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Dubai Announces Plans for Multi-Billion Dollar Floating Opera House

By Sara Schabas on June 3, 2024

Azizi Venice Opera House, photo rendering.
The Azizi Venice Opera House (Photo rendering: Azizi Venice)

The city of Dubai recently announced plans for a floating opera house that will open in Dubai South. Situated in the new Azizi Venice development, the opera house will join the Dubai Opera as another centre for classical music and performance in the United Arab Emirates.

Driving the news: Azizi Developments has revealed their plans for a new, floating opera house that will open in Dubai South in the coming years. The opera house will be in the Crystal Lagoon community of Azizi Venice, part of Dubai’s most expansive new urban development.

With 2,000 seats, the opera house will have a golden floating stage surrounded by fountains “immersed” in the Crystal Venice lagoon. It will host performances of opera as well as ballet, concerts, music theatre, and comedy, and can also be rented as an events space. Next door, visitors can visit a museum sharing details of the opera house’s construction and sound engineering. The entire development will cost around 30 billion dirhams (over 8 billion USD) and plans to open between 2025 and 2028.

Digging deeper: While a floating opera house may sound absurdly lavish, the Azizi Venice Opera House in Dubai is not without precedent. The famous Sydney Opera House occasionally hosts floating performances on the Sydney harbour, and Austria’s acclaimed Bregenz Festival as well as the Seefestspiele Mörbisch both feature opera on floating stages. A production of Rusalka, anyone?

Sara Schabas
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