Dubai Opera House: Mapei’s Theatrical Masterpiece

It is the city's exceptional performing arts venue.
January 3, 2022

Dubai Opera is the city's exceptional performing arts venue, bringing art and music to life in a way that has never been seen before. Dubai Opera, located in Downtown Dubai, is dedicated to its role as the city's creative centre, producing and staging the most stunning, authentic, and engaging performing arts events from across the world.

The venue was designed by Janus Rostock of Atkins, modelled on the shape of a dhow, a traditional sailing vessel. The iconic dhow-shaped edifice is a modern design masterpiece and a striking tribute to Dubai's maritime past. The main theatre can accommodate up to 2,000 people and can be configured into a theatre, a concert hall, and into a ‘flat floor’ mode becoming a banquet or event hall. 

Mapei Construction Chemicals was hired by Sital Marble to assist with the installation of 30,000 square metres of natural and man-made stone, as well as water-jet cutting and brass inserts, for the Dubai Opera.

Sital, the company contracted for the installation of natural stone in the opera house’s main lobby areas and bathrooms, selected Mapei’s adhesives and grouts for the project.

  • The lobby flooring was done with Mapei's Adesilex P9 adhesive, and the ceiling was done with Keralastic T adhesive.
  • Due to the project's demand for both cementitious and epoxy materials, Mapei's Ultracolor Plus and Kerapoxy grout were chosen.
  • One of the most difficult aspects of the project, according to Mapei, was the installation of massive stones on the ceiling of the Dubai Opera. When typical cementitious adhesives were applied to the ceiling substrate, which is a non-traditional fibre cement board, they cracked and de-bonded.
  • To solve this challenge, Mapei conducted a successful pull-off test with Keralastic T, a polyurethane adhesive. The setup remained stable after being put straight to the ceiling and supported until the adhesive cured.
  • Mapei’s Kerapoxy grout, meanwhile, allowed the project team to combine water-jet cutting pieces with brass inserts, safely and securely.

This project was as rewarding as it was challenging, but in the end it turned out to be an absolute masterpiece.

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