example of a typical Arab Souk, a traditional market. Large ornamental windows made of coloured glass create a special lighting atmosphere within the Souk. This insulating glass was developed and manufactured by OKALUX according to the design specifications of the architects.



As OKALUX is a global player, it is no surprise to find it’s expertise in the thriving metropolis of Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates. For the spectacular "The Souk" project in the Central Market, the company supplied individual façade glazing, recreating the style of Arab ornaments. The elements are essential design components of the large, modern shopping centre in traditional style, covering almost 15,000 m² in the heart of the new quarter in the old town of Abu Dhabi. The façade components, with a height of 7 metres and a width of 2.8 metres, consist of bulk-dyed glass in various shades of blue and yellow. Their special shape is striking: the panes are incorporated into a steel frame, which forms a geometrical pattern of stars and rectangles. Not only could OKALUX adhere precisely to the design ideas of the architects, it also adapted them to the climatic conditions of the city in the Persian Gulf: The panes are made of insulating glass with solar protection glass on the outside and coloured glass on the inside. This enables the glass to contribute to maintaining pleasant temperatures in the building all year round. But first and foremost, the ornamental windows create a wonderful atmosphere in the Souk due to the special quality of the illumination. Yellow and blue stars shine on walls and floors, and bring to mind the special qualities of traditional Arab markets with their vivid colours, patterned fabrics and clothing as well as the sunlight, which illuminates the floor between the merchants' stalls.