Salas O’Brien joins Diriyah Company in celebrating the unveiling of the groundbreaking concept design for The Arena in Diriyah, a highly advanced multipurpose entertainment venue planned for the outskirts of Saudi Arabia’s capital.

Salas O’Brien was enlisted by lead architect and design company HKS to provide theater consulting, acoustics, and audio-video design for this project.

The 76,000-square-meter facility is composed of stone monoliths inspired by Diriyah’s natural geology and traditional Nadji architecture. Seamlessly blending heritage and modern innovation, the space features impressive “digital waterfalls” made from transparent, flexible LED panels that simulate waterfalls and project digital art and videos for visitors to view as they enter, making for a highly anticipated sight.

Containing 20,000 seats, The Arena is versatile and will host various sports, entertainment, and cultural events. Its immersive digital master plan and adaptive reconfigurable arena allow for effortless transformations between event layouts within mere hours.

Rendering courtesy of HKS
HKS has created an arena unlike anything else in the world, bringing with it an expectation for innovative design solutions that pushed the team to stretch our creative capacity.
Craig JanssenManaging Principal

Salas O’Brien is at the forefront of shaping the future of entertainment spaces and digital innovation. Our involvement in this groundbreaking project encompasses a range of specialized services designed to bring HKS’s visionary concepts to life with technical precision. Our contributions include:

  • Engineering solutions to realize HKS’s imaginative designs in a technically feasible manner.
  • Developing versatile rigging systems and adapting spatial dimensions to accommodate a variety of events.
  • Integrating advanced audio-visual technologies and broadcasting capabilities tailored for diverse functions.
  • Implementing theatrical lighting to enhance the ambiance and viewer experience.
  • Providing expert technical advice for the innovative “digital waterfalls” feature.
It’s been great to work with such a talented team within our organization and on an international team of architects and engineers. The Arena is a unique combination of technology and architecture to provide a scalable and flexible building to meet the client’s needs.
Ben CatingSVP, Project Manager

As a vibrant hub for tourism and connection, The Arena Diriyah plays a role in Diriyah Company’s $6.32 billion “Diriyah masterplan,” an effort aligning with Saudi Vision 2023, an initiative created by the Saudi Arabian government to diversity the country’s economy.

The concept design for The Arena Diriyah was announced on March 13, 2024, at MIPIM (International Market for Real Estate Professionals) in Cannes.