Hamdan Sports Complex Turns 10

The Hamdan Sports Complex – one of the world’s most iconic sports landmarks – is celebrating its 10th birthday following its inauguration on October 2010.

Just two months after it was opened by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council, the Complex hosted it’s first international event – the 10th FINA World Swimming Championships.

From then on Hamdan Sports Complex has been a landmark stadium for major tournaments, having held 340 events since its inauguration. 92 of these have been international and in a variety of sports utilising all the features of the Complex.

Major youth competitions have included The World School Games Event Series, 2013 FINA World Junior Championship, 2014 FIBA U17 World Basketball Championship and the 2017 Asian Youth Para Games.


Among 248 local events hosted at Hamdan, 57 were organised by the UAE Swimming Federation, 56 by Hamilton Aquatics, 20 by Speedo Swim Squads Dubai and 81 by different schools and organisations.

A statement from Hamdan Sports Complex said that 141,739 athletes have taken part in the competitions hosted by the Complex over the past 10 years, and 484,545 spectators from more than 195 countries have watched the action from the stands.

Built on 24-hectares of land, Hamdan Sports Complex is one of the world’s biggest and most modern multi-purpose facilities in the world, designed to host more than different 10 Olympic sports, including basketball, badminton, handball and volleyball alongside all kinds of aquatic sports like swimming, synchronised swimming, diving, synchronised diving and water polo.

Dressed on the outside in contrasting hues of blue and a glistening glass façade, the cavernous complex boasts two 50-meter Olympic-standard swimming pools in its golden teardrop-shaped competition centre inside. Both pools have moveable floors and they can also be covered when needed to turn the arena into a sturdy surface fit for any non-aquatic sport event, or even non-sports events like conferences and exhibitions.

The swimming pools can also be transformed into 25-meter pools of varying depths at any time by simply pressing a button. Adjacent to the pools is an Olympic-sized diving tank, equipped with diving boards at heights of 10m, 7.5m, 5m, 3m and 1m.

Rising over the 10-lane swimming pools and diving tank is a three-tier, horseshoe-shaped seating bowl that can accommodate 15,000 spectators. The fans, besides following the live action, can also view replays on four giant screens hanging from the ceiling in the centre of the arena. In addition to those four screens, there are four other text-display screens showing results and other relevant information.

The arena also boasts changing rooms for 400 athletes, rooms for umpires, as a health club, gymnasium, as well as training pool.

The Hamdan Sports Complex has also embraced many ground-breaking and environmentally-friendly technologies, in line with the Dubai’s vision of becoming one of the top sustainable cities in the world. All of its outdoor lights are solar-powered and pools are consistently maintained at a temperature of 27°C by the sun. The glass exterior, meanwhile, allows for optimised natural light penetration, especially for the offices and the main entrance at the first floor where it’s most required.