Major 2020 Happenings in UAE (Besides Expo2020, of course)

10th December 2019 BY
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Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last 5 years, most UAE residents are aware that Expo2020 will be by far the biggest and largest event in the UAE during 2020, and it’s an event that we are all super super excited for! The largest event ever hosted in the Arab world, Dubai Expo 2020 will welcome 190 participating countries, and millions of visitors from across the globe.

While organizing the World’s Greatest Show may have been enough for any other country to chew on, this is the UAE, and doing big, massive events and unveilings is a part of our DNA. One giant event would never have been enough, so here are some of the things UAE Residents can look forward to during this landmark year that don’t include the biggest gathering in the world.

Dubai – Museum of the Future, Emirates Towers area

Designed to take visitors on a journey deep into the 21st century, Dubai’s Museum of the Future is a unique initiative by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum that explores the future of science, technology and innovation. It will showcase futuristic technologies currently under development, taking visitors on a trip to 2035 to show how technology could evolve to enhance our bodies and minds, exploring the role it might play in our social and family lives, and how it could be used to manage complex social and economic systems. Visitors will also be able to experience these technologies for themselves.

Designed as a large silver structure in the shape of an eye, hollowed out, the Museum of the Future will be architectural marvel and a stunning ode to Arabic. It is already a familiar sight to those who regularly traverse Sheikh Zayed Road!

Further Reading

Abu Dhabi – Midfield Terminal

Under construction since 2012, the mid-field terminal complex at Abu Dhabi International Airport will have an area of 630,000m² to 702,369m² and will be designed to accommodate a whopping 45 million passengers. It cost USD 3 Billion to construct and will be among the largest airports in the world.

The new terminal (tentatively named Midfield as it is in between two air fields) will feature international restaurants and cafes, a huge 27,500m²  airline hospitality lounge, a museum exhibiting heritage and culture, a transit hotel and an indoor park grouping Mediterranean plants and desert landscapes

Capacity is expected to include 165 conventional check-in counters, 48 self-service kiosks , 136 screening lanes for passengers and 25 screening lanes for staff.

The Abu Dhabi Airport Authority recently announced that the new terminal is more than 97 per cent complete and the new terminal’s opening is expected next year

Further Reading

Dubai – The Tower, Creek Harbour

The UAE has never been content with its success. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be the UAE! Just 10 years after Burj Khalifa first opened it’s doors, Dubai is getting yet another world’s tallest tower, aptly named The Tower.

The designer’s website states that the building’s design is influenced by the natural forms of the lily and evokes the shape of a minaret, a distinctive architectural feature in Islamic culture. Combining the two, the skyscraper will be linked to the ground with steel cables, resembling the delicate ribbing of a minaret with  lily leaves.

Part of the Dubai Creek Harbour project, the Tower promises to feature a 360° observation deck featuring spectacular city views and will be only 10-minutes away from the Dubai International Airport, making it ideal for globe trotters. Dubai Creek Harbour will also be set by the Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary – home to pink flamingos and over 60 other rare bird species. And of course, the Tower itself will be linked to Dubai’s brand new “mega retail district”.

The Dhs3.6 billion project is being built in Dubai Creek Harbour by Emaar, and is scheduled to be ready by 2020.

Further Reading

Sharjah – Mleiha Archaeological and Eco-tourism Center Phase 2

This UNESCO world heritage site will be upgraded through a phase 2 project aimed to not only focus on Sharjah’s cultural and archaeological history spanning thousands of years, but also to become the in-demand destination for campers, nature lovers and adventurers.

Already incorporating archaeological tours, trekking tours and off-road adventures, the AED 250 million investment into the project will add accommodation, a campsite and an astronomical observatory to the project and is expected to be completed in 2020.

Further Reading

Dubai – Zombie Apocalypse Park, Deira Islands

This is something fresh (and spooky): a 65,000 square feet giant zombie-themed entertainment zone, featuring more than 12 activities and attractions. The location will house a host of live acts, games, battles and events, powered by glow-in-the-dark technology

This project is being developed by Nakheel Malls in partnership with the Sharjah Golf & Shooting Club and will be developed in the The Night Market at Deira Islands. The project is set to open in mid-2020

Further Reading

RAK – Zipline Tour, Bunjee Jump, Bear Grylls Survival Academy

As part of its efforts to become the UAE’s most adventurous Emirate, Ras Al Khaimah is set to welcome a string of new adrenaline-filled attractions towards the end of 2019 and into 2020

The “Jebel Jais Zipline Tour” will fly over the grand cliffs and canyons of Jebel Jais, connected by platforms, the cluster of seven ziplines will cover a total distance of 5km, with the zip lines ranging from 337m long to 1km.

The Zip Line tour will then be topped by a new controlled bungee jump, sitting at a height of 1,500 metres above sea level, and 23 metres off the ground. Jumpers 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.

Then, during the the first quarter of 2020, a Bear Grylls Survival Academy will also open in the Emirate, designed to offer amateur adventurists with opportunity to learn extreme survival techniques through a range of courses

Further Reading

Dubai – The Heart of Europe, the World Islands‎

Only the second set of countries to open on the World islands, the Heart of Europe is spread over six islands spanning six million square feet able to accommodate up to 16,000. The ‘countries’ that comprise the development are Germany, Monaco, Switzerland, St Petersburg and Sweden and there will be 13 hotels in the development, including a ‘six-star’ hotel on Monaco Island, and more than 4,000 holiday homes. Other attractions will be artificial coral reefs for diving and snorkeling and a Swedish “palace” with Scandinavian design throughout and a roof shaped like an upturned Viking ship

Developed by Austrian developer Kleindienst, the project will be 4km from the coast of Dubai, which will take about 20 minutes by boat.  Handover of properties will be completed in 2020.

Further Reading

Even Further Reading

UAE of the future: What the country will look like after 2020

16 new UAE attractions we can’t for

10 Things to look forward to in UAE 2020


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