18 Must Visit UAE Attractions For 2018

At the beginning of each year we write a post showcasing the forthcoming attractions scheduled to open throughout the year. During 2016 and 2017 these proved to be two of the most popular posts to appear on the Out & About UAE website and it would seem that the world’s appetite for the newest, tallest and fastest additions to the United Arab Emirates is insatiable. We couldn’t possibly have started 2018 without a follow up post, so here we go…

1. The Dubai Frame:

We’re a little late on this one but The Dubai Frame officially opened on January 1st 2018. Located in Zabeel Park the 150 meter high gold-cladded frame offers a unique perspective on the busy metropolis of Dubai from the glass-floored sky bridge. On one side witness new Dubai’s skyline of high-rise towers and the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa. While on the other, older areas like Bur Dubai, Deira and the historic creek will be visible.

Location: Zabeel Park, Dubai
Expected Opening: January 2018

2. CLYMB Abu Dhabi:

The world’s tallest climbing wall and world’s widest flight chamber come to Abu Dhabi’s Yas Island in 2018 from developer Miral. Talking of the $100 million project, Miral said “CLYMB will feature the world’s tallest indoor climbing wall, offering the chance to scale four walls of varying difficulty. Alongside the flight chamber and climbing wall, CLYMB will include retailers, food and beverage outlets, and a space to host parties.”

Location: Yas Island, Abu Dhabi
Expected Opening: Early 2018


3. Warner Brothers World:

CLYMB won’t be the only addition to Yas Island this year with indoor theme park Warner Brothers World set to open before the end of the year. Similar in concept to Universal Studios (or Dubai’s Motiongate) the park will feature 29 attractions spread throughout six immersive worlds: Metropolis, Gotham City, Cartoon Junction, Bedrock, Dynamite Gulch and Warner Brothers Plaza. Although we still know very little about the park and the rides, iconic characters Batman, Superman, Bugs Bunny and the Flintstones will be featured.

Location: Yas Island, Abu Dhabi
Expected Opening: Quarter 4 2018


4. Deira Islands:

The road network is already open leading to Dubai’s newest manmade island. Originally labelled as the Palm Deira, the project has been re-branded and renamed as Deira Islands. The main attraction will be Deira Night Souq, a modern interpretation of the traditional Arabic souq and will be located next to Deira Mall. With 5,300 shops spread alongside a new 1.9 km stretch of pristine waterfront. There will also be an 800 room hotel with waterpark, a joint venture between Nakheel and Spain’s RIU Hotels & Resorts.

Location: Deira Islands, Dubai
Expected Opening: Final Quarter 2018 TBC


5. Ain Dubai / Bluewaters Island:

This year Dubai will finally be getting the world’s tallest ferris wheel. The aptly titled Ain Dubai (formally Dubai Eye) has added the final piece of construction to complete the mammoth wheel on Bluewaters Island off the coast from JBR. The attraction will provide guests with views of the Palm Jumeirah and the Atlantis Hotel. Standing at an impressive 210m the wheel will carry up to 1,400 passengers in its 48 capsules and is expected to receive up to 3 million visitors a year. There will also be the obligatory shopping and dining outlets.

Location: Bluewaters Island, Jumeriah Beach Residence, Dubai
Expected Opening: 2018 TBC

6. Dubai Safari:

Dubai Safari technically opened at the end of 2017 but is still incomplete at the time of going to press with the official opening scheduled for January 2018, when the full extent of the Arabian village, African village, Asian village, Safari village and Al Wadi will be revealed. The site in Al Warqa is home to 10,500 animals, including around 350 rare species bur the main draw will be the safari, allowing guests to view animals whilst riding in the comfort of air-conditioned jeeps on an hour-long adventure.

