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Dubai’s latest leisure developments
Dubai is gearing up for the opening of a series of major leisure developments in the remaining months of 2014 and onwards through the coming years, with major attractions projected to open in 2015 such as the IMG Worlds of Adventure and Dubai Tram. Other projects include the announcement of Legoland Dubai, Bluewaters Island and Six Flags Theme Park to begin development in Dubai.
Completion: late 2014
Dubai is to get another ‘first’ and another world-renowned family attraction by the end of this year when Wire World Meydan Adventure Park opens. Billed as the largest man-made adventure park of its kind in the world, the park, launched by WL Hospitality Group will be the first-ever adventure rope course in the UAE.
Located at the heart of Meydan alongside the racecourse, Wire World will cover 2,322 metre2 and will feature 70 obstacles set in trees, across rocks and on poles and posts and is designed to be challenging fun for all ages.
The park will also incorporate a bike park, a bungy trampoline and visitors facilities.
Completion: late 2014
With progress on Dubai’s new tram system steaming ahead, exploring the city will become even easier. As of January 2014, testing began on Dubai’s new tram system, with the line – which runs from Dubai Marina to Al Sufouh - scheduled to open at the end of the year. Powered by electricity, this environment-friendly transportation will take passengers from Dubai Marina to Al Sufouh in 42 minutes, travelling at a maximum speed of 50km/h. Trams will operate at six-minute intervals.
Stations along the 10.6 kilometre line include Jumeirah Beach Residence 1, Jumeirah Beach Residence 2, Jumeirah Lakes Towers, Dubai Marina Mall, Dubai Marina, Marina Towers, Mina Seyahi, Media City, Palm Jumeirah, Knowledge Village and Al Sufouh. Two of these stations – Dubai Marina and Jumeirah Lake Towers - will link via footbridges to the Dubai Metro, allowing for a smooth and seamless interchange for passengers between the two systems. A cycle path will run beside the tram line with cycle racks installed at every tram station. Phase two of the Al Sufouh Tram Route will also link up with the Palm Monorail and the Dubai Metro station at Mall of the Emirates.
Mall of The World
Announcement of development on 5th July
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE, and Ruler of Dubai, unveiled Mall of the World on 5th July, an awe-inspiring project that will position Dubai right on top of international destinations in terms of mega developments and a global leader in terms of retail- and tourism-related mega-projects.
Located along Sheikh Zayed Road in Dubai, the world’s first temperature-controlled pedestrian city, The Mall of the World, will bundle together a number of world records – it will include the world’s largest mall, largest indoor park, cultural theatres and wellness resorts with a capacity to host more than 180 million visitors every year.
Unlike the numerous indoor malls of today, the Mall of the World will be a huge open-air street mall during the winter months, when its glass dome will open for visitors to enjoy the weather in an extended retail street network, strikingly different to the typical shopping mall concept currently available in Dubai or anywhere else in the region.
Dubai Safari Project
Completion: late 2014/early 2015
The park, in an area of almost 400 hectares, will comprise a safari village, Arabian village, Asian village and African village plus a children’s zoo, butterfly park and botanical garden in addition to educational and veterinary facilities.
About 1,000 animals from across the world will be housed in temperature-controlled environments. The animals and birds from the current Dubai zoo will also be transferred to the new venue in Al Warqa, which is 80 times bigger than the Jumeirah facility. Authorities plan to tap into solar energy to generate electricity and power transportation and amusement facilities inside the park. It will also use water recycling facilities to create an artificial wadi, consisting of boating facilities and a waterfall.
IMG Worlds of Adventure
Once open, this 139,354 metre2 project will be the world’s largest temperature-controlled indoor themed entertainment destination with a capacity to welcome in excess of 20,000 visitors a day. It will be the first leisure destination in the world to bring together global brands, Cartoon Network and MARVEL in one location, in addition to Lost Valley – Dinosaur Adventure, an original concept by the developers Ilyas & Mustafa Galadari (IMG) Group.
The rides and attractions at IMGWOA's four themed zones will present imagination-gripping tales woven around a host of international brands and characters such as Cartoon Network favorites, LazyTown, Ben 10, Adventure Time, Power Puff Girls and The Amazing World of Gumball, and iconic MARVEL Super Hero favorites, which include Spider-Man, Thor, Hulk, Captain America and Iron Man. In addition, IMGWOA will feature a host of hair-raising rides and thrilling experiences that see the prehistoric age roar back to life at the largest zone - Lost Valley - Dinosaur Adventure.
Deira Fish Market
Dubai’s new 11,000 metre2, Dh250 million (US$68 million) fish market at Al Hamriya will incorporate hundreds of fish and fruit and vegetable stalls, spice shops and restaurants and is set to replace the old fish market that has stood in Deira since 1988.
Occupying one of the most prominent locations on the Deira Corniche, it is hoped the new market will become tourist attraction promoting traditional and heritage activities in “modern and sophisticated” ways. There will be a dedicated area to host fish auctions so tourists can see the traditional way of selling fish.
This structure will be an iconic centrepiece within Dubai’s Zabeel Park. Raising 150 metres from the ground and being 93 metres wide, the hollow shape will resemble a huge picture frame.
At the base, visitors will follow a path detailing the history of Dubai using modern technology, before taking an elevator up to the top of the frame at 150 metres where they will walk along a glass-floor bridge from which they can enjoy impressive city views.
The idea for the design emerged from a worldwide architecture competition that began in 2008 and ran for 13 months. The frame concept by Dutch practice Donis emerged as the winner from more than 2,967 submissions by designers from 106 countries.
