Six Major Middle East Launches In 2019
For years Dubai has been crying out for a dedicated indoor entertainment complex. Well, the wait is almost over, thanks to imminent launch of the spectacular Dubai Arena.
Located at City Walk, Dubai Arena looks set to revolutionise the live entertainment industry in the UAE and the Middle East. Capable of hosting live shows 365 days a year, the smart 17,000-seater venue should further establish Dubai as a major destination on the global events circuit.
Its unique automated seating design means it can be adapted to international and local events of all sizes, from sporting tournaments, e-gaming, comedy and live theatre and musical performances, to conferences, gala dinners, AGMs and weddings.
Above all, the arena, owned by Dubai-based holding company Meraas, is conveniently located at the heart of the city and offers the kind of accessibility not always associated with big events in the Middle East; and it is only a 15-minute drive from Dubai International Airport and a five-minute walk from the closest Dubai Metro Station.
Radisson Blu Hotel & Resort Abu Dhabi Corniche
This is not so much a launch as a rebrand. And not just of any old building either.
For decades Abu Dhabi residents have known it simply as “The Hilton”, opened in the mid-1970s and an icon of the Abu Dhabi corniche landscape. Some of the city’s most well-known restaurants and outlets have taken residence there over the years.
Now it has been relaunched as Radisson Blu Hotel & Resort Abu Dhabi Corniche, and 2019 will see a similar rebranding of the equally beloved Al Ain Hilton to Radisson Blu Hotel & Resort Al Ain.
Mohammed Bin Rashid Library - Dubai
A welcome and keenly anticipated addition to Dubai’s cultural scene which already includes standout venues like Etihad Museum and Dubai Opera.
When it opens, the book-shaped structure will be home to eight specialised libraries for children, youth, family, multimedia, business, Arabic, international, and popular collection; a café, conference rooms, exhibition areas, and a 544-seat auditorium.
The smart building will also be one of the most advanced libraries in the Middle East, with 4.5 million printed and digital books on offer.
Set to partially open this year, the new network will comprise six metro lines – both overground and underground - that will connect 85 stunningly-designed stations and span nearly 110 miles of track.
The driverless Riyadh Metro will become fully operational in 2021, will cost $23 billion and is projected to carry 1.16 million passengers daily when launched, increasing to nearly 3.6 million within 10 years.
The likes of Norwegian firm Snøhetta, Perkins+Will from Chicago, and Zaha Hadid’s practice have all contribute to design of the stations, and the changing face of the city.
W Palm - Dubai
Dubai is not short on top class hotels. Neither is Palm Jumeirah.
But few launches will match the splash that the W Dubai will make when it opens in 2019.
The luxury hotel with the iconic W sign will offer 350 sea-facing guest rooms and suites when it officially opens its doors to the public in the first quarter of the year. Guests and tourists, not to mention residents of Palm Jumeirah and Dubai in general, will also have access to some stunning new additions to the city’s culinary and entertainment scenes.
W Palm will be home to three DND Suites - W’s version of the ultimate cabana ¬- and six restaurants and bars, which include Wet Deck; Torno Subito by Massimo Bottura in his first venture outside Italy; Akira Back – the Korean culinary master; as well as SoBe, LIV and W Lounge.
For those looking to get away from it all, the Away Spa holds 11 treatment rooms, a steam room, sauna and hammam.
Nakheel Mall - Dubai
When’s a mall not just simply a mall?
Perhaps, when it has over 350 stores covering over a million square feet, and car park capacity of 4500. When it’s home to a St Regis Hotel. When it houses the new Palm Museum. And a hospital. When it has a 15-screen Vox Cinema, a Waitrose supermarket and a licensed urban dining destination as well as a casual dining district.
Nakheel Mall will, in every sense of the word, become the heart of Palm Jumeirah.