Dubai Opera is a 1901 seat, multi-format, performing arts centre, which is located within The Opera District in Downtown Dubai. It was developed by Emaar Properties to host a variety of performances and events including theatre, opera, ballet, concerts, conferences and exhibitions. Its plans were announced by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum in March 2012 and was completed in 2016. It opened on 31 August 2016 with a concert performance by Placido Domingo.
Dubai Opera is part of The Opera District within Downtown Dubai. The 1901-seat performing arts centre, was designed by Janus Rostock of Atkins. The theatre was conceived and briefed by Theatre Projects Consultants, it can be converted into a traditional theatre, concert hall, banquet hall or exhibition space. Using hydraulic lifts 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.
In Theatre mode, the space is suitable for large-scale drama productions, musicals, ballets, lectures, and conferences, seating up to 2,000 people, depending on configuration. When transformed into a concert hall, a series of towers and reflectors on stage and overhead are designed to create an acoustic shell around the orchestra, enabling an impeccable acoustic environment for a perfect sound quality. The building’s unique architecture allows to also host a variety of events such as weddings, trade shows, art galleries and exhibitions, receptions and parties, using its “flat floor” mode.
Dubai Opera also boasts a number of spaces and venues, including a stunning rooftop restaurant and sky garden with views of The Dubai Fountain and the world’s tallest building, Burj Khalifa.
Dubai Opera is designed to resemble a dhow, a traditional sailing vessel, in which the 'bow' of the structure houses the opera's main stage, orchestra and seating, while the elongated 'hull' has waiting areas, taxi drop-off areas, and parking.
In January 2015, Emaar named Jasper Hope as the Chief Executive of Dubai Opera. Hope was the COO of London's Royal Albert Hall. Consolidated Contractors Company (CCC) is the main contractor for the development, having worked with Emaar in building The Dubai Mall.