Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 3 April 2020

Coronavirus: opening of Abu Dhabi's Etihad Arena is delayed, with 'Disney On Ice' show postponed

The 18,000-seat arena was set to open on April 15

A rendering of Etihad Arena on Yas Bay, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi. Courtesy Miral 
A rendering of Etihad Arena on Yas Bay, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi. Courtesy Miral 

The opening of Abu Dhabi’s new 18,000-seat arena on Yas Island has been delayed due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The venue was due to open on Wednesday, April 15 with a four-day run of Disney On Ice presents Frozen, but the show has now been postponed. Instead, organisers say a new Disney On Ice show will be staged in the capital from September 9 to 12.

“The health and well-being of everyone attending our live events as well as our touring personnel is our top priority, and as a precautionary measure, Disney On Ice scheduled on April 15 to 18, 2020 at Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi has been postponed,” organisers said in a statement to The National.

It comes as Abu Dhabi Department of Culture and Tourism issued a notice to event organisers in the emirate, instructing them to cancel public gatherings until the end of April. Nightclubs and tourist attractions, including Louvre Abu Dhabi, Ferrari World, Yas Waterworld and Manarat Al Saadiyat, have also closed.

Disney On Ice ticket holders can claim a refund from their point of purchase, either by emailing Platinumlist at helpcenter@platinumlist.net or Etihad Arena at contact@yasconcierge.com, or transfer their ticket to one of the shows in September.

A representative of Miral, the venue’s developer, said: “The health and wellbeing of guests is our top priority and we are working with our partners and event organisers to ensure a seamless customer experience once Etihad Arena’s doors open. We will continue to assess the situation and look forward to welcoming the first show and all guests in the near future.”

The arena is nearing completion on Yas Island’s new development Yas Bay, and will be able to seat up to 18,000 people once complete. Its namewas revealed at the start of this year, when the partnership betweenMiral and Etihad Airways was announced.

The arena will accommodate a variety of events including sporting competitions, conferences, cultural performances, concerts and many other activities throughout the year, and will offer a flexible capacity starting at 200.

Work on Yas Bay began in 2017, and the development was said to be 75 per cent complete in October 2019. The Dh12 billion megaproject will feature dozens of cafes and restaurants, a pier, promenade, infinity pool and infrastructure for a metro stop, should a network be built.

Occupying one million square metres, Yas Bay will include a Hilton hotel, homes and the new headquarters of TwoFour54, the media free zone in Al Muntazah.

Updated: March 16, 2020 11:20 AM

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