From Madame Tussauds to a super sized snow park…
In 2018, we saw the opening of some top attractions across the UAE – Dubai Frame, Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi, and the world’s first floating hotel, QE2 Dubai, to name just a few.
But there’s plenty more attractions still to come. From iconic waxwork museum Madame Tussauds to the Mohammed Bin Rashid Library, we’ve rounded up 16 UAE attractions we can’t wait to see make their debut over the next year or two…
Mohammed bin Rashid Library
Ok, we are so excited about this one. Construction looks to be almost complete on a huge new world-class library, located in Al Jaddaf (across the Creek from Dubai Festival City). The seven-storey building has been designed to resemble an open book sitting on a rehl – a traditional lectern which holds the Quran. Although an update on opening has not been given, it’s been progressing well and we can’t wait to wile away the day inside when it opens.
The Dubai Stars project is set to rival the Hollywood Walk of Fame when it launches in Downtown Dubai this October. In its first phase, 400 stars will be revealed – and they’ll all be decided by the general public and then attend a glittering launch ceremony on October 20. When fully complete, 10,000 celebrities will be housed on the walk of Dubai Stars – that’s four times as many as the original in Hollywood. So far, stars including actors Rami Malek and Will Smith, singers Chris Martin and Nancy Ajram and sports stars Lionel Messi and Mo Salah have all been announced as Dubai Stars recipients. You can see the full list here.
Yes, another mall for Dubai – but with this one, at least we’ll have the excuse that we’re spending time in nature. Cityland Mall – which is being developed by the same people behind Dubai Miracle Garden and Dubai Butterfly Garden – is described as the world’s first “nature-inspired” shopping mall, packed with botanical wonders. It’s expected to be in full bloom by the end of the year, and the first store – a Carrefour – is now open.
Opening: Late 2019/ Early 2020
A new Dubai attraction is set to open soon, and it’ll allow you to walk around a skyscraper an eye-watering 200 metres in the sky. First announced in 2017, the new attraction is called Sky Walk, and will take shape at the soon-to-open Address Sky View hotel in Downtown Dubai. While we’ve heard little about the jaw-dropping new attraction since it’s announcement in September 2017, it’s been confirmed to What’s On that the breathtaking Sky Walk is still going ahead. Although no opening date has been given, the hotel is accepting reservations from November 1. So, we could be scaling the new Downtown skyscraper before the year is out.
Fancy seeing Dubai from a different point of view? What about 240 metres high from a panoramic viewing deck? That’s what you’ll get at The View at The Palm, a new landmark found 52 storeys high on the Palm Jumeirah. Expected to open in 2020, The View at The Palm is a public observation deck that will allow guests to see panoramic views of the Palm Jumeirah and beyond from the 52nd floor. It’ll be accessible via the soon-to-open Nakheel Mall on the Palm Jumeirah.
It’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).
Zombie Apocalypse Park (ZAP)
Nakheel Malls is teaming up with Sharjah Golf & Shooting Club to bring a brand new concept to Deira Islands. Zombie Apocalypse Park (ZAP) will be a giant entertainment zone themed around the living dead. ZAP will be the first attraction of its kind to open in the UAE when it opens in mid-2020, and will be based in The Night Market at Deira Islands. The 65,000 square foot space will feature 12 attractions including a haunted house, axe throwing, archery, haunted corn maze, trampolines, target shooting, zombie apocalypse attack and more.
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First announced back in 2008, famed waxwork museum Madame Tussauds is tipped to open next year on Bluewaters, the island development off The Beach at JBR. While details about who might appear in the first Middle Eastern location are scant, Madam Tussauds typically features a range of famous faces including singers, actors, politicians, sports star 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 HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai? Fingers crossed…
Museum of the Future
Unveiled in 2015, the architecturally striking Museum of the Future is currently under construction in front of Emirates Towers on Sheikh Zayed Road. The large silver structure is designed in the shape of an eye, hollowed out in the middle. At the time of announcement, Sheikh Mohammed wrote on Twitter: “Today we have launched Museum of the Future, featuring innovation labs and a permanent exhibit for future inventions. Museum of the Future is integrated environment empowering creative minds to test, fund and market ideas for futuristic prototypes and services. It is a first step of many to come, marking the beginning of great achievements”. It’s set to open in 2020.
Ras Al Khaimah
Set to be introduced in the final quarter of 2019 is the ‘Bull Maze’: a field of 35 challenging obstacles suspended in the air at Jebel Jais. The obstacles will be split between three levels on a 20 metre tall structure, challenging participants to test their limits as they navigate the course.
At the start of 2020, Jebel Jais will introduce a controlled bungee jump. The bungee jump will sit a height of 1,500 metres above sea level, and 23 metres off the ground. Adrenaline junkies will be flung into the air, with a free fall of 8 metres and controlled fall of 15 metres as they hurtle through the air.
The National Aquarium
The National Aquarium, located in Al Qana, Abu Dhabi will be a 7,000 square metre space with ten zones, housing 33,000 marine animals. All of the 33,000 creatures are responsibly and ethically-sourced and the facility will have 80 qualified marine experts to answer any and all questions. There will be 250 species on display, including the largest reptile in the UAE, thought to be a seven-metre long python.
Snow Abu Dhabi
The UAE is set to get a ‘cool’ new attraction as a new snow play park, four times the size of Ski Dubai on Reem Island, Abu Dhabi next year. The new destination will feature 13 rides and attractions including Snowflake Garden, Flurries’ Mountain and Crystal Carousel. The temperature inside promises to be a cool -2 degrees celsius, giving guests the chance to enter ice labyrinths, build snowmen and play around in the 50cm deep snow.
Extreme sports are about to get even more extreme in the capital. CLYMB, a Dhs367 million indoor attraction on Yas Island, will break two world records when it opens in 2020 – not only will it feature the world’s tallest climbing wall, but the world’s largest flight chamber as well. The climbing section will offer spaces for beginner, intermediate and expert climbers across four courses.
Zayed National Museum
Slated to open on Saadiyat Island in what’s set to become Saadiyat Cultural District is Zayed National Museum. Announced in 2007, the museum promises to showcase and celebrate the life and achievements of the late Sheikh Zayed, and the UAE’s journey from the ancient past to the present day. The museum’s design is themed on the feathers of a falcon, with each steel feather containing a gallery space – the tallest will be an impressive 125m high. Although progress updates haven’t been given, Saif Ghobash, undersecretary at the Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi, confirmed in April 2019 that mega new tourist attractions Guggenheim Abu Dhabi and Zayed National Museum are still very much in progress.
Guggenheim Abu Dhabi
The Louvre Abu Dhabi finally opened its impressive doors in November 2017 – and although little information of its neighbour, The Guggenheim, has been given, Saif Ghobash, undersecretary at the Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi, confirmed in April 2019 that mega new tourist attractions Guggenheim Abu Dhabi and Zayed National Museum are still very much in progress. “All I can say now is that with Louvre Abu Dhabi done and completed a year ago, all the other projects have been put into full gear” he was quoted saying. Sounds promising.