Hatta Village Inn and Market Project
Completion: mid 2015
Tourism in Dubai’s mountainous village Hatta is set for a boost with the development of a Dh29 million ‘green’ motel and heritage market on the main road between Hatta and Oman. This 8,600 metre2 Hatta Heritage Souq and Motel will incorporate as many as 46 stores and three main restaurants.
The first floor will comprise a multipurpose hall, 32 hotel rooms and two suites that overlook the neighbouring valley.
Completion: September 2015
Located in Al Khawaneej, this park will span 65 hectares and will be designed with the Holy book of the Qu’ran in mind featuring many of the 54 plants that are mentioned in the text, such as olive trees, basil, figs and pomegranates. This beautiful park will include a special Islamic garden, children’s play areas, an Umrah corner, outdoor theatre, fountains, bathrooms, a desert garden, a palm oasis, a lake, and running, cycling and walking tracks.
Merlin Entertainments has confirmed it will go ahead with developing a Legoland in Dubai, with the park slated to open in 2016. Construction work has begun but no further details about the project are available.
Dubai Opera House and Dubai Opera district
A 2,000-seat venue for opera, theatre, concerts, art exhibitions, orchestra, film, sports events and seasonal programmes, located in Downtown Dubai close to Burj Khalifa. As well as being a venue with state-of-the-art audio-visual technology and support systems, it is envisaged that Dubai Opera will be as iconic in appearance as the world-famous Sydney Opera House, styled on the traditional sailing vessels of the Arabian Gulf.
Developed by Emaar Properties, the opera house will be the centerpiece of a wider development known as Dubai Opera District, featuring luxury hotels, elegantly designed residential and serviced apartments, a retail plaza, waterfront promenades, recreational spaces and parks.
Six Flags Theme Park
Completion: late 2017
Six Flags Entertainment Corporation, the world’s largest regional theme park company, and Meraas Leisure and Entertainment, have announced plans to bring a theme park to Dubai.
The project is planned to open in late 2017 and will be located within the multi-themed park project in Jebel Ali launched by Meraas. This is the first time the Six Flags brand would have been taken outside North America.
Built on reclaimed land some 500 metres off the Jumeirah Beach Residence coastline, near Dubai Marina, Bluewaters Island will offer retail, residential, hospitality and entertainment zones. Its centrepiece will be the 210-meter Dubai Eye, set to be the tallest ferris wheel in the world. Amid it retail offering will be a bespoke ‘souq’ encircled by a promenade that will boast alfresco dining outlets serving a wide variety of cuisine. The ‘souq’ will host an eclectic mix of retail stores and a ‘food hall’ offering fresh produce in a traditional ‘market’ atmosphere. Bluewaters will also host a boutique five-star hotel and a variety of residential options.
Dubai Expo Site
Competition: October 2019
Details regarding the 438-hectare site for the World Expo 2020 reveal that a solar-powered canvas canopy will provide shade for visitors during the day, while a photovoltaic panel-lined roof will light up at night for spectacular digital shows.
At the heart of the master plan will be an Arabian-style souq design with the three main zones dedicated to the Expo’s themes of opportunity, mobility and sustainability. The Expo’s Metro station will be located within a new mall to serve the area, which will also encompass an Expo Village, in which about 2,100 apartments will be built. Banks, medical centres, food and beverage courts will cover the area.
As part of the core theme of sustainability, most structures including the pavilions will be reused to create an exhibition and conference centre, a university and a national museum dedicated to the Expo.
Meanwhile, Emaar Properties has announced that it has signed a memorandum of understanding with DWC to develop a massive (136,000,000 million metres2) golf-centred residential estate adjacent to the area surrounding the Expo 2020 site and Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has revealed that it will fast-track a US $1.36 billion expansion of Dubai Metro’s Red Line to connect to DWC.
Dubai Canal Project
Completion: to be confirmed
This prestigious project will see the Dubai Creek extend from Business Bay to across the Sheikh Zayed Road, Al Safa Park, Al Wasl Road and Jumeirah Beach Road to finally be reunited with its original source – the sea. The three-kilometre long extension will cost around Dh2 billion (US$540 million) and will take three years to complete. Ground has already been broken near Safa Park in order to locate underground cables and pipelines. The project will include the construction of a 16-lane bridge on Sheikh Zayed Road as well as a two six-lane bridges over Al Wasl Road and Jumeirah Beach Road.
The bridge on Sheikh Zayed Road will be almost a kilometre long and will rise up to 8.5 metres allowing luxury yachts and boats to pass through. A number of jetties and marine operators promise to enhance water transport services in the city. Touted to be a major tourist destination, the Dubai water canal project will include a new shopping centre, four hotels and 450 restaurants as well as luxury housing and cycling paths.
It is expected to provide new areas measuring 80,000 metres2 for public places and facilities, as well as private marinas for boats and a new trade centre at the entrance of the canal.
Inspired by the tales of Aladdin and Sindbad, the three towers that make up this development will look akin to Aladdin’s magical lamp with the bridge that connects them built in the shape of dragons and snakes.
Built in the air space above the Dhow Wharfage in Dubai Creek, the towers - comprising a hotel and two commercial towers – will be connected with a 450 metre-long air-conditioned pedestrian bridge with travellators, leading to parking stations away from the project site.
Completion dates are estimates.
4th May 2014 - DUBAI’S US$1.6 BILLION TOURISM ISLAND PLAN TO BE REDESIGNED
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