Three months ago when I was here I didn’t believe this was possible. I was very skeptical. Now I find this jewel here – it is the pearl of the desert, and I believe it is one of the best swimming facilities in the world.
Executive Director, International Swimming Federation (FINA)
Versatile by design
Our proposals were conceived to deliver the largest and most flexible aquatics complex in the world. We recognised that the operators of buildings designed to host occasional, prestigious events can struggle to extract value out of the high capacity facilities in the interim periods.
A number of solutions were employed at Hamdan Sports Complex to ensure maximum flexibility in legacy mode. Firstly, there are two separate 50m pools - the main arena pool and a separate training pool - with moveable floors and walls to allow subdivision into different configurations of length and depth.
Secondly, several massive underground storage tanks (equivalent in size to an international standard swimming pool) next to the building allow the water from the main pool tanks to be temporarily removed and stored. A trestle system sits inside the empty pool tank to allow it to be safely covered, creating a multi-purpose performance and exhibition arena.
To prevent the loss of diving facilities when the main competition pools are covered, the innovative double-backed diving platform provides divers with alternate access to the training pool; the moveable floor descending to the required depth for safe diving.
An international legacy
This is an outstanding and extraordinary venue. This venue will be for the future, not just for the UAE, but for the development of swimming in the entire Middle East region
Dr. Julio Cesar Maglione
President, International Swimming Federation (FINA)