Dubai Opera

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Dubai Opera
Former namesDubai Opera House
General information
TypeMulti-format venue
ClassificationArts complex
LocationDowntown Dubai
AddressSheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Boulevard
CountryUnited Arab Emirates
Coordinates25°11′44.2″N 55°16′18.8″E / 25.195611°N 55.271889°E / 25.195611; 55.271889Coordinates: 25°11′44.2″N 55°16′18.8″E / 25.195611°N 55.271889°E / 25.195611; 55.271889
Construction startedApril 2013
CompletedAugust 2016
Opened31 August 2016
Technical details
Size60,000 square metre
Design and construction
ArchitectJanus Rostock
Architecture firmAtkins
DeveloperEmaar Properties
Structural engineerAtkins
Services engineerThyssenKrupp (Stage engineering and systems)
BK Gulf (MEP contractor)
LSI Projects (Audio & Lighting Systems)
Other designersMirage Leisure and Development (Development and Project Managers)
Theatre Projects (Theatre consultant)
MLC International (Cost consultant) Sandy Brown Associates (Acoustic Consultant), neolight global limited (lighting designers)
Main contractorConsolidated Contractors Company (CCC)
Other information
Seating capacity2,000
Dubai Opera homepage

Dubai Opera is a 2,000-seat, multi-format, performing arts centre, which is located within The Opera District in Downtown Dubai. It was developed by Emaar Properties to host a variety of performances and events including theatre, opera, ballet, concerts, conferences and exhibitions. Its plans were announced by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum in March 2012 and it was completed in 2016.[1] It opened on 31 August 2016 with a performance by Plácido Domingo.[2] The first season featured Bizet's The Pearl Fishers opera[3] and also the legendary tenor José Carreras.[4] Dubai Opera have flat floor capacity of 1800 square meters.[5] This floor can be hired for weddings, gala dinners, fashion shows and exhibitions.[5]


Dubai Opera is part of The Opera District within Downtown Dubai. The 1901-seat performing arts centre was designed by Janus Rostock of Atkins.[6] The theatre was conceived and briefed by Theatre Projects Consultants,[7] it can be converted into a traditional theatre, concert hall, banquet hall or exhibition space. Using hydraulic lifts and seating wagons to relocate 900 of the 2,000 seats, the space can be used for other events while the extra seating is stored in garages beneath the theatre.[8]

Dubai Opera is designed to resemble a dhow, a traditional sailing vessel, in which the 'bow' of the structure houses the opera's main stage, orchestra and seating, while the elongated 'hull' has waiting areas, taxi drop-off areas, and parking.[9][10] It also boasts a rooftop restaurant with views of the Burj Khalifa.

Dubai Opera at night

In January 2015, Emaar named Jasper Hope as the Chief Executive of Dubai Opera. Hope was the COO of London's Royal Albert Hall.[11] Consolidated Contractors Company (CCC) was the main contractor for the development, having worked with Emaar in building the Dubai Mall.[12]

An earlier proposal to build a cultural centre on an island in the Dubai Creek designed by architect Zaha Hadid was announced in 2008 and shelved during the property crash in Dubai.[8] This venue, located in The Lagoons, would have accommodated an opera house with a 2,500 seating capacity, an 800-seat playhouse, a 5,000-square-metre (54,000 sq ft) arts gallery, a performing arts school, and a '6-star' themed hotel.[13] There is a free parking and paid parking for visitors of Dubai Opera. The Paid Parking is known as Green Parking.

The first Emirati singer to appear at Dubai Opera was Hussain Al Jassmi on 10 October 2016.[14]

Shortly after that, the award winning hit musical Les Misérables graced the stage for a 3 week run.[15]

In 2017 the venue staged the inaugural BBC Proms Dubai - just the second time ever that the United Kingdom's premier classical music series hosted events abroad in its 112 year history.[16]

Dubai Opera's longest running show was the Phantom of the Opera in late 2019.[17]