Location: Al Warqa, Dubai
Expected Opening: January 2018

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مقتطفات من الافتتاح التجريبي اليوم بحضور سعادة المهندس حسين ناصر لوتاه مدير عام بلدية دبي وممثلي وسائل الإعلام ومؤثرين وسائل التواصل الإجتماعي. رحلات ممتعة و أجواء مليئة بالفرح From the moment you enter our gates, you embark on a journey across continents, landscapes and unique experiences! Highlights from our soft opening attended by HE Engineer Hussein Nasser Lootah Director General of @DubaiMunicipality, officials, media & social media influencers #DubaiSafariPark #DubaiSafari #Dubai #UAE #ComingSoon #SoftOpening #سفاري_دبي #دبي #الإمارات #حديقة_سفاري_دبي #ترقبونا

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7. Dubai Canal Expansion:

Yes, the canal is open with many claiming that downtown Dubai and Business Bay are now technically an island. Yet there’s still so much to come from this project, which expects to add a shopping mall (with rooftop park), four luxury hotels, 450 restaurants, and cycle paths into its link from Business Bay to the Persian Gulf, past Al Habtoor City and La Perle. In 2018 we expect the arrival of waterfront development Azizi Riviera.

Location: Business Bay / Jumeriah, Dubai
Expected Opening: 2018 (ongoing)


8. Dubai Crocodile Park:

Located close to Dubai Safari will be Dubai’s very own crocodile park. Said to facilitate hundreds of crocodiles and helping them to grow and reproduce naturally. The park will predominantly be used as a tourist destination  and home to Nile crocodiles — the larges freshwater species in the world. At 20,000 square meters, construction at the park is ongoing and the main attraction will be the Nile Crocodiles, the largest species of freshwater crocodiles in the world.

Location: Al Warqa, Dubai
Expected Opening: 2018 (TBC)


9. Hotels Galore:

It wouldn’t be the UAE without a glut of new luxury properties hitting the market. 2018 looks to bring us the gigantic Fairmont and Grand Hyatt close to Abu Dhabi’s Marina Mall (plus properties from both Rotana and Jumeirah on Saadiyat Island). In Dubai, we’re expecting the Gevora Hotel to take the title of world’s tallest hotel clocking in at a whopping 356m (just one meter taller than current tallest, JW Marriott Marquis), the Mandarin Oriental Jumeirah Beach and a new W Hotel on the Palm. Finally, Taj Arabia will be a replica of the Taj Mahal and feature a 20-storey glass structure.

Location: Various
Expected Opening: 2018 (TBC)

10. Al Qana:

Abu Dhabi’s Al Maqta area will soon become home to the Emirates largest aquarium and beating the current one in The Dubai Mall. At 5,000 SQM the area will be known as Al Qana and will be home to a 98 berth marina, cafes, restaurants, a stand alone cinema, dedicated areas for indoor and outdoor sports and numerous cycling tracks. The proposed project will stretch for 2.4 km along the current Al Maqta canal.

Location: Al Maqta, Abu Dhabi
Expected Opening: Third Quarter 2018 (TBC)


11. Aladdin City:

This one is well-underway, taking the idea of Arabian nights and running with it! Inspired by the ancient legends of Aladdin and Sinbad, the project is made up of six interconnecting golden lamps. These ‘lamp towers’ will be home to a 34-storey hotel and luxury apartments all connected via air-conditioned walkways.

Location: Deira Creek, Dubai
Expected Opening: Quarter Four 2018 TBC

12. The Guggenheim:

Another long awaited cultural attraction on Abu Dhabi’s Saadiyat Island is the Guggenheim. Hopefully the success of the Louvre will kick-start this project back into action. The museum is planned at 320,000 square feet and will be the Guggenheim Foundation’s largest facility. Architect Frank Gehry’s design will feature exhibition galleries, research space, a conservation laboratory and a center for contemporary Islamic culture. The project has been delayed a number of times during construction and as yet, no exhibits have been confirmed… We’re still optimistic that the project will at least, break ground this year (fingers crossed).

