Dressed to impress: Façade completed as Dubai Arena prepares for 2019 opening

Dressed to impress: Façade completed as Dubai Arena prepares for 2019 opening

  • First of 46 hospitality suites completed as focus switches to internal spaces
  • Set to be the largest all-purpose, air-conditioned indoor arena in the Middle East and North Africa
  • Roof system weighs more than seven A380 airplanes put together
  • Capacity of 17,000 and ability to accommodate all types of events

Meraas has announced that the spectacular active-lit façade at Dubai Arena is completed, with the elegantly panelled structure now fully installed. Work on external infrastructure and landscaping, including paving and parking spaces, are also under way, while the finishing touches are being made to the first of 46 hospitality suites. 

With a capacity to accommodate 17,000 visitors, the venue will be able to accommodate many events and genres all year-round. Located at popular Meraas lifestyle destination City Walk, Dubai Arena has been designed to be able to host end-stage, central and half-stage concerts, sporting events such as tennis, basketball, boxing, volleyball and ice hockey, and gala dinners, exhibitions and conferences and festivals.

Major milestones reached to date, include completion of the roof, façade steel structure and over 80 percent of the roof catwalks – elevated service platforms common in major theatres and arenas. All concrete, structural and the block works have been finished and the installation of arena seating is underway, while the arena’s rigging equipment, scoreboards, lighting and sound system will start to be fitted from next month.

His Excellency Abdulla Al Habbai, Group Chairman at Meraas, said: “Every city is known for something - but few, if any, can compare to Dubai when it comes to leisure and entertainment experiences. Dubai Arena has been designed to enhance the city’s reputation as a destination for world-class events and hospitality and will transform the industry throughout the Middle East.

“We are confident that Dubai Arena will position the city on the international entertainment touring circuit and the audiences will have the opportunity to witness the world’s most talented performers and sporting events in the heart of Dubai. Dubai Arena will also ensure Meraas and its partners are in a strong position to be able to continue setting new benchmarks in leisure and entertainment regionally, while contributing to the emirate’s continued development as a major tourism destination and boosting the city’s appeal as a place to live, work and visit among residents and tourists.”

A first-of-its-kind in the region, the roof at Dubai Arena is expected to be completed and made watertight before the end of the year, to allow the final acoustic checks to commence. The complex roof structure weighs approximately 4,000 tonnes, equivalent in weight to that of seven A380 airplanes and is supported by two mega-trusses spanning the entire length of the venue.

The construction and lifting of the mega-trusses, was considered among the most challenging processes and required some of the world’s biggest cranes, with a capacity of 1,600 tonnes, to lift them into place. In total, 16,000 bolts were fitted to connect the 14 frames that make up each of the 120-metre long mega-trusses, roughly the size of a football pitch, with more than 20 tonnes of paint needed to coat them. Over 110 tonnes of show and production equipment will be placed above the arena’s versatile viewing areas.

In addition, lifts and escalators have been installed, and the remaining electrical and mechanical works are progressing on schedule. District cooling service provider, Empower, is due to commence tunnelling works under Sheikh Zayed Road to connect 3,600 tonnes of chilled water to the arena, and DEWA has already connected power to the building.

Day-to-day operations of Dubai Arena are to be managed by international venue management company AEG Ogden, which also provided their considerable design and technical expertise during the construction process.

AEG Ogden is part of the Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG), a wholly owned subsidiary of the Anschutz Company that owns, controls or is affiliated with over 150 of the world’s preeminent event facilities. Its portfolio currently includes The O2 in London, STAPLES Centre in Los Angeles, the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai and Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney.


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