When visitors arrive in Dubai, they usually make a beeline for one of the emirate’s beaches, its famous malls, or just hang out in one of its luxury hotels; the more adventurous may even hop a camel somewhere in the desert. A night at the opera wouldn’t be at the top of the agenda.
But Dubai is nothing if not a city that’s constantly evolving, and part of that evolution includes the launch of Dubai Opera, the first venue of its kind not just in Dubai, but indeed in the entire United Arab Emirates.
Speaking to Traveltalk at the Arabian Travel Market, Dubai Opera chief executive Jasper Hope said the venue could do for Dubai what the Sydney Opera House has done for Sydney.
“When you look at world cities that are popular for the arts like London, Paris, New York, Sydney... they have the other amazing things like Dubai, but they also have a very vibrant cultural aspect,” he said.
“There’s at least one big cultural venue at the heart of whatever that city is that stands for something, that means a lot to the people who live there and to visitors... it’s part of enjoying the city. And that’s what we see for Dubai Opera.”
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Located in downtown Dubai, and set to launch on 31 August 2016, Dubai Opera will be the first multi-format performing arts theatre in the UAE. And like the Sydney Opera House, it will offer a range of performances “as broad as anything you could imagine”, including opera, musicals, rock and pop concerts and even comedy.
“This is something people around the world... many international markets will enjoy as part of their tourism experience to Dubai,” Hope says.
World renowned tenor Placido Domingo will be the first performer to grace the stage at the venue, with his opening performance selling out almost straight away, according to Hope. Nearly 50 shows are already confirmed for the first four months.