Our Project Story

Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium.

AAFAQ Holding | Broadway Maylan Architects



Sports
Ian Gow, Partner at Hoare Lea

Lead Partner:
Ian Gow

Designing for the desert.

Hailed as one of the most modern and unique sporting venues in the Middle East, the Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium is a feat of engineering. The 25,000-seat FIFA-accredited stadium opened in 2014 and is the new home of Emirates champions, Al Ain Football Club. It also played host to the FIFA U19 World Cup and provides a central location for local community sports.

Lighting the way.

As well as the palm-like roof, one of the most characteristic elements of the stadium is the external façade. Resembling the trunk of a palm tree, it can be illuminated by LED lights in 15 different content modes. On the top of the stadium roof, 200 floodlights also provide light for after-dark football games.

In the shade of the palm.

Our biggest challenge was to design a comfortable environment in the middle of the desert without mechanical cooling! We used advanced modelling techniques to demonstrate how the building’s form, shading structure, and façade could be optimised to promote passive solutions. We ensured the stadium’s orientation naturally cools the spectator seats using prevailing wind. We also designed the roof specifically to fully shade all fans from the sunlight – the first stadium in the world to do this.

These innovative engineering solutions meant the development was the first stadium to achieve a Two Pearl ESTIDAMA (the Arabic word for sustainability) rating – earning it the prestige of being one of the region’s most sophisticated developments.

Key Figures
2019 Hosting AFC Asia Cup
15 LED content modes
25,000 Seater stadium