There is much to look forward to in the new year, especially since 2018 has been declared the Year of Zayed, to mark the the UAE's founding father's 100th birth anniversary.Emiratis, expats and visitors to the country can therefore brace themselves for some stunning attractions across the country, which will surely make 2018 a year to look forward to.
Here's our list of the top 18 sites and attractions that are set to capture UAE's imagination in the coming year. From adventure activities to educational entities, entertainment and leisure complexes, this is where you can head to make the most of your outings in 2018.
The stunning, one-of-a-kind structure, which was designed back 2009 and has already won an architecture award, provides a 360-degree view of Dubai, with a 93-meter glass bridge that connects the past and present of the city visually by showcasing old and new Dubai. Located in Zabeel Park, the golden rectangular attraction - constructed to look like a picture frame - stands at 150 metres high, at an estimated cost of Dh160m.
Mohammed bin Rashid Library
The world's largest library, overlooking Dubai Creek, will open to the public in the first quarter of 2018, and aims to contribute to the knowledge revolution. Book lovers in the UAE will surely have a new favourite spot to hang out in, in this larger-than-life 7-storey library, which will be home to 4.5 million print, audio and electronic books.
Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi
Superhero fans look out, because the Warner Bros World Abu Dhabi theme park will finally open its doors in 2018. The mega theme park, which is estimated to cost US$ 1bn, is located in the centre of Yas Island, near Ferrari World Abu Dhabi and Yas Waterworld. It will feature at least 29 rides, entertainment programmes and interactive shows, as well as dining areas and retail outlets inspired by Warner Bros.
The world's longest zip-line
Adrenaline junkies, brace yourselves for the world's longest zip-line, set to open in Jebel Jais, the highest peak in the UAE, in Ras Al Khaimah. Although the exact length of the zipline has remained a secret until its official opening, it will break the current Guinness world record held by 'The Monster,' in Puerto Rico, which is 2,200 metres long.
Commuters between Dubai and Sharjah can finally heave a sigh of relief as a massive Dubai-Sharjah nine-lane bridge with a capacity of 17,700 cars per hour will be opened by August 2018. According to authorities, traffic will be diverted away from heavily congested routes, such as the Al Ittihad Road and the Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed (MBZ) Road.
The new tourist and entertainment destination, Al Qana, will open in the second quarter of 2018 in Abu Dhabi. The development, which is estimated to cost Dh 850m, includes residential apartments, a cinema hall, a marina club and retail outlets, spanning a 150,000 m². The destination will even have the largest aquarium in Abu Dhabi, standing at 5,000 metres in height.
'CLYMB' the world's tallest indoor climbing wall
Abu Dhabi has become the global destination for attractions, and the much-anticipated climbing wall is another to add to its list. The Capital will open the world's tallest indoor climbing wall in 2018, which is designed in a giant futuristic cube. The CLYMB, located on Yas Island, is estimated to cost US$100 and is 43 metres in height.
Deira Island Night Souk
A splendid, traditional Arabian souk will open for residents in Deira by the end of 2018. The market, which is located next to Deira Mall, will include 5,300 retail outlets, which are spread along 1.9 kilometres of stunning waterfront views, and will feature 96 cafes and restaurants, making for a complete family and dining out destination.
The magical Aladdin City, based on the lore of Aladdin and Sindbad from Arabian Nights, will feature six enormous towers.The complex, which is 4,000 acres in size, will include golden buildings that are linked together by bridges, creating a harmonious sense of connection. The mega-structure will also include a hotel, reaching 34-storeys.
The manmade island, which is around 300 metres off the Jumeriah Beach Residence (JBR) coastline, aims to give residents and visitors the feeling of connection, rather than isolation. The stunning development will offer residential buildings, apartments, penthouses, townhouses, beach hotels and 200 outlets and restaurants.
This is not just another shopping mall. Cityland Mall will be the UAE's first nature-inspired shopping centre with botanical wonders, featuring a 200,000 ft² open-air garden, known as the Central Park.
Reem Central Park
Residents living on Abu Dhabi's Al Reem Island have much to look forward to in 2018, with many developments and projects that are near completion, including Reem Central Park. The new spot will cover an area of 1,000,000 ft² and will have a mosque, cafes, restaurants, shopping outlets and even a skate park.
The mega project, located in Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum City, is expected to open in 2018. Azizi Riviera, which is estimated to cost Dh12bn, is a stunning waterfront project located on the banks of the Dubai Canal and will include 69 residential buildings, two hotels and a retail district.
'Ain Dubai' the World's largest Ferris Wheel
Ain Dubai, soon to be the world's largest Ferris wheel, is set to be one of the most iconic destinations in the emirate. The gigantic wheel offers visitors a stunning 360-degree view of the city and its coastline will be over 210 meters tall and is set on its own little island - Bluewaters.
W Hotel, The Palm
A second W Hotel will open in Dubai in March, located on the beautiful shores of the Palm Jumeirah. The sleek hotel will feature 350 guest rooms and 58 suites, as well as stunning skyline views and a state-of-the-art gym.
Mandarin Oriental Jumeira Beach is set to open by the end of 2018 and will feature stunning guest rooms and a variety of restaurants, spas and outlets, as well as beautiful water views and easy-access to the beach.
Rosemont Hotel and Residences
Located in Barsha Heights, Rosemont Hotel and Residences is expected to open in 2018, and will feature an incredible man-made beach and rainforest garden on a five-storey podium, which connects the two towers.
Located on Al Reem Island, Shams Boutik is an exciting cosmopolitan hub that features a wide range of cafes, restaurants, arts and crafts shops, clothing outlets, and even connects to the Burjeel Day Surgery Center medical clinic. Although some of the shops are already open, the rest are expected to operate in 2018.
Source: Khaleej Times