Dubai Opera is a 2,000-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.
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.
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) was the main contractor for the development, having worked with Emaar in building the Dubai Mall.
An earlier proposal to build a cultural centre on an island in the Dubai Creek designed by architect Zaha Hadid was announced in 2008 and shelved during the property crash in Dubai. This venue, located in The Lagoons, would have accommodated an opera house with a 2,500 seating capacity, an 800-seat playhouse, a 5,000-square-metre (54,000 sq ft) arts gallery, a performing arts school, and a '6-star' themed hotel.