22 unmissable things still to come in the UAE in 2022

There’s so much still to come… 

We’ve blinked and we’re already almost half way through the year. But the UAE just keeps getting better, and while it’s been an action-packed start, there’s still so much to come this year.

Here are 22 unmissable things to do in 2022. 

1. Aussie spot Bidi Bondi is being replaced… by an Aussie spot

When Bidi’s closed last year, it left a hole both in our hearts, and along the Palm’s prime real estate. Thankfully, restaurateur and all-round bonzer bloke Tom Arnel (of Tom & Serg fame) has taken over the space to open a brand new multi-concept called The Byron Bathers Club. Opening very soon, The Byron – as it aims to be affectionately known – will be a seafood focused beachside dining destination offering a la carte breakfasts, lunches and late-night dinners.


2. A top restaurateur is opening a new Italian place

Chic Nonna

For those fortunate enough to have met Piero Giglio, you’ll know his charm knocks the socks off anyone that meets him. A big name in the hospitality industry having worked at a handful of Dubai’s top restaurants, Piero is now the managing partner of Mine and Yours, and the group is set to open Chic Nonna in DIFC in the coming months, featuring an elegant Osteria gourmet restaurant on the ground floor and a vibrant lounge bar above.


3. A gruelling workout is headed for the city

Rebel Dubai

Fancy London fitness studio brand 1Rebel is coming to Dubai, with studios planned for both DIFC and Dubai Marina. Set to welcome fitness fans to ICD Brookfield Place, and W Dubai – Mina Seyahi, be prepared for one of the most gruelling workouts where its 45-minute session torches more calories than you would in a session twice that long.


4. You best Belieb a major concert is coming

Pop superstar Justin Bieber will be performing in Dubai at the city’s Coca-Cola Arena on October 8 and 9. For two nights only the 28-year old hit Canadian singer will be bringing his record-setting Justice World Tour to the city. Some of his popular tunes include Peaches, Stay, Ghost, Honest, Love Yourself, Stuck with U and many more.

Coca-Cola Arena, City Walk, Al Wasl, Dubai, Saturday October 8 and Sunday October 9, from Dhs299. Tel: (800) 223 388. coca-cola-arena.com

5. Meat fruit is a real dish you’re about to eat

Heston Blumenthal's Meat Fruit

It’s one of celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal’s most iconic dishes and looks like a mandarin but is actually made from chicken liver parfait. You’ll be able to try it for yourself when his restaurant opens at the Royal Atlantis Resort & Residences on the Palm Jumeirah before the year is out. Dinner by Heston Blumenthal will be the third outpost of the culinary concept, which already has locations in London and Melbourne.


6. The Abu Dhabi F1 is a guaranteed cert

Even before the smoke had cleared from the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 2021 — the last race of the season – Formula 1 had dropped the dates for the 2022 season. The Abu Dhabi F1 will once again serve as the exhilarating finale to the year’s racing, taking place November 17 to 20, 2022. The first after-race concert artist has already been announced, with the capital set to welcome Swedish House Mafia on Friday November 19.

Yas Marina Circuit, Yas Island, Nov 17 to 20. yasmarinacircuit.com 

7. A death-defying show will mesmerize visitors

cruty demon

Crusty Demons are renowned for making the impossible happen and are known to make headlines around the world. Think world record jumps and countless stunts that were previously thought impossible. Riders here push to go bigger, faster, higher, and more insane than ever before (gulp). Expect to see freestyle motocross, new tricks, and carnage by internationally-renowned riders, Quad FMX, Globe of Death, a Guinness World Record attempt and more. Oh, and of course, there will be lighting and special effects.

Coca-Cola Arena, City Walk, Al Wasl, Dubai, 8pm, Friday September 23, from Dhs150. Tel: (800) 223 388. coca-cola-arena.com

8. A legendary hotel group will debut in Business Bay

Lana hotel

Those who live or work around the Business Bay area will probably recognise the unique shape of The Lana (previously called Dorchester Dubai), perched on the waterfront of the Dubai Canal. The striking 30-storey tower will house 225 ultra-luxury guest rooms – 69 of them suites – which will ooze contemporary-chic with triple height ceilings, plush furnishings in gold, beige and olive and deep-soaking bathtubs and a large rooftop pool. The ultra-luxury property is expected to open in late 2022.


