Culture trip to DUB Inside Opera House

Step into Dubai Opera, the city’s state-of-the-art architectural masterwork and jewel in its patriotic crown. Shaded in the shadow of the magnificent Burj Khalifa, Dubai opera house is located in the dazzling Downtown area, and has been allocated as the city’s first purpose-built multi-format performing arts theatre. Earlier this year, Dubai Opera opened its doors to a multi-format performing arts centre. Travel writer, Saima Omar, decides to take a closer look.

Culture trip to DUB Inside Opera House

When Dubai Opera House began

The building’s exclusive architecture created by respected architect Janus Rostock was inspired by old-style dhow boats of pearl divers, that some of the first residents in the UAE had. The traditional dhow sailing vessels that once pursued the Arabian Gulf for centuries, loaded with dates, fish, spices and pearls, inspired the design of the building. The building’s exclusive architecture created by respected architect Janus Rostock looks like those old-style dhow boats of pearl divers.

Construction began in 2013, and since then the dhow-shaped building took its form in its entirety in late 2016, allowing Dubai to add another victory to its vast architectural portfolio.

The first-ever unconnected opera house in the UAE is found to be amongst residential towers, the Dubai Mall, the infamous Dubai Fountain, and record-breaking Burj Khalifa.

Impressive technology at the Dubai Opera House

This isn’t no ordinary Opera House, I tell you. Dubai Opera has a 2000-seat capacity – some say 1901-seat, but all are agreed it is multi-format, performing arts centre, made predominantly glass, with a transparent foyer and a "box within a box" feel to the main structure to let light stream in.

In the vast number of seats, they have 31 premium boxes accommodating 184 people overall – In concert mode there will be 915 in the stalls, 457 in the royal circle and 529 in the grand circle, making a total of 1901 seats. And in theatre mode there are 889 seats in the stalls, 457 in the royal circle and 529 in the grand circle with a total of 1875. The place is truly versatile as it can be accommodated for concerts, sporting events, exhibitions and trade shows, all at the touch of a button.

The technology within the building allows it to be transformed into a traditional theatre, concert hall, banquet hall or exhibition space. By means of hydraulic lifts and hi-tech design installation 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. The three modes described are; theatre, concert hall and "flat floor".

A masterpiece that took three years to build

For a fast-paced city like Dubai it feels like Dubai Opera House has taken a long time to erect. The project officially started in May 2013, so the total build period is over three years. But thinking about it, the Sydney Opera House took 26 years to finish building, so it’s pretty rapid building from Dubai. The designer, at Emaar Properties, says the building could one day be as "iconic" as the Sydney Opera House.

One of the Dubai Opera's most protuberant technical design accomplishments is a dominant chandelier composed of 2,900 LED lights that weighs 11,023 pounds (5,000 kg).

This is supposed to be the tip of the iceberg for cultural Dubai developments

There is yet more to come to complete the cultural hub of Dubai. Dubai Opera will remain positioned as the centre of The Opera District, which when it's complete in four years’ time (2020), will be the chief cultural centre in the world. The plan is to have contemporary art museums, shops, galleries and three housing towers; Opera Grand, Forte and The Address Residence all overseeing the Burj Khalifa.

The Il Primo "Lateral" apartments are on sale solely at Harrods in London, with the smallest units of around 5,000 square feet being sold for 17 million Dirhams each. Wow!  

Saima Omar

Saima Omar

The Passionate Traveller

A writer who likes to travel in style. Devoted culture lover, eager for an adventure. Follow the...

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