DUBAI Developments & Attractions
General Area Attraction News - (5/15/17) Planned were announced to move the existing Wild Wadi Waterpark for a massive Marsa Al Arab Project. Click here to see more.
(3/27/17) According to this article plans have been drawn up to build a new "integrated island resort" at Dubai's Jumeirah Beach that will feature MGM branded hotels as well as a Bellagio-branded hotel. Construction is to start later this year and be complete by 2021. Rising in the center of it all will be a 110-meter tall tower structure to be called the Dubai Safeer, which will apparently also feature a large indoor family attraction area below to be called "Cave of Wonders".
It's interesting to see Dubai projects still being announced as the first wave of major parks in the area have just opened in the last few months, but it is a good sign that early results for those projects now open are positive. Another interesting article about attraction development in the Dubai area can be found here, written by Joseph Joy, the Director of Triotech.
(3/23/17) According to BlooLoop, The Void has signed a deal with Dubai's Meraas development group that will see their popular "Ghostbusters: Dimension" VR attraction open at "The Beach" in Dubai starting this Friday. Currently the Ghostbusters themed attraction has only been open at New York's Madame Tussauds attraction.
If you haven't heard about Ghost busters: Dimension yet, then check out the video below to see what may be one of the world's best VR hyper-reality experiences.
(12/19/16) According to ArabianBuisness.com, an old proposed theme park plan for Dubai has been resurrected this week. Union Properties is said to have finalized a new $163 million plan that was previously on hold to build F1-X Dubai, a theme park themed around the world of Formula One car racing. The newly revised plan has scaled back the old theme park plans for the site to now only take up 50% of the land available for the theme park, and use the remaining land as a mixed-use development.
The developer is now awaiting approval from Dubailand for the scaled back version of F1-X, though previously they apparently had their mind set on either building the old full scale version or nothing at all, but Union Properties insists that the old plans have been determined to be unprofitable. The F1-X is part of a larger "Motor City" development project which will also offer a hotel and retail area. It too has been scaled back from the old plan that would have saw up to 7 hotels opened in the same area.
In other Dubai area news the Hub Zero interactive game attraction reports they have opened a new unique take on Laser Tag, this time themed to the Gears of War game universe. They call it "Gears of War: Laser Siege", and all 24 Gears players are given a replica of the Locust Snub Pistol from the game to use. Players will battle against not only against each other, but also against virtual Locusts enemies soldiers who will pop-up to attack and take cover. All this takes place within a 2-level complex themed as an old underground Light Mass Missile Silo.
(10/31/16) In development long ago before the world economy crashed and squashed it was Universal Studios Dubai. The long dead project is still the subject of occupational rumors and whispered speculation about a possible revival in future Dubai project developments. Now, without hashing words, Dubai Holding has clearly confirmed that they are no longer involved with any talks or possible development with Universal Studios for a future theme park in the area.
So for those who were still looking for the final nail in the coffin... that was it. The dream of Universal Studios Dubai is now officially dead.
(7/7/14) Disney & More has some new details and concept artwork for a wild and crazy proposal for Dubai called the Dubai Mall of the World that appears to want to build it’s own cityscape within a giant environmental controlled dome. If you read the article, you will see that their projection and hopes for tourism to visit the giant domed in cityscape are 180 million a year, which is more than the entire United States and France can pull in combined and just not feasible. I wouldn’t count on seeing this one get built… but it is fun to look at.
What to see another proposal that will probably never get off the ground? Be sure to check out the latest concept art for something called Disneyland Dubai which would feature many traditional Disney style lands, but also seems to include a Cars Land as well as a Star Wars themed version of Tomorrowland, complete with Tie Fighter and X-Wing themed ships in place of the Astro Orbiter along with a full scape Millennium Falcon.
2016 - Hub Zero - Now Open -
(10/14/16) Hub Zero, Dubai's attraction for interactive video-game style entertainment has now opened three new attractions from Simworx: a Robocoaster themed to Sony's Dragon Age game, an Immersive Tunnel themed to the Final Fantasy game series and a 50-seat 4D Theater attraction based on the Japanese video game, Asura's Wrath.
(4/11/16) I don't know much about Hub Zero, but I'm told that it is an indoor video game style attraction to open in Dubai sometime this Summer with a series of special attractions. One of which will be the exclusive premier of the first Resident Evil themed VR experience called: Resident Evil: Bio Terror.
