Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 8 August 2020

UK firm delivers stadium for Saudi's big fight in just six weeks

The 15,000-seater structure for this week's Clash on the Dunes is the biggest temporary structure built by Arena Events since 2012 London Olympics

The temporary 15,000 seater Diriyah Stadium been built by the UK’s Arena Events Group in just six weeks. Courtesy Arena Events.
The temporary 15,000 seater Diriyah Stadium been built by the UK’s Arena Events Group in just six weeks. Courtesy Arena Events.

Arena Events Group, a UK company that provides temporary structures and semi-permanent buildings for sports events and exhibitions, has completed the design and installation of a 15,000-seat arena at Diriyah in Saudi Arabia for the "Clash on the Dunes" boxing event set to take place on December 7.

The company said the purpose-built stadium, commissioned by the Saudi General Sports Authority, was built in just six weeks and is the single-biggest temporary seating structure it has erected since the London 2012 Olympics. Clash on the Dunes will feature the first World Heavyweight Title fight held in the Middle East — a rematch between Mexican-American fighter Andy Ruiz Jr and the UK's Anthony Joshua.

"It's incredible what we've managed to achieve in just six weeks. We're really proud of our UK and Middle East divisions, who have been tirelessly working with a team of 175 people to deliver a project of such scale and specification," said the company's Middle East and Asia chief executive, Paul Berger.

Arena Events Group is listed on the Alternative Investment Market, London Stock Exchange's junior market. The company declared a loss of £2.3m (Dh10.9m) for the first six months of 2019 despite a 28 per cent increase in revenue to £70.1m. It has worked on major events this year such as the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan and golf's Open and PGA Championships. In the Middle East, it worked on the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship and the Dubai Desert Classic events, as well as the first Beach Soccer Cup at NEOM in Saudi Arabia.

The company said that alongside the main event arena a 3,500 metre temporary hospitality structure with high spec interiors has been built for VIP guests.

Clash on the Dunes is part of the Diriyah Season — a month-long series of events at the Unesco World Heritage site which began with the Diriyah E-Prix event featuring two back-to-back Formula E Championship races last month, the Diriyah Tennis Cup on December 12-14, a music festival, cultural events and other activities set to attract more than one million people. The season ends on December 21.

"A stunning setting requires a stunning stadium and Arena have delivered just that," said Abdulaziz Baeshen, director of the Diriyah Season.

Updated: December 2, 2019 04:18 PM



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