Architecture: HOK reveals design for Abu Dhabi’s Yas Arena

Facility’s form and illuminated façade is designed to complement the waterfront promenade at Yas Bay

Global design, architecture, engineering and planning firm HOK has taken the wraps off its design for the multipurpose Yas Arena on Abu Dhabi’s Yas island. Once completed, Yas Arena will become the first arena in the city that can accommodate both sports and entertainment events.

HOK is part of the WSP-led team that was engaged by Miral Asset Management to be responsible for the design of Yas Arena. The team is also supported by Pascall+Watson. Miral is responsible for the development of a large chunk of the southern portion of Yas Island.

In addition to the architectural design of Yas Arena, HOK also designed the adjacent retail and dining destination along the boardwalk, with the intent of forming a mixed-use anchor on the east end of Yas Bay.

“Our goal is to create an exceptional entertainment experience for fans and spectators. Yas Arena will be the centerpiece of the development and serve as a destination on Yas Island,” said John Rhodes, a director of HOK’s Sports + Recreation + Entertainment practice.

The firm says that it designed Yas Arena to create an intimate, highly flexible and efficient venue with excellent acoustics, which can be used year-round for sport and entertainment events.

“Our team knew the building needed to be smart, adaptable and technologically-advanced in order to efficiently transform for the wide variety of events the client wished to host. This transformability will make Yas Arena one of the most sophisticated arenas in the world,” added Rhodes.

The arena is being built so that it can expand from a 500-seat theatre to a larger 18,000 capacity venue for larger events. HOK says the arena will create an ideal user experience for a diverse set of events, including community gatherings, concerts, performances, sporting events, and meetings and conventions. Premium spaces include a VIP lounge that can be transformed into a grand ballroom for events, hospitality boxes and unique terrace bars for receptions and parties.

Yas Arena will be located on Yas Island’s waterfront, and will serve as an anchor for the promenade that will feature over 50 cafes and restaurants, 20 retail outlets, a recreational pier, two hotels and a beach club.


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