What’s new in Dubai for 2017
Dubai is a city that’s constantly evolving, from the recent opening of numerous luxury properties such as the Palazzo Versace Dubai and renovated Hatta Fort Hotel, to attractions like IMG Worlds of Adventure, Dubai Parks and Resorts, and a new safari park – the city is always on the global radar. Although landmarks like Palm Jumeirah and Burj Khalifa are a firm hit with tourists, 2017 promises to deliver more exciting new developments than ever.
We’ve compiled the hottest places to stay, eat and been seen this year.
THE ADDRESS MAKES ART THE CENTERPIECE OF ITS NEWEST HOTEL
Set to open in April, highly anticipated city lifestyle resort, The Address Boulevard Dubai, is in the heart of the prestigious Downtown Dubai area. The luxurious hotel will showcase one of Dubai’s largest art collections in a hotel by stand-out international artists. A stay at The Address Boulevard Dubai will offer sophistication and fine living from an exclusive limousine service to a three-tiered pool side oasis, elegant dining venues, luxury spa and unrivalled views of the city from the rooftop lounge. Standing at 368 metres, the 72-storey curvilinear tower will be the second tallest building in Downtown Dubai, next to Burj Khalifa, and the 36th tallest building in the world.
BULGARI HOTELS AND RESORTS TO OPEN PROPERTY IN DUBAI
With its exquisite craftsmanship, Bulgari’s inaugural property in Dubai will add a new dimension to the city’s hospitality sector. Set to be the world’s fifth Bulgari Hotels and Resorts property, the luxury landmark will be designed by Italian architectural firm Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel and Partners and will be located on the sea-horse shaped Jumeirah Bay Island. The expansive 1.7 million square foot complex will be framed by lush landscaped gardens and comprise 101 rooms and suites in the main hotel buildings, as well as 20 hotel villas and a full range of luxury hotel facilities. It is also set to be hot property among prospective homeowners, featuring 165 apartments, eight penthouses and 15 mansions, all offering magnificent views.
VICEROY BRINGS ‘LA COOL’ TO DUBAI
Marking its debut in Dubai, Viceroy Hotel Group’s newest edition is set to open its doors in April 2017. Designed by Yabu Pushelberg and NAO Taniyama and Associates, the stylish 477-bedroom beachfront resort located at the base of The Palm Jumeirah will offer each guest incredible views of the Arabian Gulf. The luxurious property will bring an ‘LA cool’ vibe to the region, featuring eight remarkable dining venues hosted by world-class chefs, a state-of-the-art 800sqm spa with 14 treatment rooms, three swimming pools, beach club, children’s club, seven meeting rooms and a striking 700sqm glass ballroom capping the top of the building. The property is easily accessible from the city’s downtown centre as well as major tourist and business attractions such as the Dubai Marina and Dubai International Financial Centre.
DUKES TO OFFER QUINTESSENTIAL BRITSH LUXURY IN DUBAI
Situated on the trunk of the famous Palm Jumeirah, Dukes Dubai will encompass a quintessentially British feel inspired by its famous London counterpart, Dukes London. Set to open in April, the hotel is working with a range of the best of British suppliers, bringing these to the UAE for the first time. Spread over 15 floors, the hotel will consist of 506 rooms in total. This includes 279 bedrooms of which 64 will be luxury suites, and 20 will make up part of the women-only Duchess floor, plus 227 fully furnished hotel apartments. The hotel will also boast an outdoor infinity pool with dramatic views and the hotel’s private beach as well as an atmospheric indoor pool and cocktail bar on the 15th floor.
HATTA FORT HOTEL REVEALS SLEEK NEW LOOK
JA Resorts & Hotels has revealed the sleek new look for JA Hatta Fort Hotel following an extensive renovation project, retaining its Arabian roots yet wonderfully updated with a 21st century look. Set in the historic and majestic Hajar mountains less than a two-hour drive from Dubai, JA Hatta Fort Hotel has been brought up to date and now offers the perfect tranquil getaway. Set in 80 acres of gardens, the hotel offers various leisure and entertainment choices including two swimming pools, spa, gymnasium, field and target archery range, mini golf course, tennis courts and a mini zoo featuring ducks, goats and camel rides – perfect for families and couples alike.
