Etihad Arena opening date pushed back by coronavirus

Etihad Arena, a new venue in Abu Dhabi that will seat up to 18,000 people, will open later than originally scheduled due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Last month it was announced that the Disney On Ice presents Frozen show would open the arena from April 15-18. However, in light of the global situation surrounding the coronavirus, this has been pushed back to September 9-12.

The Abu Dhabi Department of Culture and Tourism has ordered event organisers in the city to cancel public gatherings until the end of April.

In a statement issued to Abu Dhabi-based newspaper The National, event organisers said: “The health and wellbeing of everyone attending our live events as well as our touring personnel is our top priority, and as a precautionary measure, Disney On Ice scheduled on April 15 to 18, 2020 at Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi has been postponed.”

A representative from arena developer Miral added: “The health and wellbeing of guests is our top priority and we are working with our partners and event organisers to ensure a seamless customer experience once Etihad Arena’s doors open. We will continue to assess the situation and look forward to welcoming the first show and all guests in the near future.”

Ticket-holders for the April event can claim a refund or transfer their ticket to one of the shows in September.

Etihad Arena will be operated by Flash Entertainment and will host events with capacities ranging from 200 to 18,000 people.

In January, Etihad Airways agreed a deal to acquire naming rights to the multi-purpose indoor arena. Etihad reached the agreement with Miral, which is seeking to position the HOK-designed arena as a leading entertainment destination in the region.

Etihad Arena forms part of Yas Bay, a wider Dh12bn (£2.66bn/€2.93bn/$3.27bn) development on which work began back in 2017.

Image: Miral