Completed in just 17 months the Hazza bin Zayed Stadium is set to become a showpiece sporting arena for the Middle East.
Its design merged 21st century technology with inspiration from the traditional culture and landscape of the region to create the new home of Al Ain FC.
On Friday, Al Ain FC will welcome Arabian Gulf League rivals Al Dhafra to their brand new home to begin the second part of the season.
The 25,000 seat stadium covers 45,000m2, and has 3,000 premium seats, one of the highest ratios of premium seating in the world for football stadia. The roof has been carefully designed with regard to the passage of the sun across the sky so that so that during matches all seats are in the shade.
There is seating allocated for spectators with special needs and separate gates and areas dedicated to women and families.
Another factor bought into the design is that the stadium itself supports the roof – there are no columns to impede views of the pitch.
The ground has a large television screen in once corner for replaying key moments of the match and again this is visible from all part.
Executive boxes each have their own screen and dedicated seating areas and there is a chairman’s lounge.
Broadway Malyan was lead design consultant on the scheme.
Director Ian Apsley praised the company’s Abu Dhabi-based staff which oversaw the project.
“Reaching this milestone is a highlight for the close partnership that our world-class and integrated team of diverse design experts has formed with the client over the last four years in the creation of the major new leisure and entertainment destination,” he said.
The practice’s Abu Dhabi-based team of expert masterplanners, architects and designers acted as lead consultant for the masterplan and design and delivery stages, supported by an international team of specialist designers and engineers including Pattern Architects, Thornton Tomasetti, Hoare Lea & Partners and Aecom.
Bart Leclercq of engineers WSP worked on the concrete parts of the stadium.
“I like its elegant form and clever, functional design,” he said.
“I am captivated by the architect’s use of Al Ain’s rich culture and heritage as their inspiration for this stadium; Pattern have cleverly used the city’s history as an oasis and date plantation to influence their design.”
The stadium sees its first game on Friday as Al Ain take on Al Dhafra to open the second half of the Arabian Gulf League season.
HH Mohammed Bin Bdoua Al Darmaki, is a club director.
“Al Ain sports club has a forward-thinking sports mentality that aims to continually be at the forefront of the UAE football scene and achieve accomplishments both locally and regionally. Al Ain football team has a history of awards local, regional and international. We are determined to reserve our titles and achieve the aspirations of our fans,” he said.