Case Study

The Arena in Diriyah Celebrating History, Culture and Legacy

Diriyah, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

The Challenge

Wanting to attract people to congregate and celebrate at the birthplace of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia—Diriyah, the City of Earth—the Diriyah Gate Company Limited challenged HKS to create a technologically advanced, globally significant arena that is a timeless representation of its place, geology and culture. 

The Design Solution

The Arena in Diriyah is designed for residents of the Kingdom and visitors alike—for all who want to connect with Nadji culture and its architectural heritage. HKS’ design builds upon this legacy while setting the stage for a healthy, resilient, digital future. The design team embedded international best practices, innovative technologies, and high-performance energy targets into the project.

The architecture is a composition of stone monoliths that simultaneously evokes local geological formations and ancient Najdi forts and palaces. The arena rises from the landscape and a series of “digital waterfalls” animated by light glow between them. The visual energy of the waterfalls serves as a beacon drawing guests to the dynamic experience inside.

Every guest of the Arena in Diriyah will enjoy the highest caliber entertainment experience. Interior designers conducted extensive user research to connect with the local audience. The arena is designed to host myriad events, and quickly transforms to accommodate events ranging from intimate concerts to major international sporting events.

The Design Impact

Architecture and design play a key role in connecting people to a place and to one another.  The Arena in Diriyah will unite people in a shared sense of cultural experience and offer a harmonious blend of heritage and innovation while stimulating tourism and economic growth.

Project Features

  • Multipurpose Venue
  • 20,000 seats
  • 76,000 square meters
  • Immersive digital master plan
  • Adaptive, re-configurable arena

“The Arena in Diriyah is a cornerstone element of our mission to blend tradition with innovation. It exemplifies Diriyah’s unique lifestyle offering that harmonizes community, culture, and natural connection, setting a new standard for world-class destinations rooted in Saudi heritage.”

Jerry Inzerillo, Group CEO of Diriyah Company