From iconic new attractions to futuristic events, here are 20 reasons why Dubai needs to make your must-visit list in 2020.

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1. Expo 2020 Dubai

Dubai is gearing up to host the first ever World Expo in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia region, in what is sure be a spectacular experience for all visitors. Under the theme of Connecting Minds, Creating the Future, Expo 2020 Dubai will bring together visitors and exhibitors from 190 countries, offering attractions for all age groups and backgrounds. Be amazed by the many country pavilions featuring interactive exhibits, live shows and entertainment, dine at over 200 restaurants, and see the future come to life during the six-month long showcase. It’s all happening at the World’s Greatest Show from October 2020 until April 2021.

Important Update: Expo 2020’s COVID-19 response

Opening: October 20

Expo Road, Dubai South, Jebel Ali
+971 800 3976

2. The View at The Palm

You’ll soon be able to get panoramic views of the Palm Jumeirah, Arabian Gulf and Dubai’s stunning skyline from the aptly-named observation deck, The View at The Palm. Found on the 52nd floor of the Palm Tower, the deck is 240m above Palm Jumeirah. The experience begins at the roof plaza of Nakheel Mall, which features an interactive museum and gallery showcasing the engineering and technological feats involved with constructing the island.

Opening: 2020

55th floor of The St. Regis Dubai - The Palm, Palm Tower
+971 4 390 9999

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3. Sky Walk Dubai

Offering visitors a thrilling new experience, Sky Walk Dubai is a 200m-high cantilever observation corridor connecting two of Downtown Dubai’s sky-high towers. Located at level 53 of the Address Sky View Towers, daredevils will be strapped into a safety harness before taking a walk on a 30m-long beam fixed to one of the two towers. You can also soak in what are sure to be spectacular views of Burj Khalifa, Dubai Fountain and Downtown Dubai's skyline.

Opening: 2020

Address Sky View Towers, Downtown Dubai
+971 4 873 8888

4. Zombie Apocalypse Park

A spooky and spine-chilling entertainment zone is set to open this year and deliver thrills for adrenaline lovers: the 65,000sqft Zombie Apocalypse Park. Part of the Night Market on Deira Islands, it will feature 12 attractions including a haunted house, axe throwing, archery and target shooting, zombie apocalypse attack games and more. Visitors will be able to explore the zombie land in a glow-in-the-dark space, and be entertained by live acts, escape rooms, laser tag and paintball.

Opening: Mid-2020

Deira Islands 
+971 4 390 9999

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5. Madame Tussauds

Holidays in Dubai will soon mean your social feeds can be filled with selfies with the hottest global celebrities. Famed waxwork museum Madame Tussauds is set to open its first venue in the region on Bluewaters Island in 2020, following outlets across the world in London, Singapore and more. It is not yet known which famous faces will feature in this Dubai attraction, but we can't wait to find out.

Opening: 2020

Bluewaters Island, Dubai
+971 800 637227

6. SLS Dubai Hotel & Residences

Adding to Dubai’s already impressive skyline, SLS Dubai Hotel & Residences in Downtown will be one of the tallest hotels in the city when complete, featuring 254 rooms, 371 residential units and 321 hotel apartments. One of the major attractions is the infinity pool, located 75-storeys high, offering guests a 360-degree view of Dubai. Guests will also be able to indulge in Italian fare at Fi’lia or bite into prime cuts at Carna, a steakhouse by award-winning butcher Dario Cecchoni.

Opening: Third quarter of 2020

Marasi Drive, Dubai
+971 4 222 2388

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7. Museum of the Future

This architecturally-striking structure located next to the iconic Emirates Towers on Sheikh Zayed Road is hard to miss. The glittering silver building, designed in the shape of an eye and hollowed out in the centre, is home to the Museum of the Future – a visionary cultural institution combining exhibitions, immersive theatre and themed attractions, all centred around the future. It will also feature innovation labs and a permanent exhibition for futuristic inventions and designs.

Opening: Second half of 2020

Sheikh Zayed Road
+971 4 516 6569

8. The Dorchester

The world-renowned Dorchester Collection will open its first hotel in the region at the end of 2020. Located in Dubai's Business Bay, the hotel is expected to be the brand's most contemporary offering yet. Guests can still expect an ultra-luxurious experience on par with existing Dorchester hotels, such as London's Park Lane location that's beloved by high-profile visitors including Queen Elizabeth and Oprah Winfrey. While the Dubai hotel's exact specifications remain shrouded in mystery, guests can look forward to a large rooftop pool, fitness centre and terrace area with skyline views featuring the nearby Burj Khalifa.

Opening: End of 2020

Business Bay 

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9. The Royal Atlantis Resort & Residences

Luxe living is set to have a new address on the Palm Jumeirah. The highly-anticipated 43-floor Royal Atlantis Resort is a stylish new property with 795 rooms and suites, adding to the neighbourhood's already stellar repertoire. What can guests expect? For starters, there are three stunning aquariums in the lobby ready to greet visitors, 90 swimming pools including a rooftop infinity pool suspended 96m above The Palm, and the region’s first restaurant helmed by acclaimed chef Heston Blumenthal. We can’t wait.

Opening: Second half of 2020

The Palm Jumeirah
+971 4 426 2888

10. Mohammed bin Rashid Library

Book lovers are in for a treat once the Mohammed bin Rashid Library launches in 2020. The striking seven-storey structure has been designed to resemble an open book, resting on a rehl (a traditional lectern that usually carries the Holy Quran). In addition to housing 4.5 million books (both printed and digital), the library will also host a number of temporary and permanent exhibitions, events and activities, and a 500-seat lecture theatre. The venue will play host to the main headquarters of The International Council for the Arabic Language and publish the Mohammed Bin Rashid Contemporary Arabic Language Dictionary.

