CHALLENGE. Populous was challenged to deliver the concept design for the Middle East’s new premier entertainment venue in collaboration with renowned global venues operator AEG Ogden. The goal was to create an arena that would establish Dubai as a new stop on the global touring circuit for the world’s best acts in music and entertainment.
INNOVATION. With a capacity of 17,000, the Coca-Cola Arena becomes the largest multi-purpose indoor arena in the region and, by incorporating climate control throughout the building, the only arena of its kind between Istanbul and Singapore to support a year-round programme of events, even in the hotter summer months. The arena is situated in City Walk, one of Dubai’s most vibrant urban lifestyle neighbourhoods, surrounded by restaurants, shops and entertainment facilities. An LED strip light system covers the façade to create a dramatic effect as the building becomes illuminated with changing colours at night-time, animating the surrounding area and drawing people in. Internally, the adaptable design features a rolling modular stage, automated drapes and a retractable seating system, creating a more intimate space for smaller-scale events which can quickly transform into a large-scale arena.
IMPACT. Owned by Meraas and operated by AEG Ogden, the Coca-Cola Arena will host international touring artists, world-renowned comics, family entertainment, sports events, gala dinners, exhibitions and conferences – transforming the face of the entertainment and events scene in Dubai and helping to cement the city’s position as a major global destination for tourism and trade.
Populous completed the concept design for the Coca-Cola Arena. Contractor ASGC Group, with DAR Group, completed design development, interior design, wayfinding design, and construction information.
“With Coca-Cola Arena, Meraas have shown great vision in building a new home for live entertainment in the heart of Dubai further enhancing the Emirates’ potential as a major destination for some of the world’s most prestigious events. AEG Ogden are very proud and excited to be operating the venue which has seen the very best people in the world across many sectors come together to create what is undoubtedly a fantastic arena and fitting for the city in which the venue calls home.”Guy Ngata, AEG Ogden’s CEO of Coca-Cola Arena
Populous delivered the concept designs for the new Coca-Cola Arena, which places a state-of-the-art music and entertainment arena in the heart of downtown Dubai. The arena has been designed to be truly multi-purpose to enable it to host the widest range of events, employing state-of-the-art technicalities of arena design, making it extremely attractive to a diverse number of events and promoters. Key to the flexibility of the 17-000-capacity venue is its ability to scale down to host smaller, more intimate events. This is achieved through an innovative rolling modular stage, automated drapes and a retractable seating system that allow the arena to adapt to a particular event or format. The roof has been designed to support up to 190 tonnes meaning it can easily accommodate the sound and lighting set-ups of the world’s biggest music and entertainment acts.
The masterplan for the Coca-Cola arena complex has been designed to offer a fantastic experience to the full range of visitors, including members of the Royal Family, VIPs and sponsors, as well as the general public. The visitor experience is vitally important along the journey from arrival at the site to various amenities in the venue and each seat within the arena itself. This philosophy has been central to the pre-concept design process.
This project will enhance Dubai and the region with economic and social development and measurable benefits including cultural events, tourism, leisure and real estate development.
Facts and Figures
- Wheelchair spaces
- F&B outlets
- Premium suites
- Artist dressing rooms
- Sports changing rooms