R HOTELS RESORT & SPA TO OPEN FIRST FOUR STAR ON PALM JUMERIAH
Dubai is building its reputation for affordable luxury with the announcement of the first four-star resort and spa on Palm Jumeirah, to be developed by R Hotels. Located on the East Crescent of the island, the new property will feature 259 rooms and modern recreational facilities including a spa, gym, swimming pool, sauna and steam bath. It will also focus on holistic treatments, offering guests a refreshing wellness platform, plus fitness and nutrition programmes. Amenities and activities exclusively for children will include a fully-supervised indoor and outdoor play area, and special kids’ entertainment.
LEGENDARY DESIGNER OPENS PALAZZO VERSACE
Having opened its doors in November 2016, the legendary Italian fashion and lifestyle brand’s neoclassical masterpiece is reminiscent of a 16th-century palace, featuring the most opulent designs from House of Versace. Set in the heart of Dubai’s Culture Village, the hotel is plush in aesthetics and lush in verdure. Featuring 215 rooms dressed in bespoke Versace designs, the hotel is a haven of serenity as well as luxury, with several lagoon pools and reflection ponds elevating the tranquil atmosphere of the gardens. The hotel’s eight bars and restaurants include the conceptually-unique Enigma, featuring limited-edition menus that immerse diners into diverse cuisines, as well as Q’s Bar and Lounge, which is music legend Quincy Jones’ first ever bar.
ROVE HOTELS CATERS FOR CULTURE-HUNGRY MILLENNIALS
For the intrepid explorer, home-grown brand Rove Hotels’ properties are the perfect launch pad to kick-off a city-wide adventure. Following its debut hotel in Downtown Dubai, in November 2016 the brand launched two more branches in equally central locations – Rove Hotel City Centre and Rove Hotel Healthcare City. Offering budget travellers not just millennial-friendly accommodation and amenities, the Rove hotels are also well-placed for travellers to hop on the metro to take in the sights and sounds that have defined the city. From the winding alleyways of Al Fahidi District and the fragrant nooks of the Deira souks to the constant din of trade in Bur Dubai, the two newest properties allow visitors to take in the vibe and splendours of the oldest part of the city.
DUBAI PARKS AND RESORTS NOW OPEN TO VISITORS
A massive playground for thrill-seekers young and old, Dubai Parks and Resorts opened in December 2016 and brings together fairground adventures with cinematic escapades plucked from Bollywood and Hollywood blockbusters. The park features the Hollywood-themed Motiongate Dubai, Bollywood Parks Dubai, which recreates the vibrant world of iconic Indian movies, and Legoland Dubai, part of a themed chain of parks inspired by the popular construction toys. In addition to the variety already on offer, roller-coaster lovers can look forward to head-spinning rides at the upcoming Six Flags Dubai, part of the world’s largest amusement park chain, which will be the fourth theme park to open as part of the venue.
IMG WORLDS OF ADVENTURE TO EXPAND
Proving the adage that you can never have too much of a good thing, Dubai continues the fun at IMG Worlds of Adventure. The city’s first mega-themed entertainment destination opened in December and features four adventure zones in one destination. With rides inspired by Cartoon Network shows and Marvel superheroes as well as epic adventures such as the dino-themed Forbidden Territory as well as a fun-filled foray into LazyTown, Dubai visitors can find something new every day. Looking ahead, visitors can also look forward to upcoming theme park IMG Worlds of Legends, offering a further nine zones spread over two million square feet and featuring some of the most exciting and popular brands in the world.
NEW SAFARI PARK TO OPEN IN DUBAI
When it opens in Autumn 2017 Dubai Safari will be a 119-hectare, 10,000 animal-strong animal park in Al Warqa. The first phase, which will open this year, will introduce lions, antelopes and elephants into the park’s environs The park will offer the wildlife a safe habitat, with enclosures featuring air-conditioned rocks, chilled pools and misting machines to keep the animals cool over the summer months. The attraction’s vast expanse will comprise an Arabian village, Asian village, African village, Americas village and Australia village, and the scale and assortment of the park is sure to appeal to animal lovers of all ages. Plans are also in place for an on-site hotel, giving visitors the opportunity to truly make the most of the incredible safari experience. Phase two will involve animals from the Americas.
