Dubai developer Al Habtoor Group has announced plans to build the first water-based theatre in the UAE.
The circular venue, centred around a pool with various diving boards, will be built in collaboration with Italian-Belgian theatre director Franco Dragone, renowned for creating Cirque du Soleil, and is due to open in 2016 at the $1.4bn Habtoor Palace complex on Sheikh Zayed Road.
Designed by Paris-based Jean Rabasse it will have a capacity of 1300 and be tall enough for performers to dive from up to 25 metres high into a 5.5m deep pool.
It will be only the fourth of its kind in the world, alongside Las Vegas, Macau and Wuhan in eastern China.
“This show is going to be a destination – people will come for the theatre and then Dubai. It will bring added value to the city and increase tourism,” Al Habtoor Group CEO and vice chairman Mohammed Al Habtoor said.
The theatre will be part of the Metropolitan AED1.3bn ($354m) project featuring three new Starwood hotels, including the emirate’s first St Regis and W branded properties, due to open mid-2015.
Dragone, who led 10 Cirque du Soleil productions before starting his own company in 2000, Franco Dragone Entertainment Group in 2000, said the show would endeavour to capture the “soul” of Dubai and position itself at the “cross-roads of culture”.