The new Dubai Arena has been described as a “game changer” for the city’s ongoing efforts to establish itself as a leading tourism destination, as the venue prepares to open its doors.

The latest on the development of the facility, which with a capacity of 17,000 will be the largest indoor arena of its kind in the Middle East and North Africa region, was disclosed during a visit by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

The multi-purpose arena developed by Meraas at its lifestyle destination City Walk has not yet been granted an official opening date, but is expected to be ready for June. Designed to host end-stage, central and half-stage concerts, sporting events such as tennis, basketball, boxing, volleyball and ice hockey matches, as well as gala dinners, exhibitions, conferences and festivals, the city’s newest entertainment venue is connected to Dubai Metro through a direct metro-link pedestrian bridge.

The day-to-day operations of Dubai Arena are being handled by international venue management company AEG Ogden, part of Anschutz Entertainment Group. The development of the venue is aligned with the objectives outlined in ‘Dubai’s Tourism Vision 2020’ and the ‘Dubai Tourism Strategy’ that aims to attract 25 million tourists a year by 2025.

During his visit, Sheikh Mohammed reaffirmed that the government places a high priority on infrastructure projects as they represent key pillars of the country’s development plans aimed at further cementing Dubai’s position on the global economic map and consolidating its high ranking in global competitiveness indexes.

Abdulla Al Habbai, chairman of Dubai Holding and group chairman of Meraas, said: “With Dubai Arena, the city has set a new benchmark in the tourism and family entertainment sector – shaping a new avenue for economic growth while also enhancing the emirate’s potential as a top destination for some of the world’s most prestigious events.

“We believe that Dubai Arena perfectly complements City Walk’s unique community and lifestyle experiences and is a game changer in Dubai’s efforts to consolidate its status as a premier tourist destination.”

Image: Dubai Media Office