9. Tomorrowland comes to Dubai – but not as you know it

Iconic music festival Tomorrowland is hitting Dubai – but not as you know it. The renowned festival is set to open Terra Solis in the Dubai desert, a first-of-its-kind destination inspired by the hedonistic party festival. Set to open in September 2022, Terra Solis will bring a vibrant pool scene, incredible dining, and a trio of unique glamping experiences to Dubai Heritage Vision, a heritage village and events space in the Dubai desert. Of course, there will be a big focus on music, and we can’t wait to see the incredible roster of events unveiled as the opening edges closer.

Tomorrowland presents Terra Solis Desert Destination, Dubai Heritage Vision, opening September 2022. terrasolisdubai.com

10. There will be a new icon to check-in to on the Palm Jumeirah

Atlantis, The Royal Resort & Residences is on track to open in November 2022. The Dhs5.15 billion property will be made up of 231 luxury apartments, 693 hotel rooms and 102 suites. The 43-storey hotel will also feature 90 swimming pools, including a stunning rooftop infinity pool suspended 96 meters above The Palm on level 22. Foodies will be delighted by the restaurant calibre, which includes 8 outposts helmed by international celebrity chefs, including Gastón AcurioCostas SpiliadisAriana BundyHeston Blumenthal and Jose Andres. This is the biggie opening, and we cannot wait.


11. Abu Dhabi will get a lot cooler – with the arrival of a snow park

Blanketing a 100,000 square foot area, the “nearly completed’ Snow Abu Dhabi will take the form of an enchanted forest inside Reem Mall (also slated to open this year). Divided into distinct whimsical zones, Snow Abu Dhabi features many rides, attractions and slides that take you on a cross-country adventure, past snow-powdered pine trees and dazzling lights.


12. Ra, Ra Raspoutine will shake up DIFC’s dining scene

Storied French restaurant and nightclub Raspoutine is set to open in Dubai later this year, and we can’t wait. Having been an institution on Paris’ late-night party circuit for more than 50 years, Raspoutine will open its fourth global location in Dubai’s DIFC in September, according to its website. While the Paris venue is a sought-after party-centric hotspot, we can expect more of a dinner-and-a-show vibe from the Dubai iteration, similar to Raspoutine Miami, which opened earlier this year.

Raspoutine Dubai, DIFC, opening September 2022. @raspoutine.dubai

13. Dubai Hills Mall will get even better

Dubai Hills residents rejoyced earlier this year when Dubai Hills Mall finally opened, bringing with it a whole host of new shops and restaurants to check out. But there’s still more to come: this summer, Dubai Hills Mall will add a Roxy Cinemas cinema to its roster of leisure options, so visitors will be able to catch all the latest blockbusters. For now, we’re not sure whether this will include Roxy’s VIP Platinum or Platinum Plus options.

Dubai Hills Mall, Dubai Hills. theroxycinemas.com

14. Palm West Beach are bringing beach clubs galore

There can be no denying that Palm West Beach is the ultimate beach-lover’s dream. And, just when we thought there was no space for another beach club, a load more get announced. At The Club, where you’ll already find Eva Beach House and SAN, we can look forward to new names including soon-to-open Playa, Loren, Ayla, and Gallery – 7/40. Further down the strip, a St. Regis beach club called Para Sol and another one down in front of The Dorchester Residences, will all open later this year.


15. The city will be working up a sweat as Dubai Fitness Challenge returns

Lace up your sneakers for the 2022 edition of Dubai Fitness Challenge, which will this year take place from October 29 to November 27. Launched in 2017 by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai Crown Prince and Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai, this annual fitness festival invites everyone to complete 30 minutes of activity every day, for 30 days. With an action-packed calendar of free classes, sporting events, group workout sessions and healthy eating tutorials taking place across the city, there’s no excuse not to get involved.

October 29 to November 29. dubaifitnesschallenge.com

16. Sharjah’s glamping scene gets a new addition

Nomad Sharjah

NOMAD by Mysk, a close-to-nature travel project, was announced back in November 2021 and is located on the sandy beaches of Al Hamriyah. The experience features 20 fully-equipped trailers designed to complement their natural surroundings. Guests will have an array of exciting sports and other beach activities laid at their (sandy) feet. Nomad will soon start to welcome guests, with an opening date set for later this year.