2016 - The Dome Box - Now Open - \
(3/31/16) A new themed attraction has opened in Dubai called The Dome Box. Our friends at BlooLoop have an extensive report about the attraction, which has a sort of SteamPunk theme to the building, where the experience inside is a 360º domed theater. New films made just for the attraction are still in production, but they are currently showing a rotation of three films: Life of Trees, Astronaut and Africa. Guests view the films seated in beanbags or against cushioned "leaning bars" that have replaced traditional cinema seating. 4D theater style effects such as wind, haze and even scent are also used to help bring the films to life. Follow the link to read more and see pictures of The Dome Box.
???? - Dubai Eye / Bluewaters Island - Under Construction -
(1/1/17) A group of three new photos were sent in today showing off the current progress on the Dubai Eye. At long last we can see that they have begun the process of installing the first spokes and outer wheel structure.
(11/7/16) A reader tweeted out a photo of the support structure in place for the Dubai Eye giant wheel over the weekend which you can see here. It doesn't look like much in the way of progress has been made to the wheel since our last photo was posted way back in May when they put the massive central "hub" piece in place. After 5 months I would have thought they might have made some progress on assembling the actual wheel by now.
(5/31/16) A reader has sent in a new picture from Dubai showing off the progress of the Dubai Eye giant wheel (210 meters tall) taking place as the large central spoke piece of the wheel has now been lifted into place.
You can compare this to the previous photo we were sent back in June 2015. Looks like construction kind of halted on the wheel for much of the past year until now, but the rest of the island has been moving along quickly.
Meanwhile I'm told that the rest of the building development taking place in the background of the photo is something called Bluewaters Island which appears to be a big touristy-beachfront style development that will fill out the rest of the island behind the wheel.
(7/18/15) A reader submitted photo from Duabi this week shows off the latest progress on the Dubai Eye giant wheel.
(6/30/15) According to the local news, the two huge A-frame support structure pieces for the Dubai Eye giant wheel have been installed on Bluewaters Island. The Dubai Eye is supposed to stand 210 meters (688.9 ft) tall when complete. Currently the tallest Giant Wheel in the world is the High Roller in Las Vegas which stands 167.6 meters / 550 feet tall.
(4/22/14) The design plan for the $1.6 billion Bluewaters Island project set to be built off the coast of Dubai’s Jumeirah Beach Residences is being changed. Under the old plan, it was to be split into three zones, one that would primarly feature residential sites, an second earmarked for only resort hotel development and the third would contain a mix of retail and leisure based sites along with the Dubai Eye, set to become the world’s tallest observation wheel standing 210 meters tall (689 feet).
However, according to this article, the entire Master Plan has been redesigned to make it “more inviting for the guest”. No further details were made available to the public just yet, but this could be an interesting development to keep an eye on.
(2/18/13) Dubai is at it again, this time with a plan to build the Dubai Eye, the world’s biggest Giant Wheel that would stand 688 feet tall. Construction on the Dubai Eye is supposed to start sometime in 2013 if all goes well, so stay tuned. The wheel is part of a larger “Blue Waters” project area and you can see a bunch of pictures of a model they had set up on display here.
2020 - Marsa Al Arab and New Wild Wadi Waterpark - Announced - (5/15/17) The big dreams don't seem to stop in Dubai these days. The latest big project announcement came this week from Dubai Holding for a Dh6.3 billion "Marsa Al Arab" project that would see the addition of two new islands like penisulas added to either side of the Burj Al Arab hotel that would include marinas, a Cirque du Soleil theater, new hotels, retail areas, new business and residential areas, and a brand new double-sized version of the Wild Wadi Waterpark.
Why the new waterpark? Because the plan is to scrap the existing one to make room for the new expansion islands that will also include a new marine life park. They plan to move on this quickly, as they want it finished in time for the 2020 Dubai Expo.
Be sure to get a good look at that model for the new Wild Wadi Waterpark, build with a large fake mountain structure and what looks like a tube slide and roller coaster that will roll in and out of underwater tunnels through the open mouths of giant shark shaped structures sitting in the water.
2020 - The Pearl of Dubai - In Development -
(6/29/15) What may be the final design revision for the unique underwater Pearl of Dubai project has been submitted by Reef Worlds for approval. The attraction would be the first underwater "theme park" concept, which would see a 5 acre sized themed underwater habitat built, themed after the lost sunken city of Atlantis, for scuba and snorkel fans to enjoy and explore if the project is given the final green light to go ahead.