Location: Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi
Expected Opening: 2018 (TBC)


13. More Malls:

Expect much more retail therapy in 2018 with the arrival of a slew of new malls to the Emirates. While Dubai Mall is being expanded, the city will also get a brand new nature-inspired retail complex ‘Cityland Mall’ from the team behind the Miracle Garden and Butterfly Garden. Over in the capital there will be two new mega-malls, Reem Mall on Reem Island and Al Maryah Central with the first Macy’s outside of America. There’s never been a better time to do your shopping.

Location: Various
Expected Opening: 2018 (TBC)


14. The World’s Longest Zip-Line:

Jebel Jais the UAE’s tallest peak, will become home to the world’s longest zip-line clocking in at over 2000m in length. There will also be a new viewing deck installed on the mountain at an elevation of 1,226 meters above sea level. Tourism in Ras Al Khaimah is about to get very interesting this year!

Location:  Jebel jais, Ras Al Khaimah
Expected Opening: 2018 (TBC)


15. Indoor Rainforest / Rosemont Hotel:

The two tower Rosemont Hotel will be home to a 7,000sqm urban rainforest. According to ZAS Architects: “Lush vegetation native to Dubai will be installed on the outdoor podium of the futuristic 53-storey hotel tower, so that huge jungle canopies provide shade and shelter.A sensory system will stimulate the feeling of being surrounded by rainfall, while keeping guests dry by controlling where the water falls. A high humidity level mimicking a tropical environment will be created using water stored from condensation.” There is also rumoured to be a manmade beach in the hotel complex, located in Barsha Heights on the SZR.

Location: Barsha Heights, SZR, Dubai
Expected Opening: 2018 (TBC)


16. SkyWalk:

Two competing ‘skywalk’ projects are set to thrill adrenaline junkies in Dubai this year. The 1000ft high skywalk on the tallest tower in new development Aykon City will featue an aerial walkway from the 78th floor. The attraction will allow visitors to step out of a glass-floored viewing capsule, at a height of 935 feet above Sheikh Zayed Road. Similarly, Emaar properties have announced their skywalk which allows visitors to walk on a 200-meter high cantilever observation corridor between two towers at the Address Sky View development in Downtown Dubai.

Location: Various
Expected Opening: 2018 (TBC)


17. Al Bahar, Abu Dhabi Corniche

2018 will bring a new beachfront community space to Abu Dhabi corniche. Known as Al Bahar, the project comes to us from Miral and will include a 0.5 km walking promenade and integrated family beach including over 20 F&B outlets, basketball and volleyball courts, football pitches, an outdoor gym and an inflatable floating structure. Looks like we could have our very own JBR coming to the capital.

Location: Abu Dhabi Corniche
Expected Opening: Quarter 1 2018 (TBC)


18. La Mer:

Beachfront developments La Mer and Al Seef seemingly came out of nowhere in 2017 but there’s still much to come from the former. La Mer is currently in soft opening at the former site of Jumeirah Beach Park, with most of the retail units yet to open. In 2018 the development will expand with the opening of ‘The Wharf’ and will feature a waterpark, surf park and cinema.

Location: Jumeirah 1, Dubai
Expected Opening: Quarter 1 2018 (TBC)


2018 is just the tip of the iceberg with the following expected before Expo 2020:

  • Zayed National Museum: Another museum on Abu Dhabi’s Saadiyat Island set to catalogue the story of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and the unification of the United Arab Emirates.
  • Meydan One: Featuring the world’s tallest dancing fountain and largest indoor ski slope.
  • IMG Legends: A further addition to IMG World’s, the world’s largest indoor theme park.
  • Six Flags Dubai: Another new theme park set to open at Dubai Parks & Resorts.
  • The Tower: Situated in Dubai Creek, The Tower will become the world’s tallest tower at 100m taller than the Burj Khalifa.
  • HyperLoop: Imagine traveling between Abu Dhabi in Dubai in 12 minutes? The dream could very soon become a reality! Consider the UAE the place to be…

Some of these dates are rumored and others are correct at times of press. All views within this blog are our own and all photographs are copyright of their respective owners.