It's now only a matter of months until Dubai's Coca-Cola Arena opens on June 6, and The National was given a first look inside the 17,000-seat indoor arena on Tuesday.
The arena is set to welcome comedian Russell Peters on June 6, and Maroon 5 on June 14. Other acts are yet to be announced.
What kind of events will be held there?
Guy Ngata, chief executive of the Coca-Cola Arena, said the venue will host everything from motocross to boxing, as well as Arabic, Bollywood and international acts in the next 12 months.
Ngata told The National more acts are expected to be announced in the next two weeks.
“It's a game changer for Dubai and the region,” Ngata added. “We can now facilitate needs, up to international standards. Patrons want an improving and evolving experience, and we have a fan first commitment.”
"Just don't drive," Ngata told The National when asked about the potential traffic problems a 17,000-seater arena could create in an already busy area. "We want to encourage people to use public transport – the Dubai Metro and car-share. Or just get here early."
The fact that it is an indoor arena is key for the stadium – meaning international sports and entertainment acts can be welcomed to the UAE throughout the year.
The arena in numbers
The 17,000-capacity arena is the largest in a geographic region stretching from Istanbul to Singapore, said Murat Ozgel, the general manager of Coca-Cola Middle East.
The arena has nine entrances to aid smooth entry and exit, four sports changing rooms for international teams and eight en suite dressing rooms for acts.
There are also more than 35 food and beverage outlets in the arena, with space for extra food carts.
The Citywalk location was, according to Ngata, an advantage for the arena. “Being located in the vibrant precinct of Citywalk gives a before- and after-concert experience to visitors.”