From beautiful desert camps to the Coca-Cola Arena and Dubai Stars…

As the year draws to a close, we’re reflecting on a huge 12 months of exciting openings and new additions across the city. Need a refresh? Here are 10 things Dubai welcomed in 2019…

January: Starlight camping

If you’ve already ticked off the regular Dubai desert camping experience, how about going all-out with a luxury stargazing bubble tent? That’s exactly what Starlight Camping offer. Run by husband and wife duo Fabienne and Urs Eiselin, you’ll spend the night in a luxurious and roomy 30 square metre bubble tent that comes complete with a queen size bed, curtains, sink and mirror. It’s got a semi see-through crystal roof too, which means you’ll feel like you’re sleeping directly under the stars…

Starlight Camping, Dubai Desert, from Dhs1,800 a night. Tel: +971 50 345 5358.

February: W Dubai – The Palm

W Dubai – The Palm was one of 2019’s most hotly anticipated hotel openings. It opened on February 1, adding 350 rooms, a stunning archipelago of swimming pools and two celebrity chef-led restaurants to the Palm Jumeirah. Thoroughly futuristic from the lobby to the spa to the rooftop bar, SoBe, it’s firmly cemented itself as the newest party spot in the city.

W Dubai – The Palm, West Crescent, Palm Jumeirah. Tel: (04) 245 5555.

February: Mandarin Oriental Jumeira, Dubai

Another major hotel brand landed in Dubai in 2019, this time world-renowned hotel brand, Mandarin Oriental. Mandarin Oriental Jumeira, Dubai is the work of acclaimed international designer Jeffrey Wilkes and features six restaurants, two swimming pools (one an infinity pool on the roof) and a 2000 square-metre spa.

Mandarin Oriental Jumeira, Dubai, opposite Mercato Mall, Jumeirah.

March: Sky2.0

If you’ve partied in Lebanon in recent years, chances are you’ve partied at Sky2.0. The famed open-air venue in Beirut is known for it’s impressive entertainment and unrivalled live DJ sets, so it’s opening in Dubai earlier this year was met with great excitement by the city’s party people. Each week it opens on Wednesday for ladies’ night, and on Thursdays and Fridays.

Sky2.0, Dubai Design District, Dubai, 10pm to 4am, Wednesday to Friday. Tel: (058) 633 3633.

April: Quranic Park

Quranic Park is a Dubai attraction that began welcoming visitors in April. Located in Al Khawaneej, the Quranic Park is designed to give a better cultural and educational understanding of the Islamic heritage, while still being a fun place to visit for children, families and those looking to learn more about the Holy Quran. The park that spans over of 60-hectares, but it has two main attractions within the space that offers visitors a brilliant, intelligent insight into the several areas of the Holy Quran: The Glass House and Cave of Miracles.

Quranic Park, Al Khawaneej, close to Mushrif Park in Dubai, 8am to 10pm daily, Dhs5 to enter the attractions.  

June: Coca-Cola Arena

The Dubai Arena became the Coca-Cola Arena when it finally opened its doors in City Walk this June, thanks to a 10-year partnership with the Coca-Cola brand. The multipurpose arena is fully air conditioned, which means that it will be able to host events all year round, capacitating for some 17,000 guests. After a debut show from Russell Peters, the Coca-Cola Arena has welcomed performances from Maroon 5, The 1975 and Westlife.

Coca-Cola Arena, City Walk, Dubai.

September: FIVE JVC

A second serving of Dubai’s party hotel brand, FIVE, FIVE JVC is a striking architectural marvel at the centre of Dubai’s Jumeirah Village. Aside from its circular design and soaring height, the hotel’s eye-catching attributes extend to it’s swimming pools – all 269 of them. Bedrooms are split between 247 spacious rooms and suites designed for two or four, and 254 one bedroom, two bedroom and four bedroom hotel apartments, which all come with a kitchen, living area and large terrace that features either a jacuzzi or pool. Jacuzzi’s are found in all the one bedroom options, while generous sized infinity pools occupy the glass wall facing balcony of the two and four bedroom offerings.

FIVE Jumeirah Village, JVC, Dubai.

October: Dubai Stars

Dubai’s very own Hollywood-style Walk of Fame, called Dubai Stars, was unveiled on the Downtown Boulevard in October. The first 400 stars included celebrities and personalities like Lionel Messi, Rami Malek, Huda Kattan and Elie Saab, with a total of 10,000 famous names set to fill the Boulevard once fully complete.

Dubai Stars, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard, Downtown Dubai.

November: The Dubai Monopoly Board

The first official Dubai Monopoly board was announced earlier in the year, officially going on sale at the start of November. On the Dubai Monopoly board, the brown tiles begin with Sheikh Zayed Road and Al Fahidi. After that it’s light blue, where you can place properties on Xclusive Yachts, La Mer, and CityWalk. Next up is pink, showcasing Atlantis Aquaventure, Dubai Miracle Garden and Dubai Frame. It’s Dhs199.

November: Nakheel Mall

Palm Jumeirah’s Nakheel Mall finally opened its doors on Thursday, November 28 to much excitement from many-a Dubai resident. Set over 4.5 million square feet, Nakheel Mall spans five floors and will eventually play host to over 350 retail shops, restaurants and leisure attractions (right now there’s around 130), with underground parking space to accommodate 4,000 vehicles.

Nakheel Mall, Palm Jumeirah, Dubai, opening November 28, Sunday to Wednesday, 10am to 10pm, Thursday, Friday & Saturday, 12pm to 12am. Tel: (04) 390 9999.