MADAME TUSSAUDS MAKES ITS DUBAI DEBUT
Home to the waxy doppelgängers of Barack Obama, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Shah Rukh Khan, Kim Kardashian, Neymar Jr and Lionel Messi, to name a few, Madame Tussaud’s will be making its way to Dubai to open its Middle Eastern outpost following galleries in Amsterdam, Hong Kong, New York and Las Vegas. Set to be located on Bluewaters Island, next to what will be the world’s biggest observation wheel, Ain Dubai, Madame Tussauds Dubai will be a must-visit once it opens, and while the exact celebrity line-up to be immortalised in wax is still under wraps, visitors are sure to recognise some famous faces from around the world and the Middle East.
DUBAI CANAL SET TO EXPAND
Dubai’s latest attraction is also one of its oldest dreams. The vision for Dubai Canal was born a long time ago, during the rule of His Highness Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum, as an extension of Deira Creek and running like a vein across the length of the city linking Business Bay to the Arabian Gulf. The November 2016 opening of the water canal, crossed by numerous bridges and flanked by a winding boardwalk, is just one part of a much larger project that will ultimately feature malls, parks, running tracks, residences and hotels. For now, visitors and residents can enjoy spectacular sunsets along the boardwalk, taking in the Dubai Canal waterfall, while watching the nearby skyscrapers, Al Habtoor City, Sheikh Zayed Road and Business Bay light up after dark.
NEW BOARDWALK OFFERS UNIQUE WAY TO EXPLORE THE PALM
Since opening in November 2016 the Palm Jumeirah Boardwalk has become one of the city’s most stroll-worthy spots, featuring 30 Food Trucks, 11 kilometres of walkway and an abundance of spectacular views. Built over the rocks of the Palm’s breakwater and stretching from the Rixos hotel on the crescent’s east side, running past Atlantis, The Palm all the way to the One & Only The Palm on the west, the pedestrian-only boardwalk gives visitors the chance to relax and enjoy Dubai’s stunning skyline from a unique perspective. With a line-up of laid-back and stylish cafés, kiosks and food trucks in the offing, it’s the perfect way to step away from the city’s breakneck pace and soak up the sun.
Visit visitdubai.com/en/pois/palm-jumeirah-boardwalk for more information.
THE GREEN PLANET HOME TO THE WORLD’S LARGEST INDOOR TREE
A tropical paradise in the urban heart of Dubai, The Green Planet at CITY WALK opened in September 2016 and is the region’s first bio-dome, recreating the enchanting world of a tropical forest with its rich biodiversity of over 3,000 plants and animals. The enclosed ecosystem has the rich green canopy and natural vegetation of the tropics allowing indigenous species to flourish and thrive. The building also includes a giant 25-metre tree, which is the largest indoor man-made and life-sustaining tree in the world.
HAPI SHOWCASES ECO-FRIENDLY, HEALTHY MENU
It is Dubai’s hottest new healthy, eco-friendly café, but the words raw or vegan do not feature in the HAPI vocab. With wholesome egg pots, nutritious bone broth served with generously buttered baps, sirloin steak or hot smoked salmon with sides of chunky sweet potato wedges and soft-serve ice creams on the menu, HAPI follows an ‘eat, move, play’ philosophy. Never skimping on flavour, HAPI’s health creds stem from its balanced view of well-being, with its delicious culinary offerings complemented by a parkour playground, consultation room and yoga room, all under one roof. Since opening in November it’s already become a firm hit with foodies.
