There’s plenty of places opening and events happening to keep you busy in 2020 in Dubai

2020 in Dubai will see changes to the city’s skyline, plenty of events, and more, and we can’t wait to check them out. From hotel openings to celebrity chef arrivals, attractions and Expo 2020, here are top things happening in Dubai in 2020…

Here are 20 things to look forward to in the year 2020 in Dubai.

The greatest show: Expo 2020 in Dubai

The eyes of the world will look to Dubai as the city hosts ‘The World’s Greatest Show’, Expo 2020 Dubai. It will welcome a record number of country pavilions, each themed on one of three key pillars; sustainability, mobility and opportunity. It will run for 173 days starting October 20, 2020. Standard tickets are Dhs120 per day.

New attractions opening in 2020 in Dubai

Mohammed Bin Rashid Library

The seven-storey Mohammed bin Rashid Library has been designed to resemble an open book sitting on a rehl (a traditional lectern that holds the Quran.) When complete – sometime in 2020 – it’s expected to be the largest cultural centre in the Middle East and North Africa, housing more than 4.5 million books. We’ll let you know as soon as an opening date is announced.

Meydan One

Before you eye roll at Dubai opening another mall, you might want to learn what’s inside this one. It will house 550 shops and 180 restaurants. For entertainment, facilities will include a one kilometre indoor ski slope with a 12,000 square metre winter village, super-sized crystal lagoon, pulse-racing electric go-karting track and a giant dancing fountain. It’s opening in the second half of 2020.

Museum of the Future

First announced in 2015, the Museum of the Future is nothing short of an architectural marvel. Designed in the shape of an eye hollowed out in the middle, the outside will be covered in Arabic calligraphy. While traditionally museums showcase the past, the Museum of the Future will explore the future of science, technology and innovation.

Ain Dubai

It’s the jewel in the crown of Bluewaters Island and at over 250 metres high, Ain Dubai will also be the world’s largest observation wheel. According to the most recent statement from developer Meraas, the wheel will be completed in time for the Expo 2020 celebrations – so that’s likely to be around October. When it does open, it’ll be able to carry up to 1,400 passengers at any one time across 48 double-glazed capsules. Some of the capsules will be private ‘fine-dining’ pods that seat up to 12, so you’ll be able to rent one for a special occasion. Six will also be licensed with their own bar inside.

Madame Tussauds

While you might be able to snap a selfie with a celebrity during an off-chance meeting at The Dubai Mall or hotspots like FIVE Palm Jumeirah, you’ll have your pick of them at waxwork museum Madame Tussauds Dubai. Details of who might appear in the first Middle Eastern location, set to open on Bluewaters Island, are scant, though Madame Tussauds typically features a range of famous faces, including singers, actors, sports stars and historical figures. The London branch also has many figures from the British Royal family – so here in Dubai could we be seeing a double of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai? Fingers crossed…

New hotels opening in Dubai in 2020

ME Dubai

Taking residence in the Opus in Business Bay, ME Dubai will become somewhat of a legacy hotel when it opens in the first quarter of the year. The hotel will feature 93 rooms and suites as well as 98 serviced apartments and is the only project where the late architect Zaha Hadid personally designed all the interiors and exteriors. While there’ll be three owned restaurants and bars, an all-day dining restaurant, pool bar and The Opus Studio, The Opus building will boast a further 15 concepts, including London’s famed ROKA and a third outlet of The Maine – The Maine Land Brasserie. Read more about the hotel on here.

SLS Dubai Hotel & Residences

The SLS Dubai Hotel & Residences will become one of the tallest hotels in the city when it opens in 2020. We’re most excited about its restaurant, bar and leisure offerings, which include 70th floor Italian restaurant, Fi’lia, a steakhouse by award-winning Italian butcher Dario Cecchoni on level 74, and nightlife venue Privilege, which will be located on the 75th floor rooftop. Privilege will sit adjacent to the roof terrace and striking infinity pool that will gaze out over the Downtown skyline.

Royal Atlantis

The Royal Atlantis Resort & Residences is on track to open in the third quarter of 2020. Coming in at an eye-watering $1.4 billion (Dhs5.5billion), the 43-storey resort comprises 231 luxury apartments, 693 hotel rooms, 102 suites, 13 restaurants and no less than 90 swimming pools, including a stunning rooftop infinity pool suspended 96 metres above the Palm Jumeirah.