17. Bookworms will welcome the long-awaited arrival of Mohammed Bin Rashid Library

The Mohammed Bin Rashid Library will open its doors sometime later in 2022. Located in Al Jaddaf, when complete the library will house more than 4.5 million books, including printed and e-books, and will also include several areas for events, activities, education and cultural festivals, as well as venues for exhibitions, and a 500-seat lecture theatre. The Mohammed Bin Rashid library will also host the main headquarters of The International Council for the Arabic Language and publish the Mohammad Bin Rashid Contemporary Arabic Language Dictionary.

18. We’ll get gaming at Abu Dhabi’s new leisure hub

Pixel will be the largest gaming hub of its type in Abu Dhabi and include the latest evolution of Location-Based Entertainment (LBE). In addition to futuristic VR tech, the venue will also operate the first certified eSports (that’s competitive gaming for any noobs out there) academy in the region. The announcement of Pixel’s inclusion in the Al Qana development followed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Fouad Mashal, CEO of Al Barakah International Investment and developer of Al Qana, and Karim Ibrahim, CEO of Robocom VR. Speaking about the news, Fouad Mashal said: “In line with our vision to bring world-class experience to Al Qana, our partnership with Robocom VR will position Pixel as one of the most sought-after VR and eSports destinations in the UAE.” 


19. Ras Al Khaimah keeps spoiling us for choice

Mövenpick will debut a new beach resort in Ras Al Khaimah this summer, and UAE residents are in for a treat when they see the beachside resort. Featuring no less than three pool and six bars and restaurants, Mövenpick Resort Al Marjan Island will welcome guests from July 1, 2022, and is sure to be a hit with staycationers. Dubai-born alfresco restaurant Ula will be opening it second branch in the hotel, plus neighbourhood social bistro Boons, panoramic rooftop venue Neo Sky Bar, a lobby lounge called Möca, all-day eatery The Market and Californian hangout Beach House. Guests are invited to check-in to one of 418 rooms and suites, soak up the sun on a 300-metre stretch of private beach, get pampered at the wellness hub or make a splash at Ras Al Khaimah’s biggest floating water park.

Mövenpick Resort Al Marjan Island, Ras Al Khaimah, opens July 1, doubles from Dhs400. movenpick.com

20. Dubai’s coolest street culture festival is back

Above: Photo courtesy Sole DXB

For Dubai’s urban crowd, Sole DXB is one of the hottest and most-anticipated events on the Dubai calendar, and it’s back after a two-year hiatus in December 2022. Known for street footwear, music, art and lifestyle, its program consists of live music performances, DJ sets, film screenings, talks, workshops, and sports tournaments and serves as the premier experiential platform for the world’s top brands.

Sole DXB, Dubai Design District, Dec 9 to 11. @soledxb

21. Dress up for an epic festival

Dubai Rugby 7s

The Emirates Dubai 7s is no ordinary event. It is not only an annual glimpse of top-class sport at its best, but also a multicultural, multifaceted festival that brings together the whole of the UAE and beyond. From the oval-ball fanatics to the fancy dress-clad crews; from networking banking execs to awestruck young families, the 7s is simply unique, and guaranteed the best festival atmosphere around. From December 1 to 3, all are welcome at The Sevens Stadium for a 72-hour extravaganza.

The Sevens Stadium, Dubai, December 1 to 3. dubairugby7s.com

22. A stunning new addition joins the Jumeirah wellness circuit

Welcome to Sanskara, a wellness space, day retreat and chic eatery, opening its doors in Jumeirah this August. Transforming a multi-storey villa in Al Safa 2, Sanskara promises a ‘simple, clean, conscious and mindful approach’ through an accessible, diverse and inclusive wellness offering. Inviting guests to come for breakfast, lunch or dinner will be Sanskara’s conscious eatery, offering a menu packed with clean, locally-sourced dining options. Whether guests are coming for a power hour of self-reflection in the lounge, or wish to curl up with a book in the open-air library, Sanskara promises spaces for all occasions. More serious wellness aficionados can look forward to ice baths, infrared saunas and even a bio-hacking room, with cutting-edge wellness experiences taking centre stage.

Sanskara, Al Safa 2, Jumeirah, opening August 2022. @sanskaradxb

Images: Supplied