ARMANI/HASHI INTRODUCES ‘SCENT OF THE SEA AND SAKURA’
Upscale Japanese restaurant Armani/Hashi celebrates the sea urchin and edible traditions fostered by Japan’s cherry blossom festival together this season with a duo of imaginative four-course menus styled to intrigue the eye and the palate. Guests can enjoy the creamy Uni heart of the spiky sea urchin, a highly prized delicacy fished off the coast of the rugged northern island of Hokkaido and served three ways, including tempura and ceviche, or treat themselves to some of the fresh fish flown in daily. The restaurant offers panoramic terrace views of the iconic Dubai Fountain coupled with the beat of restaurant’s resident DJ while dining on sushi, sashimi and other authentic Japanese dishes for a culinary occasion that will delight all the senses.
CHEFS AT RARE INTRODUCE RE-STYLED DINING CONCEPT
After eight years, the award-winning restaurant, RARE at Desert Palm PER AQUUM, has reopened its doors in time for Dubai’s al fresco dining season. Executive chef, Stefan Beutler prides himself on choosing a talented team to bring to Dubai’s buzzing restaurant scene a menu that redefines grilling. The ingredients have been carefully sourced from select local and overseas farms that are known for delivering the best produce. The kitchen has been designed to incorporate an oak burning wood fire grill and the team of chefs have created dishes cooked over slow burning oak.
RETAIL THERAPY AT GATE AVENUE IN DIFC
Retail therapy is part and parcel of the Dubai experience, and the upcoming Gate Avenue at DIFC, a premium lifestyle, cultural and entertainment boulevard, is geared to take the city’s retail and lifestyle offerings to the next level. The project will include indoor and outdoor themed walkways, over 200 dining, boutique, retail and entertainment options and an iconic new mosque. In addition to a retail district, the avenue is also being planned as a showcase of arts and cultural events, live music performances and festivals.
THE OUTLET VILLAGE OFFERS DESIGNER BRANDS AT AFFORDABLE PRICES
Dubai’s luxury credentials are indisputable, and Tuscany-themed The Outlet Village offers the crème-de-la-crème of designer brands at affordable prices in a luxe environment. Modelled after the outlet villages of Europe, the shopping spot opened in September and features designs from Roberto Cavalli, Calvin Klein, Tumi, Cole Haan, DKNY, Villeroy and Boch, and Aati, all retailing at discounted prices. Taking inspiration from San Gimignano, a spectacular Tuscan hilltop town and UNESCO World Heritage Site located in the Italian countryside that is famous for its authentic craftsmanship, timeless style and cultured approach, The Outlet Village reflects Dubai’s sophisticated take on shopping.
CITY WALK EXPANDS
The first phase of this Jumeirah development is now open. Spanning a total area of 13,000 square metres, City Walk is reminiscent of European-style streets. Visitors can take a stroll down the walk lined with designer stores and restaurants – and appreciate the striking vista of city skyscrapers, including the Burj Khalifa. There are water features, play areas for children, and plenty of al fresco seating add to the appeal.
ETIHAD MUSEUM TELLS THE STORY OF THE UAE
The sweeping 2.5 hectare Etihad Museum which opened in January, tells the story of the founding of the United Arab Emirates. Fittingly located next to Union House, where the signing of the treaty establishing the UAE took place in 1971, the museum’s design emulates the waves and folds of a manuscript, with seven columns built to resemble the pens used to sign the original declaration. For visitors looking to take a deep dive into the history of the nation, Etihad Museum offers a plethora of resources. Composed of eight permanent pavilions covering the Union’s key moments, a walk through the museum complex brings the nation’s historic narrative to life: from a documentary film about the history of the UAE, to an interactive map and timeline illustrating the area before the formation, to the complexities of the unification process and the creation of the constitution.
LA PERLE BY DRAGONE PROMISES TO BE AN EPIC PERFORMANCE
The region’s first permanent stage show, which goes live in mid-2017, is going to be nothing short of epic, featuring a custom-built 1,300-seat aqua theatre with a pool filled with 2.5 million litres of water serving as the focal point. The performance will feature 65 artists from 23 countries staging stunts including 35-metre dives and 15 kilometres per hour flights around the auditorium on high-powered winches. The high-octane production will be specially-scripted for the city and is a one-of-a-kind draw for families as well as leisure visitors to the city. Move over Vegas and Macau, there’s a new show in town!