In just under 4 years of operating, Dubai Opera has won a number of awards including 'Best Theatrical Performance' at the Timeout Dubai Nightlife Awards 2017 for Les Misérables,[18] 'Favorite Show' at the 2017 What's On Awards Dubai for Les Misérables,[19] and 'Best Theatrical Performance' at the Timeout Dubai Music and Nightlife Awards 2019 for Othello. Recognition was also given at the Timeout Dubai Music and Nightlife Awards 2019 to Dubai Opera's Chief Executive Jasper Hope, where he was presented with the highly prestigious 'Outstanding Contribution' award.[20]

Other structures[edit]

The Opera District was launched by Emaar Properties in Downtown Dubai in 2013. Aside from Dubai Opera, the district, which faces Burj Khalifa and The Dubai Fountain, includes art galleries, museums, design studios, and other cultural venues. The area includes several hotels, a retail plaza, recreational spaces and residential towers.[21][22]

Dubai has more than 50 art galleries and hosts cultural events such as Dubai Design Week, Art Dubai, and the SIKKA Art Fair.[23]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Dubai Opera House builder eyes 2016 completion date". Elan Magazine. June 11, 2014. Retrieved March 16, 2015.
  2. ^ "Placido Domingo opens Dubai Opera".
  3. ^ "Dubai Opera announces launch programme - full details". Time Out Dubai. Retrieved 2020-03-30.
  4. ^ "Review: José Carreras gives a strong finish at Dubai Opera". The National. Retrieved 2020-03-30.
  5. ^ a b "Social and Corporate Events - Dubai Opera". Dubai Opera. Retrieved 2018-11-08.
  6. ^ </ "Top 40 most powerful architects in the Middle East". Arabian Business Magazine. Retrieved April 24, 2016.
  7. ^ "Projects - Theatre Projects". Retrieved 2016-08-26.
  8. ^ a b Lucy Barnard (October 10, 2013). "Emaar's opera house project in Dubai will be a multi-purpose facility". The National. Retrieved March 16, 2015.
  9. ^ Aarti Nagraj (March 18, 2014). "Emaar Reveals Details About 2,000-Seat Opera House In Dubai". Gulf Business. Retrieved March 16, 2015.
  10. ^ "Dubai to get 2,000-seat opera house in The Opera District". Khaleej Times. March 19, 2014. Retrieved March 16, 2015.
  11. ^ "Emaar names Jasper Hope CEO of Dubai Opera". Emirates 24/7. February 11, 2015. Retrieved March 16, 2015.
  12. ^ James Henderson (June 10, 2014). "Dubai Opera House to be finished in two years". Construction Week Online. Retrieved March 16, 2015.
  13. ^ "Dubai Opera House by Zaha Hadid". 2008-06-06. Retrieved 2015-04-17.
  14. ^ "World-class singer Hussain Al Jassmi to perform at Dubai Opera". What's On. 2016-07-03. Retrieved 2020-03-30.
  15. ^ "Meet Dubai's Les Miserables cast". Retrieved 2020-03-30.
  16. ^ "BBC Proms Dubai: First Night of the Proms". BBC Music Events. Retrieved 2020-03-30.
  17. ^ "Review: A triumphant opening night for The Phantom Of The Opera". What's On. 2019-10-17. Retrieved 2020-03-31.
  18. ^ "Time Out Nightlife Awards 2017 winners". Time Out Dubai. Retrieved 2020-03-31.
  19. ^ "What's On Awards 2017 Dubai: Here are the 53 winners..." What's On. 2017-11-09. Retrieved 2020-03-31.
  20. ^ "Time Out Dubai Music & Nightlife Awards 2019: Winners and Highly Commended". Time Out Dubai. Retrieved 2020-03-31.
  21. ^ Trenwith, Courtney (5 May 2014). "Dubai's Emaar launches first residences in The Opera District". Arabian Business. Retrieved 12 March 2015.
  22. ^ "Emaar unveils BLVD Heights in Downtown Dubai". Khaleej Times. 10 September 2014. Retrieved 12 March 2015.
  23. ^ "Emaar announces opera house project for Dubai". Construction Week Online. 22 March 2012. Retrieved 12 March 2015.

External links[edit]

Media related to Dubai Opera at Wikimedia Commons