Roads and Transport Authority reportedly given the remit to build the 60,000-seat stadium
Dubai has launched a competition to design a 60,000-seat stadium that will be built to stage matches for the 2019 Asian Cup, it has been reported.
Three sources familiar with the matter told Reuters that the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has been given the remit from the Dubai government to build the stadium, although the design competition has not been made public.
Design bids have already been submitted to the RTA, the sources said, with a mixture of architects, engineers and consultants collaborating on individual submissions. The RTA has not responded to requests for a comment from Big Project ME at the time of publishing.
The stadium will be built in or near Dubai Sports City, the report said. Dubai Sports City is already home to a 25,000 capacity cricket stadium that is also expected to host matches for the Asian Cup.
The 2019 Asian Cup matches are expected to be played in the UAE capital of Abu Dhabi, as well as Dubai and Al Ain. Each city is likely to use two stadiums, as Asian Football Confederation (AFC) regulations state that a minimum of six stadiums should be used by the host nation.
The rights to hold the tournament were awarded to the UAE in March after the AFC rejected a rival proposal from Iran. 24 nations will compete in the Asian Cup, which was won by Australia in 2015.
Winning the rights to host the Asian Cup in 2015 was the catalyst to restart plans for the 60,000-seater stadium in Dubai, after original plans were shelved in 2009 due to the real estate crisis. In 2007, a design and construction contract was awarded for two stadiums – a 60,000 capacity outdoor venue, and a 10,000 capacity indoor venue. At the time the contract was valued at $225.97 million.
Abu Dhabi has the 43,000 Zayed Sports City stadium and the 42,000-seater Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium. The former was the venue for the final of the 1996 Asian Cup, the last time the UAE hosted the tournament.
Either could host the latter stages of the 2019 tournament – the minimum ground capacity for the semi-finals, finals and opening match is 40,000, an AFC spokesman said.
Group games must be played in venues holding at least 20,000 spectators, although these requirements may change, the spokesman added.
The UAE will also stage the 2017 and 2018 editions of the FIFA Club World Cup.