Located on Abu Dhabi’s Yas Island, in a freshly-shaped environment, next to the brand new Formula One racing course, Etihad Arena features everything a multipurpose complex has to offer today. And even more – it was constructed to be in line with the latest sustainability requirements and serves not only the present but the future generations as well.
The arena has received prestigious recognition already, it was named the Sustainable Building Design of the Year at the MENA Green Buildings Awards 2018. And this is not a PR action: by integrating energy and water-efficient building systems and architectural treatments, Etihad Arena achieves a 22.4% saving in energy and 28% saving in water year by year.
The building can accommodate 18,000 spectators and host many kinds of events including large-scale international concerts, sports events, corporate gatherings, private functions and local community celebrations.
Using the latest technology of FINA Partner Myrtha Pools, the Arena has been transformed into a world-class swimming facility for the upcoming FINA World Swimming Championships (25m). Besides the competition pool, a warm-up pool has also been installed next to the big stage, and all athletes representing 183 countries may enjoy the utmost comfort in the team areas, while the media demands are also fully catered.
Athletes at the opening press conference already hailed the venue, both Italy’s Olympic champion Gregorio Paltrinieri and USA’s sprinting star, Olympic champion relay swimmer Abbey Weitzeil agreed that the venue was extraordinary. “It’s going to be really exciting to swim in such a world-class facility,” said Paltrinieri who owns the short-course world record in the 1500m free.
Compared to the venues of the previous editions, the Etihad Arena stands out – though all the sites used in the past decades offered something special and the racing environment was of the highest level. Still, the dimensions, the space, the level of services all top what we saw in the past.
Though it’s not a competition, the first gold can already go to the Arena and the organisers as they also created a unique combination of venues for the already ongoing aquatic festival.
The competitors of the other disciplines, open water swimmers, divers and high divers can also use the Arena’s facilities for their preparations before they march out to the waterfront venues of their respective sports. With the accommodations being located within a stone-throw, this is perhaps the most athlete-friendly championships FINA ever had – and ultimately this is what counts.