Delivering functional and value-led arena design in the Emirates
Dubai Arena is a 17,000-capacity indoor venue that can accommodate a host of events including concerts, ceremonies, exhibitions, conferences and sports events. It is the latest addition to the City Walk outdoor retail and entertainment complex.
There’s a strength of relationship between Populous and BuroHappold, it’s not just transactional. I do see the relationship as being in partnership, it’s the best way to work. There are clear elements of trust and honesty between us which is important.
Tom Jones, Senior Principal, Populous
We created an entirely new 3D model for a reconfigured design that would be cheaper and more functional than the original concept design. The steelwork in this proposal weighed in at 4,700 tonnes; our design reduced this down to 3,430. This was later further reduced to 3,332. The end result was a saving of 1400 tonnes and $4m. Our recommendations also steered the design to facilitate fast and safe show rigging, vital for all financially sustainable arenas. We listened and spent time with the operators and proposed a system of rigging, with a reconfiguring of bridles, truss spacing and depth, and catwalks. The result was a system of finger walkways below the secondary trusses, with rigging elements capable of supporting both bridling and rolling hoists. This raised the height of the rigging and allowed for greater flexibility and functionality.
The benefit to the client of our redesign was a more aesthetically pleasing roof design that also delivered significant cost savings. On top of that, we were able to provide a more functional and practical rigging system that maintains a 22-metre clear operational height across all stage locations. The result delighted AEG Ogden who suggested it was the “best functional and safest rigging system that he had come across anywhere in the world”. This will result in greater revenue for the arena, delivering further benefit to the client.
Services and approach
When we integrate our specialist teams around an approach, the benefits to the client multiply