Jumeirah’s Wild Wadi is going to double in size, and there will also be a full-time Cirque du Soleil theatre on one of the new islands too!

This city just keeps on growing: in January we heard that a huge new development was being built in front of the Meridien Mina Seyahi, and today the Dubai government announced another huge project: two islands are going to be built on each side of the Burj Al Arab to create a Dhs6.3 billion tourism hub called Marsa Al Arab (marsa means marina).

The 4 million square foot development will be owned by Dubai Holding and managed by the Jumeirah Group (who also manage the Burj Al Arab and Madinat Jumeirah). The two islands will add 2.2 kilometres of beachfront to Dubai. One island will be full of entertainment options while the other one will be filled entirely by a single luxury resort, as well as around 100 super-swanky villas.

Here’s a video that explains what you’ll find on the new islands…

The islands will add 2,400 hotel rooms to Jumeirah Group’s portfolio (meaning they’ll have 8,428 in total) and will bring 400 new F&B outlets to Dubai. Construction will start in June, and it’s expected that it will all be finished up by late 2020.

The development is all part of Dubai’s plan to not only boost visitor numbers by 2020 but to also, crucially, increase the amount of time those travelling through Dubai choose to stop in the city.



– The already-established Wild Wadi Waterpark will move closer to the beach as part of the project and will double in size – and they’re promising new “record-breaking attractions” as part of that.

Here’s what the new Wild Wadi will look like – word is many of the rides will be “record-breaking”.

– There will be a 1,000 seat Marine Park where you’ll find exotic aquatic animals and fish (whether or not that park will be home to whales after the boycotts on Seaworld hasn’t yet been pointed out, but the project’s model does include miniature orcas).

What animals the marine park will be home to we don’t yet know.

A permanent Cirque du Soleil theatre with a capacity of 1,700 seats will be part of the entertainment island. They will host different acrobatic shows, but all by the mega-circus production company, and some of the shows will be designed specifically for Dubai. This will be a direct competitor of (or complement to?) the La Perle stage show that’s set to open in Al Habtoor City this year.

An outdoor ampitheatre…

A pearl museum will showcase rare and ancient pearls from around the world, and tell the story of Dubai’s pearl heritage.  There will also be a functional pearl farm and a boutique hotel that is inspired by pearls (as well as plenty of opportunity to purchase pearls).

The pearl museum will be a particularly beautiful structure.


– Particularly pertinent for us residents will be the additions of pretty new pedestrian pathways as well as a jogging track and a cycling course. 

– There will be a private yacht marina and a yacht club with restaurants and a helipad (of course).

This map gives an indication of where the new islands will be located.

– The space where Wild Wadi currently sits will turn into a 20,000 square metre shopping centre with high end brands and restaurants and cafes.

– There will be a conference centre for events and festivals – as well as a business hotel to cater to that facility.


– There will be office space for international companies looking to set up a base in Dubai (swanky spot to work from!).

Pretty swanky offices (aimed particularly at international businesses looking to set up here).

– If you’re keen to move suburbs in a few years you’ll find 300 ocean-front residential apartments there too.

– One of the islands will turn into a Maldives-style luxury spot with 140 luxury villas for Dubai’s most high-net-worth residents. This island will also have a boutique hotel and a private marina.

We’re calling it – these Burj-Al-Arab and oceanfront villas will become Dubai’s newest most exclusive suburb (there will be a boutique hotel too).

– There will also be 10,000 parking spaces, as well as transportation connections.

As always, we’ll keep you updated on its progress – first and foremost of course, one when the Wild Wadi that we know today will be shutting down before it moves on!

– For more about Dubai straight to your newsfeed, follow us on Facebook.

Photos: Dubai Holding