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Marbella Arena is home to Europe's largest dome venue for events from shows to congresses

The venue has the latest audiovisual technology to hold performances with virtual and augmented reality

JOAQUINA DUEÑAS

It's taken seven days to build and another week to fit out, but now Marbella can boast having the largest dome in Europe.

The half sphere-shaped structure has been set up inside the old Puerto Banus bullring, now the Marbella Arena. It measures 37 metres in diameter and is 18 metres high, covering 2,100 square metres.

This unique venue, according to Jorge Martín, director of operations at Marbella Arena, has been designed to provide an indoor space for performances, which would stay up between November and March or April, depending on each season's event programme.

This Saturday, 18 December, the dome will be "christened" with a performance of the Spanish musical version of Alice in Wonderland, from 8pm, when the audience will be able to enjoy an immersive experience thanks to the unique characteristics of the theatre.

"The idea of setting up the dome came up mainly to allow the arena to continue to be used during the months when weather conditions would not normally permit this, but it was also to have a unique space where an immersive experience can be created, with 360 degree projections and videomapping techniques that can't be achieved in a conventional indoor venue," said the director.

"At Marbella Arena we are open to all types of activities - cultural, corporate and institutional; concerts, opera, theatre, congresses, sporting events, monologues... Whatis clear is that it is a unique space for any individual or firm to hold an event," added Martín.

The new venue could help position Marbella as an important destination for MICE tourism (Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions), which moves more than 20 billion euros a year in Spain and is in constant growth. This adds recognition and mvement to the local economy through events not just focused on leisure.