(7/2/14) An underwater themed environment park for Scuba divers to enjoy is being planned for the shadow waters off Dubai’s “World Islands”. It will be called the Pearl of Dubai and feature large set pieces installed at the bottom of the ocean on a 5-acre site, designed to look like a lost sunken ancient city.
(2/24/14) An interesting new attraction could soon be under construction in the waters off Dubai… an underwater themed environment is being designed for the shallow waters at The World islands area under the working title of “The Pearl of Dubai”. They want to build an exciting looking themed world of ruins and structures that can be enjoyed by Snorkel and Divers as well as make a happy home for the local fish / marine life to create a perfect balance for all. The official announcement to launch the project will take place in March.
???? - Mohammed Bin Rashid City - Under Construction -
(7/12/13) According to this report the dream of building Universal Studios Dubailand is still alive as Dubai Holding and Tatweer Parks have confirmed that they are in talks with Universal Studios over the project once again.
(11/28/12) An aerial piece of artwork, overlayed over a photo of Dubai (click here) shows off the conceptual layout of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Gardens project, which is said to be a part of the larger Mohammed Bin Rashid City project. More art and even a video showing off the Gardens project can be seen here. I’m told that this is closer to the city than the old Universal Dubailand site, which can be good… though it has also been pointed out that while they claim Universal is involved, and there will be a theme park, we don’t know for sure what form this park may take. This could be more of an indoor Universal Studios Experience style project, like the one proposed for Russia. Actually, if you read the exact text, they really only link Universal to the mall project and not the theme park, which seems odd, but the park could have nothing to do with Universal at all at this point.
That said… it also looks like others in Dubai may be trying to jump on the bandwagon. It was reported that a $2.7 billion complex was announced promising five theme parks projects: one based on Bollywood, the Dubai Adventure Studios (an “adventure park featuring Hollywood brands), a water and marine life park, a children’s park and a night safari. This project, developed by Meraas Holding, will be located in the Jebel Ali area. This project was given approval by the ruler of Dubai, but I’m currently under the impression that it is a separate project from the Mohammed Bin Rashid City project. Anyone else know more?
(11/27/12) According to this news article, Dubai’s new Mohammed Bin Rashid City project will have a theme park built as a collaboration with Universal Studios included in the first phase. Phase two will focus building the world’s new largest mall, to be called “Mall of the World”. The new “city” area will also be home to over 100 hotel facilities to accommodate the needs of the guests as well as a few golf-courses. The new city project will be developed by Dubai Holding and Emaar Properties.
“The new city will be located between Emirates Road, Al Khail Road and Sheikh Zayed Road, and will include Mohammed bin Rashid Gardens Project.” It will also be connected to Downtown Dubai and Businesss Bay through something called Cultural Crossing, which will include a number of art galleries.
Now that we have a basic rough location, does anyone know if the old Universal Studios Dubailand site that had previously begun early ground work construction falls into the site area of “Mohammed Bin Rashid City”, or will they be starting over somewhere else?
(11/26/12) Fox News reports that Dubai has unveiled plans for a new tourism based “City” that will feature a massive mega-mall for retail shopping and dining, luxury hotels and a theme park. Little in the way of actual hard details were released yet, but they say that the mega-mall itself is planned to “outclass” the existing Dubai Mall, which currently is the world’s biggest. Unfortunately, I’ve found no details on just what kind of theme park they are planning just yet. They are calling this new ‘city’ the Mohammed Bin Rashid City, named after the ruler of Dubai, Sheik Mohammed Bid Rashid Al Maktoum. While we have seen many a plan in Dubai promoted and quickly fail to materialize build over the past several years, the fact that this one is named for Dubai’s ruler does seem to put some pressure on the parties involved in making this one project actually get built as promised.
In a stark comparison, just the other day TheThemeParkGuy has posted a very interesting update to his forum, showing off the previous Dubailand theme parks and major project plans and aerial photos of the sites as they appear today, partially built or even totally empty. Several pieces of artwork show off five separate theme parks projects, all attached to a CitiWalk style retail corridor that ran in between them. The parks are unnamed, but we can assume we may be looking at the sites for the once proposed Legoland, Dreamworks, Marvel and Six Flags Dubailand projects. The Universal studios site was located a bit further away, as was the F1-X theme park intended to go in next to the race track at Motor City as you can see in the aerial photos posted back in July.