Controlling access at UAE’s second largest mall

October 2013 Access Control & Identity Management


Situated on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, UAE near Abu Dhabi City, the Yas Mall is a US$36 billion mega development project by Aldar Properties. With 235 000 m² of gross leasable area on completion in early 2014, Yas Mall will be the second largest mall in the UAE and 35th largest in the world.

Adjacent to Yas Island’s race track, Ferrari World, waterparks, hotels, golf course and the beach, the Yas Mall will add to the burgeoning mini-economy on the island.

The retail and public spaces created by Yas Mall will be of such a large scale in comparison with the existing retail in Abu Dhabi that it will have a considerable impact on the retail and social scene of Abu Dhabi and the catchment’s shopping habits. The mall will have a programme of activities from opening to encourage people to become acquainted with each element.

Overall, the design emphasises the cluster approach, where retailers offering similar wares and services are grouped together to ensure maximised shopper convenience.

The sheer enormity of the construction site meant that access control of the 8000 construction workers per shift was a logistical nightmare. Added to this, the harsh climatic conditions included constant salty sea spray and dust from the physical construction work. This, coupled with the rough handling by the workers, meant that the initial turnstiles, supplied by a Far East manufacturer, failed to perform to specification, could not cope with the large volumes and therefore required urgent replacement.

Solution from the South

Africa’s largest manufacturer of physical access control products, Turnstar, rapidly deployed eight Triumph single turnstiles to handle the throughput of 1000 people per turnstile, per hour. This ability to easily and quickly cope with the high volume of workers, clearly demonstrates the robustness of the Triumph turnstiles.

The Triumph single turnstiles were utilised not only for access control, but also for time and attendance (T&A). The turnstiles were linked to a card reader, requiring each employee to clock in and out of the main entrance.

Triumph full height industrial turnstiles are the number one selling brand in Africa and have been installed in a number of stadia, factories and construction sites throughout South Africa. In addition, due to its durability and reliability the Triumph turnstile is the most widely used brand of its kind in the African mining industry.

The Triumph turnstiles are designed for use in high-volume, high-security applications and operate well in severe climatic conditions, including the extremely high temperatures and dry environment endemic to the desert region of Abu Dhabi.

Fitted with the heavy-duty electromechanical Rotalok rotation locking mechanism, the Triumph is electronically controlled for bi-directional rotation. The Rotalok is zinc plated, making it ideal for locations like Yas Island, where corrosion is an issue. The suspended rotor technology eliminates stress on the base bearing for extended lifespan. The self-centring rotation system means that the rotor returns to its starting position after each, allowing high volumes of Yas Mall construction workers to smoothly and quickly proceed through the turnstiles.

Aesthetics are important to the upmarket, tourist-driven Yas Mall and the appearance of the Triumph turnstiles was carefully designed to complement the overall look of the facility. Manufactured from mild steel with charcoal blue hammertone finish, the turnstiles are not only geared around corrosion resistance, but to additionally withstand the harsh UV rays the area experiences.

For more information contact Turnstar Systems, +27 (0)11 786 1633,,


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