The Dorchester

The Dorchester hotel chain has nine world-famous locations in cities including London, Rome, Paris and Beverly Hills. The group will open its futuristic-looking Dubai outpost in Business Bay by the end of 2020.

Anantara Mina Al Arab

While this property might not be in Dubai, it deserves a mention thanks to its incredible design worthy of a luxury resort in the Maldives. The Anantara Mina Al Arab will open towards the end of the year in Ras Al Khaimah’s Mina Al Arab district, boasting 174 guest rooms, suites and – the part that’s really caught our eye – overwater villas. We’re already dreaming of our weekend staycation…

Restaurant bars and clubs opening in Dubai in 2020


It’s one of the hottest restaurants in London, Miami and Amsterdam and Sushisamba is set to open its doors in Dubai sometime in 2020. The stunning restaurant will open on the 51st floor of The Palm Tower, currently under construction on Palm Jumeirah. When it does open, guests can expect to feast on a mix of Japanese, Brazilian and Peruvian cuisine, coupled with stunning views of the city.


It’s already found in The Shard in London and has outlets in New York, Miami and Hong Kong, but soon Dubai residents will be able to get a taste of Hutong’s upscale Chinese cuisine. The restaurant will open in the DIFC in 2020.

The Arts Club

Known as one of the most prestigious private members’ clubs in the world, The Arts Club is set to open its second location in Dubai’s DIFC later this year. Spread over four floors and occupying more than 65,000 square feet, The Arts Club will house a beautiful roof terrace and three restaurants –  a modern European brasserie, a contemporary Italian and a late-night spot for dancing and live music. There’ll also be private dining rooms, lounges, bars, a nightclub, cigar lounge, library and dedicated exhibition spaces. Celebrities who have frequented the British hotspot include Rihanna, Cameron Diaz and Lady Gaga, so we can’t wait to see who pays a visit to the Dubai outpost.

Dinner by Heston

Meat Fruit is a real dish, and it’s one you’ll be able to try in Dubai in 2020. One of celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal’s most iconic dishes, it looks like a mandarin but is actually a cleverly disguised chicken liver parfait. You’ll be able to try this, and many more of Blumenthal’s wow-worthy dishes, at the third outpost of his culinary concept, Dinner by Heston Blumenthal. It’s opening at the Royal Atlantis Resort & Residences on the Palm Jumeirah.

O Beach

If you’ve partied on the white isle of Ibiza, chances are you’ll have partied at O Beach. Famed for its huge pool bashes and legendary champagne shows, the second outpost of the lively, celebrity-loved beach club will open on Palm Jumeirah in September.


Events and shows taking place in Dubai in 2020

Dubai Jazz Festival

The 17th annual Emirates Airline Dubai Jazz Festival will take place from February 26 to 28, 2020 at Dubai Media City Amphitheatre. In arguably one of its best line-ups yet, Ms Lauryn Hill will open the show on Wednesday, Lionel Richie will headline on Thursday, and closing the show on Friday will be American pop-rockers, One Republic.

Iron Maiden

British heavy metal band Iron Maiden are set to bring their worldwide Legacy of the Beast tour to Dubai’s Coca-Cola Arena on May 27. The band’s first performance in the city in 11 years, expect to hear their most popular hits from across their 40-year career.

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The Kite Runner

There’ll be tears aplenty when the West End adaptation of bestselling novel by Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner, makes its Middle Eastern debut at Dubai Opera in February. It’ll run for three days from February 27 to 29.

Lea Salonga

After her sellout Dubai Opera debut in 2017, Tony Award-winning singer and actress Lea Salonga is returning for two shows in March. Returning to the Dubai Opera stage on March 5 and 6, fans can expect to hear an array of Salonga’s Broadway hits, Disney favourites, popular pop and musical theatre renditions, as well as selections from her latest album.

Bonus: 2020 is the year of preparation

UAE leaders announced that 2020 will be the year of preparation for the country’s next 50 years. The year, branded “2020: Towards the next 50”, will see the UAE make ambitious steps in sectors including the economy, education, infrastructure, health and media.