A new state-of-the-art stadium is to be built in Dubai.
The 60,000-capacity arena will be capable of holding international sports events like athletic meetings and football tournaments, and will be named after His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
Set to be built in Al Aweer - behind Mushrif Park - the project will cost around Dhs3 billion and is the first of a nine-point plan to revolutionise how sport is performed, trained for and delivered in Dubai.
The designs, which were approved by Sheikh Mohammed in person during the unveiling at Meydan, show a unique and brilliant structure that appears raised off the ground, forming a perfect half-ball shape.
As part of the announcement made on Wednesday, plans for a Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Award for excellence in school sports, the Sheikh Hamdan Initiative for Community Sport, a state-of-the-art Dubai International Sports Medicine Centre, a museum, and a Champions Of Academies Programme were also unveiled.
The international Dubai Future Sports competition, which will take place in 2017, was also confirmed.
No date has been put on completion for the stadium, but the following details have been confirmed:
- it will be full air-conditioned, making it usable year-round
- complies with FIFA standards, football's governing body
- includes a training hall, 5,000 space car park
- seats will be split: 23,116 upper tier, 6,688 lower tier, 1,642 seats for VIP suite, 8,941 VIP seats
So where exactly is Al Aweer? Google Maps puts it around 35km from Downtown Dubai, reachable via the Ras Al Khor Road and nestled behind the junction with Emirates Road.
All images of the stadium provided by Dubai Media Office