Seoul to build the world’s 2nd-largest Ferris wheel

2023.03.09 09:53:02 | 2023.03.09 12:25:26

Rendering of ‘Seoul Ring’ [Photo provided by Seoul City]이미지 확대

Rendering of ‘Seoul Ring’ [Photo provided by Seoul City]

The world’s second-largest Ferris wheel with a diameter of 180 meters will be built along the Han River in Sangam-dong, western Seoul.

“We will build the 180-meter ‘Seoul Ring’ at Haneul Park that is 96 meters above sea level,” said Hong Sun-kee, an official from Seoul Metropolitan Government on Wednesday. “The highest tip of the structure will be 276 meters, which is higher than the 63 Building (in Yeouido, Seoul), which will allow it to be seen everywhere you go.”

Seoul Ring is a spokeless Ferris wheel inspired by the London Eye in London, U.K. It will be the tallest of its kind in the world and the second-largest among other Ferris wheels after the Ain Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.

The structure will have 36 30-square-meter cabins, or capsules, each of which can carry as many as 25 passengers. The capsules are designed to travel on the rail at 0.25 meter per second. The structure can carry up to 1,474 people an hour and 11,792 a day. According to Seoul city, more than 3.5 million people a year are expected to visit the attraction.

The project, worth 400 billion won ($303 million), will be carried out under a build-transfer-operate contract. Given that 4.8 million people visit the Ain Dubai every year and 3.5 million use the London Eye, the Seoul Ring will also ensure high profitability.

Seoul city plans to accept proposals from companies interested in the project. The tentative design and scale can be flexible. After the review by the Ministry of Economy and Finance, the construction is set to begin in 2025 and be completed by the second half of 2027.

The Seoul Metropolitan Government explained several reasons for choosing Haneul Park as the construction site. The first was its geographical proximity.

“This area is close to North Korea, so we can expect the area to represent the hopes of reconciliation and unification,” it said.

The park also offers panoramic views of the capital city, Han River, and Namsan.

Haneul Park, once a landfill, also serves as the best location for the city to express its desire for environmental policy and carbon-neutral schemes. Nanjido was a landfill island in 1978 before it was transformed into Haneul Park in 1993. An exhibition center that marks the trajectory will be set near the bottom of the Seoul Ring.

By Lee Hee-soo and Han Yubin

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