Opening: 2020

Al Jaddaf 

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11. Meydan One Mall

Dubai is known for its impressive line-up of retail destinations, and Meydan One Mall in District One is another to add to the list. Once complete, this new attraction promises to bring a series of firsts in the city: a retractable skylight, an impressive dancing water fountain and a kilometre-long indoor ski slope. There are also 620 retail shops, a 21-screen cinema complex and 258,300sqft of indoor sports space. 

Opening: Second half of 2020

Meydan, Al Khail Road
+971 4 316 8866

12. New rides at Aquaventure Waterpark

Get ready for some more thrilling fun with Aquaventure Waterpark's latest additions making it one of the biggest waterparks in the world. Twelve new rides will launch just in time for summer fun, including the world's longest ProSlide MammothBlast, which is a 449m water coaster, and the 34m-tall Trident Tower. Expect daring curves, drops and climbs powered by state-of-the-art water propulsion. If that isn’t enough, there is also the Dueling PipelineBlast/FlyingSaucer 20 hybrid ride, which promises to take you through ‘gravity-defying turns’.

Opening: Summer 2020

Atlantis, The Palm 
+971 4 426 2000

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13. The Heart of Europe

One of Dubai’s most ambitious construction projects yet, The Heart of Europe is a six million sqft complex as part of The World islands. The luxury resort will welcome up to 16,000 visitors and delight them with captivating entertainment, sunny beaches, yacht culture and culinary creations. The properties are inspired by Portofino, Italy and the Cote d'Azur in France, giving a taste of European life right from Dubai's coastline.

Opening: Second half of 2020

The World Islands Dubai
+971 800 387673 | +971 4 818 1481

14. Time Out Market

Experience a new food and culture destination in Dubai with the city's very own Time Out Market, which will bring the best Dubai restaurants and cultural experiences together. Not sure what you want to eat? Dishes from 16 of Dubai's top chefs and restaurateurs will be on offer, as well as three lounges and a variety of curated cultural experiences. Set to open at Souk Al Bahar in Downtown Dubai at the end of 2020, this market will span across 30,000sqft and accommodate about 670 people.

Opening: End of 2020

Souk Al Bahar, Downtown Dubai

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15. LEGOLAND Hotel

Dubai is already home to LEGOLAND Dubai and LEGOLAND Waterpark, and we’re now adding a hotel to the Lego-loving list. Promising fun for the whole family, Legoland Hotel will offer 250 rooms all themed to our favourite yellow bricks. The property is part of the popular theme park destination, Dubai Parks and Resorts, and is packed with delights for the little ones. Watch out for the castle play area, disco elevator and a whole lot of Lego fun.

Opening: First half of 2020

Legoland, Dubai Parks & Resorts

16. Dubai Harbour

A new neighbourhood and maritime destination will be ready to explore in the second half of 2020 when Dubai Harbour welcomes the public to the most advanced cruise terminal and the biggest marina in the region. With 1,100 berths in the marina, the harbour will be spread over 20 million square feet and will also offer retail space, restaurants and cafés, luxury residences and hotels. This waterfront neighbourhood is located between Palm Jumeirah and Bluewaters Island, with spectacular views of the city's landmarks and beautiful beaches.

Opening: October 2020

Dubai Harbour, Al Sufouh 
+971 4 371 3999

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17. ME Dubai by Melia

The highly anticipated ME Dubai by Melia hotel is part of The Opus, one of the last projects to be designed by late architect Dame Zaha Hadid. The hotel is a reflection of the Iraqi-British architect’s signature style, with flowing lines and curves across the 93 rooms. Guests can take in the local art and dine on traditional food at any of the hotel's 15 restaurants and dining establishments.

Opening: March 2020

The Opus, Burj Khalifa District, Downtown Dubai
+971 4 511 5000

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18. Ain Dubai

A hard to miss addition to Dubai’s coastline – Ain Dubai is one of the most highly-anticipated attractions of the year. This will be the world’s largest observation wheel when it opens before Expo 2020, and will offer visitors a beautiful view of the city’s coastline, including iconic landmarks such as Burj Al Arab, Palm Jumeirah and Burj Khalifa. The Ferris wheel is expected to carry up to 1,400 passengers at full capacity in 48 pods, some of which will be private capsules that visitors can rent for special occasions.

Opening: Second half of 2020

Bluewaters Island, Dubai
+971 800 637227

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19. The Arts Club Dubai

One of the most famous private member clubs in the world, The Arts Club, will open its first international venue in Dubai. The concept was founded by great literary minds – Charles Dickens and Anthony Trollope – in London in the 1800s, to give arts, literature and science enthusiasts a place to convene. The Dubai edition is slated to open at the ICD Brookfield Place development in DIFC, giving members access to a rooftop terrace, three restaurants, art exhibition spaces and a business centre.

Opening: September 2020

ICD Brookfield Place, Dubai International Financial Centre

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20. Gold Souk Extension

The Gold Souk, a must-see in Old Dubai, is set to be extended this year. Spanning over 680,000sqft, this historic market will be revamped to include 176 shops and 225 offices, while preserving the original character of this cultural landmark. The Gold Souk extension spans from the existing souk up to the edge of Hyatt Regency in Deira, and is expected to open in the second quarter of 2020.

Opening: Second half of 2020

Gold Souk, Deira


Feeling inspired? Add Dubai's most exciting holiday experiences to your holiday itinerary.