An artist’s impression of Dubai Opera when complete. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Construction of the new 2,000 seat Dubai Opera is in its final stages as managers prepare for the official opening of the new performing-arts facility later this year.

Located near the Burj Khalifa in The Opera District development in Downtown Dubai, the new multi-format venue is rising quickly as a swarm of construction firms and workers erect the dhow-inspired structure.

Under construction by master developer Emaar, when Dubai Opera opens its doors, it is expected to serve as the culture epicentre of all things arts, film and music.

“Inspired by the maritime traditions of Dubai and as iconic in appearance as the world-famous Sydney Opera House, Dubai Opera is styled on the traditional sailing vessels of the Arabian Gulf, the classic wooden dhows that are synonymous with the world-famous Dubai Creek,” said an Emaar statement to Gulf News on Wednesday.

“The ‘bow’ of the structure will contain Dubai Opera’s main stage, orchestra and seating areas, as well as the proposed sky garden and restaurants. The elongated ‘hull’ area will feature the waiting areas for spectators, taxi-drop off area, and parking amenities.”

Emaar said its Dubai Opera is designed to have three basic formats to support theatre, concert performances and a flat floor mode for events and exhibitions.

The formats, said the master developer, offer the flexibility to accommodate opera, theatre, concerts, children’s shows, comedy, Arab and world music, popular entertainment, events and exhibitions.

Led by Jasper Hope, chief executive officer of Dubai Opera, the performance house is expected to draw high-calibre events from around the world.

On Jasper’s appointment in early 2015, Emaar said it has high expectations for the facility and called Jasper “an accomplished international professional with deep insights in the management of high-end cultural venues and events as the Chief Executive of the iconic Dubai Opera.”

Emaar’s aspirations rest on Jasper’s former post as chief operating officer of Royal Albert Hall in London, where he helped oversee more than 400 events a year, noting that in his new role at Dubai Opera, he “will serve as its leader officer and international advocate focused on setting its artistic direction and driving global stakeholder relationships.”

At the time of his appointment, Hope said, a “development such as Dubai Opera will be a catalyst for the city’s cultural scene and serve as a magnet to attract international professionals and large-scale productions, further building Dubai’s reputation globally.”

Mohammad Alabbar, Chairman of Emaar Properties, said, “the state-of-the-art opera house and the varied lifestyle components of The Opera District will energise Dubai’s events and tourism sectors. With the city establishing its global reputation as an arts hub, the new development will also strengthen the ‘Dubai Art Season,’ which brings together the city’s vibrant arts initiatives.”

The Opera District

  1. * The Opera District faces Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, Burj Park, and The Dubai Fountain. Complete with a sky garden and rooftop restaurant, Dubai Opera will be the centrepiece of the wider development
  2. * The Opera District is set to promote global arts exchange through visiting artists and by showcasing local talent
  3. * The Opera District will also feature luxury hotels, elegantly designed residential and serviced apartments, a retail plaza, waterfront promenades, recreational spaces and parks.