Famous for its array of options of things to do and see, Dubai’s plethora of attractions and world-class developments continue to excite and amaze every season. The start of 2018 has already seen a wide variety of exciting new additions join the city’s must-visit list, and looking ahead, there’s plenty more to come for the rest of the year. Below are some of the attractions, and experiences that are set to leave travellers enthralled and wanting more..
World’s Largest Rolex Store
Dubai has long been a leading global player when it comes to luxury retail, and now there’s another truly impressive status symbol in the UAE: The world’s largest Rolex store, found in the new Fashion Avenue extension in the Dubai Mall. Opened in May this year, the 850 metre store boasts three storeys of beautifully designed retail space (and its own private elevator!) bedecked with mid-century décor, and takes high-end shopping to another level. Here, the pleasure of purchasing some of the world’s most prestigious watches is an experience to be savoured as much as the item itself. Watch fanatics will also delight in The Rolex Experience, an immersive ode to the brand that tells its story and honours everything from its heritage, watches, manufacturing processes, sponsorships, philanthropic activities, and more.
Laguna Water Park
Dubai is no stranger to exciting water-based playgrounds, but its latest addition, La Mer’s Laguna Water Park, is sure to entertain even the most seasoned thrill-seeker. The water slide complex features a number of adrenaline-pumping rides, a lazy river, and a children’s zone, as well as a flow-rider surf simulator. Then when you’re ready to catch your breath, you can either relax in the pool lounge, on its beautiful beaches, or in one of its funky cabanas. It’s even a foodies haven, unlike many other water parks that feature food courts within the park’s grounds, visitors to Laguna Water Park can take advantage of any of La Mer’s highly coveted and diverse dining options, from restaurants and cafes to gelato shops. Thanks to its clever day pass ticket system, you can leave the waterpark for lunch and return later that day without having to purchase another ticket, giving you the freedom to enjoy its perks tailored to your own personal schedule.
For Nigerians looking for a truly unique way to stay entertained, the UAE’s newest challenge experience, TEPFactor Adventure, is a must-do. With a promise to put your mental and physical skills to the test, the game sets its teams of participants a number of challenges split into four categories. The teams are made up of 2-6 people, and there are four challenges in each category, covering physical, mental, team-working, and co-operation ability. This can involve anything from puzzles to mind games, balancing acts and feats of physical strength, tests of courage and patience, and more. Once a team has completed the challenges in every category, they’re then given the chance to put together clues from the previous challenges, to win the ability to take on a fifth and final challenge category. It’s a great way to stimulate both your mental and physical strength, while promising plenty of fun memories, whether you’re going as a group of friends, family, or even colleagues.
When Jamie Oliver’s name is attached to a restaurant, it tends to come with a stellar reputation – and in the case of the brand-new Jamie’s Pizzeria, the fanfare is well-deserved. The very first of Jamie’s Pizzerias in Dubai opened in JLT this May and promises a laid-back and welcoming environment in which to enjoy delicious but affordable cuisine – with its authentic, hand-stretched pizzas as the star. In addition to the pizzas – which are made with a sourdough or wholegrain dough crust, in flavours ranging from the classics, including margherita and pepperoni to more unique options such as paneer picante and chicken tikka – the restaurant also serves up salads, hot appetizers and other “al forno” meals such as garlic bread, chilli chicken wings and burrata. With Jamie’s passion for simple and wholesome food with a focus on quality nutrition, this is a great spot for everyone from friends and couples to families.
With a couple of award-winning venues already under its belt, the Bystro Group’s ventures have become synonymous with delicious, authentic, wholesome food that offers something different from your run-of-the-mill dining option – and its latest offering, El Mostacho which opened in May this year, is no different. This JLT-based restaurant is led by Mexican-born chef Isaac Mendoza, and promises genuine, home-style Mexican fare at restaurant standards. While it will offer classic favourites such as burritos and nachos, it also shines a light on some of Mexico’s less mainstream dishes.
Caesars Palace Bluewaters Hotel, Bluewaters Island
Dubai has long been a place where iconic brands come to set up keep in the Middle East, and now, the legendary Caesars Palace is the latest to join these ranks. The famous Las Vegas-based hotel brand is set to open not just one but two luxury hotels, encompassing a conference centre and beach club, on Dubai’s new Bluewaters Island off the coast of JBR. With more than 450 metres of private beach, hundreds of top-notch rooms, a number of indoor and outdoor pools, spas, health centres, restaurants and stunning views, it’s bound to be the pinnacle of luxury. Opening end of 2018.
Mandarin Oriental Jumeirah Beach
Set on the golden sands of Dubai’s beautiful Jumeirah Beach, this new resort will feature 200 luxurious rooms and suites, as well as 12 over-the-water villas that are accessible via a private bridge. To top off the island paradise feel, each villa will boast its own infinity edge pool and private swim platform, which will allow guests direct access into the calm waters of the sea beyond. Meanwhile on its luscious beach, shaded cabanas with the brand’s notoriously excellent attention to detail are an ideal place in which to take in the stunning waterfront views. The hotel will also offer a range of fine dining options, with nine restaurants and bars including a pier-top restaurant that can be accessed by private yacht guests. Opening end of 2018.
Electrical Botanical Garden, Jameel Arts Centre
Adding to Dubai’s roster of unique attractions, the Electrical Botanical Garden installation was born out of a commissions competition from Art Jameel and is going to be a truly special sight to behold – a garden of beautiful artificially-created flora, that not only light up but are also animated. Created by Kuwaiti artists Alia Farid and Aseel AlYaqoub, and located alongside Dubai Creek, the sculpture garden will be an important addition to the UAE’s pop culture scene, while simultaneously providing residents and visitors with an exciting new space to experience. Opening end of 2018.
The world’s first “nature-inspired” mall will host more than 350 stores covering 1,125,000 square feet and promises a truly unforgettable experience that’s so much more than just a shopping destination. More than 100 fashion stores, 20 food court options and an abundance of casual dining options (that include outdoor terraces), this hotly anticipated mall will also feature a stunning range of landscaped gardens, created by none other than Miracle Garden Landscaping, the people behind the Dubai Miracle Garden and Dubai Butterfly Garden. It will also offer a VOX Cinemas, and Fabyland, an indoor children’s amusement park. Located near Global Village, it’s sure to be a one-stop location in which to enjoy time with the entire family. Opening end of 2018.