A New Icon: Arena in Diriyah

Designed by HKS Architects to create a technologically-advanced, globally-significant arena that is a timeless representation of its place, geology and culture.


The iconic 20,000-seat multipurpose Arena in Diriyah is a sports, entertainment and cultural venue, marking a crucial milestone in Diriyah’s transformation as a key driver in Saudi Arabia’s vision for cultural and economic growth. It is part of a $63.2bn (USD) masterplan that underpins Diriyah’s development as it redefines cultural and lifestyle offerings within Riyadh.

Located in the heart of The City Of Earth, the 76,000m2 arena aims to become the premier venue in the Middle East, serving as a tourism hallmark, drawing visitors from across the globe and completely transforming the region’s events landscape.

Commenting on the announcement, Jerry Inzerillo, Group CEO of Diriyah Company, said: “The Arena in Diriyah is a cornerstone element of our mission to blend tradition with innovation. It exemplifies Diriyah’s unique lifestyle offering that harmonises community, culture and natural connection, setting a new standard for world-class destinations rooted in Saudi heritage.”

Inspired by the natural geology surrounding Diriyah and capturing the traditional Najdi architecture motif spanning centuries of heritage, the venue will possess the ability to seamlessly transition between different configurations within hours, offering the flexibility to host various events in quick succession. Its state-of-the-art design will ensure exceptional acoustics and optimal viewing angles from every seat.

This uniquely-versatile venue promises a prolonged entertainment experience, before and after attending events, with direct and convenient access to a vibrant shopping and dining district in Diriyah’s greater community. Adjacent to the Arena in Diriyah will be the Plaza; an outdoor venue for live performances, pop-up shows and an urban park for residents and visitors alike.

The arena will be one of Diriyah’s iconic assets and integral to the unprecedented Diriyah masterplan, is set to enhance Saudi Arabia’s entertainment scene, aligning with Saudi Vision 2030. This venue champions a lifestyle that is authentically Saudi, offering a harmonious blend of heritage and innovation and fostering community engagement through world-class events that stimulate tourism and economic growth.

Commenting on the announcement, HKS Architects’ Lead Architect, Alex Thomas, said: “We are exceptionally proud to be a part of this project. The architecture rises from the landscape as a series of monoliths, evoking local geological formations and alluding to ancient Nadji forts and palaces. Digital waterfalls animated by light glow between them. The visual energy of the waterfalls serves as a beacon, drawing guests to the dynamic experience inside.”

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