Dubai Opera House
Main Building Works
PROJECT NAME Dubai Opera House, Main Building Works
LOCATION Abu Dhabi, UAE
CLIENT Dubai, UAE
SCOPE Construction of a dhow shaped theatre designed by Janus Rostock of Atkins
DURATION 33 Months
DATE OF COMPLETION August 2016

An architectural and engineering marvel

An architectural and engineering marvel, Dubai Opera shepherds the business orientated emirate to new heights by consolidating its status as a pioneer of inimitable luxury and a connoisseur of culture.

Dubai Opera passionately embraces its role as the vibrant cultural heart of Dubai, and is committed to hosting the finest, authentic, creative and engaging performing arts experiences to inspire local artists and catalyze the creation of other culture spots in the region.

Designed to resemble a dhow (a nod to the traditional sailing vessel used by Emiratis), the ‘bow’ of the structure houses the opera’s main stage, orchestra and seating, while the elongated ‘hull’ accommodates the waiting areas, taxi drop-off areas, and parking.

Brought to life by EMAAR Properties, the immense 65,000m² structure, opened August 31st 2016 with a performance by legendary tenor, Plácido Domingo. Supported by over 70,000m³ of concrete, and 12,000 tons of steel, the colossal venue is both large and state-of-the-art, and can easily accommodate a range of productions and shows.

Designed to resemble a dhow

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One of the most exciting construction projects to date, the grand auditorium, fitted with over 2,000 seats, has the unique capacity to transform to suit the needs of the Opera House. The building’s exquisite design, by architect Janus Rostock, equips the venue with an exceptional ability to transform into three modes: from a theatre into a concert hall, and into a ‘flat floor’ mode suitable for banquet or event hall. This seamless flexibility enables Dubai Opera to host a wide variety of performances and events including theatre, opera, ballet, orchestras, concerts, fashion shows, live entertainment, conferences, galleries and art exhibitions.

In Theatre mode, the space is suitable for large-scale drama productions, musicals, ballets, lectures, and conferences, seating up to 2,000 people. Fortified with state-of-the-art acoustic walls and fabric, a proscenium, lattice ceiling (that can be raised and lowered as per performance specifications) in addition to mobile VIP boxes elegantly curved to emulate the smooth curves of a ship, it is architectural perfection. When transformed into a concert hall, a series of towers and reflectors on stage and overhead are designed to create an acoustic shell around the orchestra, enabling an impeccable acoustic environment for a perfect sound quality. Beyond its incontrovertible beauty, it is a technological masterpiece that commands respect for its ingenuity and versatility.

Upon arrival, guests are greeted by the venue’s wide-open landscape framed by futuristic skyscrapers and pristine waterways. Despite its aesthetic groundwork as an imitation of a traditional dhow’s shape, the structure’s wall to wall glass panes and metal inlays and frames convey a modern elegance that is synonymous with the area. Beyond its central edifice, Dubai Opera boasts a number of spaces and venues for guests to visit and explore, including a stunning rooftop restaurant and sky garden with views of The Dubai Fountain and the world’s tallest building, Burj Khalifa.