Project Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Cleveland Clinic

Large-scale innovation and sustainability

Sector: Buildings

As a showcase of design, technology and eco-friendliness, the Cleveland Clinic is among the world’s top hospitals. It was also a technically-challenging project involving complex logistics, large-scale construction and strict environmental standards.

World-leading ambitions

With the goal of providing multidisciplinary care to citizens of the Abu Dhabi region, the Cleveland Clinic is one of the world’s most advanced medical centres. Comprised of 8 buildings, 7,535 rooms, 25 operating theatres, 342 consulting rooms and a three-storey car park, the hospital is equipped with cutting-edge infrastructure and state-of-the-art technology. This world-class medical facility bears impressive technical features such as interior walls being USG gypsum partitions, UL certified doors and high level finishes. The 400,000 m2+ structure itself, inspired by Middle Eastern urban planning adheres with recently-established environmental criteria and is Gold certified by the American LEED accreditation scheme, with a target of 75% waste recycling and the elimination of dust in every construction stage.

The work was complicated on many levels: air treatment, the installation of cleanrooms, an active double glazed façade and so on. When faced with such a challenge, the logistical aspect is crucial. The perfect collaboration and full transparency with Aldar-Mubadala team has been a key factor for the right achievement on time

Unusual layout on a grand scale

Whereas most hospitals tend to be developed along a vertical axis, the Cleveland Clinic is spread over a large area on 2 main levels, above (medical services and patient rooms) and below (parking and main utilities) an artificial elevated platform. The implementation of the project involved over 500 engineers and architects, 100 subcontractors and 15,000 construction workers to complete, and logistics was complex due to both the hospital’s layout, external works and the downtown location. With so many collaborators, data sharing processes, procedures and hardware needs, IT requirements were enormous in scope. Finally, the hospital had to be built according to strict specifications and standards in eco construction.

Healthcare with a view

With over 50 years of experience with large-scale projects and an excellent reputation in the Middle East, BESIX was chosen as general contractor. Valued at over EUR 1.2 billion, the completed Cleveland Clinic features 230,000 m³ of concrete and 35,000 tons of structural steel. The hospital complex sprawls horizontally along the seafront of Al Maryah Island, with the main and satellite buildings glass-decked and a maximum of 22 storeys in height. As a LEED Gold-rated building, the hospital recycles 75% of its waste and was constructed without generating any dust. It also holds a Four Pearl rating from the Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council for intelligent, green construction.

The major challenges of this project, besides the construction, were the scale of the design studies which have been coordinated through BIM technology and the logistics, which were even more complex than for the Burj Khalifa, due to the just-in- time daily flows and the town-centre location. The amount of information to be managed was massive (with a production of up to 60 drawings per day), not to mention the checks required. All this represented a sensational human investment for BESIX, which produced a new generation of even more efficient and competitive engineers!

Project details

Project name

Cleveland Clinic

Area(s) of expertise

High Rise, Hospitals

Contract type



Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates


Six Construct, BESIX



Building Period

2010 - 2014



Total value

€ 1.25 Billion

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