Major venture planned near Bahrain race track


Bahrain Sports City Image: Southern Municipal Council & ProTenders

Way back in 2017, Tilke GmbH & Co KG, Engineers and Architects, Germany, was awarded a masterplan study in context with a large project to come up adjoining the Bahrain International Circuit, the famous Formula 1 race track. The project will encompass holding international sports, commercial and entertainment events.

The Bahrain International Circuit is a motorsport venue which opened in 2004 and is used for drag racing, GP2 Series and the annual Bahrain Grand Prix. The 2004 Grand Prix was the first held in the Middle East. Beginning in 2006, Australian V8 Supercars raced at the Bahrain International Circuit, with the event known as the Desert 400.

Pursuant to the blueprint, the project was split into the New Exhibition and Convention Centre and the Sports City at Sakhir, Kingdom of Bahrain.

The avant-garde trade fair complex and exhibition center aims to complement the continuously growing importance of the Kingdom as a location for trade fair events with an adequate facility to stage such events.

The vibrant multiuse Sports City project is all set to become home to a broad range of sporting activities. It comprises contemporary FIFA-compliant football stadium, an indoor sports complex and an aquatic center sticking to the International Swimming Federation (FINA) standards as well as a multiuse arena for sports and any kind of non-sports related events.

At a later stage, it is being deliberated to set up a hotel in a space devoted for the same which will sit immediately adjacent and Southwest of the stadium and will complete the urban angle of the facility – indoor sports and hotel complex combine. All venues will come equipped with wide parking and landscaped areas.

The whole venture forms part of a long-term urban development of the area including the University of Bahrain campus, the extension of Zallaq Village and further developments South and Southwest of the race track.

Exhibition and convention center

A new exhibition and convention center will consist of an inviting entrance hall, a grand hall which can accommodate 4,000 spectators. This exhibition-cum-convention center will sit right next to the race track and the Sports City. Embedded into a contemporary landscaping concept, the entrance hall will open up to the concourse and will act as a fulcrum for 10 spacious exhibition halls and will offer a broad variety of amenities for the visitors. The 10 exhibition halls at some 9,500m² net floor areas each are arranged along the concourse with four single and three double halls.

With design work completed and tender closed, commencement of site works is expected to get rolling soon.

The design concept reflects latest FIFA standards, providing a unique and exciting opportunity for a world class football stadium and entertainment venue. Located between lower and upper tier, a ring of lounges will be able to fit in circa 3,000 seats aiming to host any category of VIP guests in separated areas.

Tilke’s architectural concept takes a page out of the traditional ‘Mashrabiya’ motives to create a spectacular outer facade for the venue. To come armed with the latest LED technology, the façade will make for an eye-catching experience at night.

A huge plaza surrounds the stadium itself being considered as circulation and ingress/egress space. The indoor sports complex as well as the hotel which will come up in the future is immediately accessible from this plaza.

Aquatic section

The aquatic section of the venue will hold competitions and will also serve as a training pool as well as a diving pool and tower with a capacity to hold 2,500 spectators. A triple sports hall which can sit 3,700 spectators play host to various indoor sports in the other section. Both sections are separated by a back to back grandstand and VIP lounge area sitting right in the center of the structure.

Multipurpose arena

The 10,000-capacity arena will attribute for around 750 VIP guests of any tier. The available seat capacity depends on the nature of the event and in case the infield area can be utilized for temporary seating as well, the maximum capacity may increase to up to 11,000 spectators. Atop the VIP lounge level, a public restaurant facility for potential all day use will sit in order to provide visitors with gourmet food.

The whole idea is to set up a dynamic multipurpose indoor venue capable of hosting different sports at first instance, entertainment and Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE) events at second instance. Regarding sports events, the design is based on international federation requirements such as handball, basketball, volleyball, etc. The building might be able to stage much more events according to the operator’s agreements with the flexibility to allow quick adaptability from one event to another.

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