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Everything You Need to Know About Maraya, the Most Beautiful Concert Venue in the World

Saudi Arabia Art + Architecture
by Morgane Croissant Sep 26, 2023

When it comes to amazing concert venues, the world is spoiled for choice. There is Reykjavik’s Harpa with its fish scale-like glass exterior, the semi-outdoor Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Denver, the bright and circular Royal Albert Hall in London, and many more. But none of them can match the level of awe that the Maraya Concert Hall in Saudi Arabia inspires. The performance and events venue is a simple cube covered entirely in mirrored panels, allowing it to seemingly vanish within the stunning Ashar Valley of the AlUla desert.

Where is the largest mirrored building in the world?

Maraya is a performance and events venue in Saudi Arabia

Photo: Enrico Pescantini/Shutterstock

The Maraya Concert Hall in AlUla, Saudi Arabia, holds the Guinness World Records title for the largest mirrored building in the world since 2020. Maraya is a magnificent cubic building of 104,840 square feet, whose outer walls are entirely covered in mirrors, reflecting the surrounding landscape of sand, rock formations, as well as the sky above. Thanks to its unique design, Maraya seemingly disappears to let the beauty of the AlUla desert be center stage.

The concert hall is located 12 miles (about 25 minutes by car) from the city of AlUla and 11.6 miles (about 22 minutes by car) from the Hegra Archeological Site, also known as Hegra or Mada’in Saleh. The closest hotels to Maraya are the luxurious Habitas AlUla and Banyan Tree AlUla resorts. Note that the city of AlUla has an International Airport with flights from and to Dubai, Riyadh, Jeddah, and Damman with flydubai, Saudia Airlines, and flynas.

How to take great photos of Maraya?

Because it is entirely covered in mirrors, Maraya blends in almost perfectly in the desert landscape, making it tricky to snap a good picture. But Maraya’s Instagram grid will point out some great tips to take beautiful picture of the largest mirrored building in the world, including:

What does Maraya mean in Arabic?

Maraya means reflection or mirror in the Arabic language, a very fitting name for this modern concert hall that is entirely covered in 9,740 mirrored panels.

Note that Arabic is the official language of Saudi Arabia, but English is widely spoken throughout the country.

Who has performed at Maraya Concert Hall?

In the past, Maraya hosted many international performers, including Alicia Keys, Lionel Ritchie, John Legend, Usher, OneRepublic, Andrea Bocelli, Seal, Westlife. Many artists from the Arab world have also performed at Maraya, such as Egyptian musician Omar Khairait, Iraqi singer and composer Kadim Al Sahir, Egyptian singer Angham, and many more.

The only upcoming concert at Maraya at time of writing is that of Egyptian singer Sherine Abdel Wahab on October 27, 2023.

How big is the Maraya Concert Hall?

Maraya is comprised of multiple spaces that can host live performances and private events, including Maraya Concert Hall, The Great Hall – The Cube, the East Wing, the VVIP – Green Room, several conference rooms, the Maraya Social fine dining restaurant, etc. The concert hall alone can accommodate up to 550 spectators.

What differentiates the concert hall from the other spaces in the building is its 85-foot-tall retractable glass wall located behind the stage. It allows for indoor-outdoor performance experiences with stunning views of the surrounding desert landscape.

Who built the Maraya Concert Hall?

Maraya was designed by Milan-based architectural studio Gio Forma whose mission was to create a structure that would not compete with the beauty of the landscape, but enhance it instead. It only took 76 days to complete the construction.

When was the Maraya Concert Hall built?

Maraya was completed in 2019. According to a report by CNN, the project took only six months from the concept idea to the completion of the construction.

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