Here’s your must-read guide to the city’s biggest news stories…

In a fast paced city like Dubai, it can be hard to keep up with all the city’s happenings. Which is why we’re bringing you the week in review: a short, digestible overview of the weeks biggest news announcements, trending stories and top happenings.

From the big reveal to the region’s first Phantom of the Opera and the completion date of Ain Dubai, to the first Emirati astronaut to go to space, these are the stories you need to know about this week.

There’s now a Nutella Bar in Mall of the Emirates

After only a short wait since the discovery of a brand-new Nutella Bar, it has arrived! Located in Vox Cinemas, Mall of the Emirates, the Nutella Bar is now serving up the unmistakable chocolatey treat from 10am to 10pm daily. Previously, Nutella fans had to go to DXB airport to get their fix, where the Nutella Bar DXB serves up an array of takeaway desserts such as mini pancakes, sharable muffins, crepes, waffles and choux. The design of the new chocolate destination appears to take inspiration from its own packaging, offering guests the space to sit and enjoy their desserts from creative custom tables which look like chocolate pouring from a Nutella jar lid.

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Hazzaa Al Mansoori will become the first Emirati astronaut in space

The Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) has announced that Hazza Al Mansoori is the chosen astronaut and Sultan Al Neyadi will be the back-up for the mission to the International Space Station in September 2019. Both astronauts are currently undergoing grueling training in Russia to prepare them for the journey to space. The eight-day mission to the International Space Station will see Al Mansoori board a Soyuz-MS 15 spacecraft from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on September and return to Earth aboard a Soyuz-MS 12.

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A Legoland hotel will open in Dubai in 2020

Dubai Parks and Resorts, the home of Motiongate, Bollywood Parks and of course Legoland, will become home to the Middle East’s first Legoland hotel in 2020. The hotel, which is set to have 250 lego-themed rooms, will feature a castle play area and a disco elevator within the resort. The UAE currently has two Legoland theme parks – Legoland Dubai and Legoland Waterpark, both destinations are designed for families with children aged between two and twelve. Legoland Dubai will join destinations such as Malaysia, Denmark and California, becoming the seventh Legoland hotel to open around the world. All of the hotels have an array of different room themes from castles to medieval to pirates, with creative structures built with lego blocks.

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All RTA taxis now have contactless card machines

Dubai asked and the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) listened! You can now take any of the 10,800 taxis in RTA’s fleet and be able to travel – and pay – without cash. The RTA has confirmed that they have completed installation of Point of Sale (POS) devices across their entire taxi fleet. The installation comes as a means of making passenger travel and payment as easy as possible. Whether you want to pay via your nol card or debit/credit card, you can do so with ease via the contactless system or chip and pin. You can also use your smartphone to pay if you have either Apple Pay or Samsung Pay set up on it.

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Lead announced for The Phantom of the Opera at Dubai Opera

Award winning performer Jonathan Roxmouth has been announced to play ‘The Phantom’, when the iconic musical The Phantom of the Opera comes to Dubai for the first time this Autumn. Phantom of the Opera will run from Wednesday October 16 until Wednesday October 30 at Dubai Opera, with tickets priced from Dhs250. With a number of famous roles under his belt, Jonathan is well-known in the musical theatre scene and has featured in a number of the world’s best loved musicals including ‘The Lion King’, ‘Cats’, and ‘Beauty and the Beast’. When he takes to the stage later this year, he will make history as the first ever ‘Phantom’ in the Middle East.

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An opera is going to be made about the UAE

The nation’s first opera will be launched at Dubai Expo 2020 next year. Described as a cultural milestone for the UAE, Al Wasl will combine Emirati and global talent to tell the story of the UAE’s rich heritage which spans thousands of years. The narrative will explore the nation’s Bedouin roots, and will journey to the UAE’s present achievements as a forward-thinking, modern multi-cultural hub and finishes in the future. Commissioned by Expo 2020, UAE nationals Mohammed Fairouz and author Maha Gargash will provide the music and dialogue respectively for the opera.

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World’s tallest observation wheel, Ain Dubai, will open in 2020

t’s the jewel in the crown of the new Bluewaters island off JBR, and Ain Dubai, the world’s largest observation wheel, is set to be completed next year. According to a statement from developer Meraas, Ain Dubai will be completed in time for Expo 2020 celebrations. At over 250 metres high, Ain Dubai will become the world’s tallest observation wheel when it opens in 2020, and will be able to carry up to 1,400 passengers at a time across 48 double-glazed capsules. Some of these capsules will be private ‘fine-dining’ pods that seat up to 12 guests, so you’ll be able to rent one out for a special occasion. Six of the capsules will also have a licensed bar (we’re guessing it will become THE spot for sundowners in JBR).

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