On the rise
As the UAE prepares for a milestone year with the opening of Expo 2020 Dubai, the city’s landscape will drastically transform with the launch of several new architectural landmarks
With Expo 2020 Dubai set to open in eight months, the excitement for the “world’s greatest show” is building up. Construction has been underway with new roads and metro lines being developed to get visitors out to the site in Dubai South. New hotels are readying to greet the millions of people expected to pass through the city during the six-month-long event. The Expo 2020 Dubai site has been more than six years in the making with billions of dollars invested. Now, the big launch is just months away, with the gates set to open on October 20, 2020. With over 192 countries representing the best of their latest innovations and culture, there will be plenty on offer to suit visitors of all ages.
Taking place every five years, World Expos serve as a launchpad for innovative ideas and creations. Dating all the way back to the inaugural show with London’s Great Exhibition of 1851, previous editions have seen the launch of significant inventions, including the telephone and the typewriter. Popular tourist attractions today, including the Eiffel Tower and the Seattle Space Needle, were first unveiled at World Expos. Expo 2020 Dubai hopes to be a platform for more iconic launches. Not only will the event be a showcase for some of the world’s most forward-thinking innovations, from healthcare to sustainability, but it will also see Dubai’s landscape transform.
From new museums to record-breaking attractions sure to thrill visitors from around the world, the emirate will pull out all the stops with the launch of new architectural wonders across the city as the show draws closer. In an emirate known for its love of world records, Ain Dubai is set to be one of the city’s biggest launches of 2020. When it opens ahead of the event, it will become the tallest observation wheel in the world.
The icon stands tall at a record height of 250 metres on the manmade island of Bluewaters and is already more than 80 metres taller than the current record holder, the High Roller in Las Vegas. It is also almost double the height of The London Eye, which stands at just 135 metres. Meanwhile, on Sheikh Zayed Road, the on-going construction of what looks like a giant eye has already caught the world’s attention. Set to open later this year, the Museum of the Future will serve as a hub for innovation and a testbed for emerging technologies. Upon completion, the sleek and stylish structure will stand encased in stainless steel and adorned with Arabic calligraphy.
But the experiences waiting inside will be far from a typical visit to the museum. Three of the seven floors of the museum will be dedicated to immersive experiences that will showcase life in the future with a focus on several sectors, including government services, healthcare and food security. In keeping with the need of our times, the severity of climate change will feature heavily, with displays highlighting what the world might look like if carbon emissions are not curbed.
A short drive from the museum, the Mohammed bin Rashid Library in Al Mamzar is almost complete, and when it opens its doors, it will become the biggest library in the region with over 4.5 million books. The seven-storey structure is equally remarkable. Its design resembles an open book sitting on a traditional lectern which holds the Quran. Across the creek, the Dubai Creek Tower will see the city defeat its own world record of being home to the world’s tallest building – Burj Khalifa. The star attraction of the six-kilometre-long Dubai Creek Harbour project, which is also expected to complete in 2020, the tower will feature the world’s highest observation deck offering 360-degree views of the landscape.
The emirate will pull out all the stops with the launch of new architectural wonders
Designed by renowned Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, its structure is influenced by the natural forms of the lily and evokes the shape of a minaret, a distinctive architectural feature in Islamic culture. Further down to the city’s historic quarters, Deira District will add 40 kilometres to Dubai’s coastline, including 21 kilometres of beachfront. Comprising four man-made islands, it will be home to several hotels, resorts, residential communities, a shopping mall and a large amphitheatre that will accommodate 30,000 people. With glorious views across the city, the location is set to become the newest must-visit destination in Dubai. The development will also house the world’s largest night market with the Deira Islands Night Souk. Visitors can wander the maze of streets with more than 5,300 quayside shops, restaurants and cafés to choose from when it opens.
The space will stretch 1.9 kilometres along the waterfront and will evoke the setting of a contemporary take on a traditional Arabian souk, offering a blend of old and new. Another mega-development, already in its soft opening phase, Jewel of the Creek brings a new experience in entertainment to the city as a one-stop shop for everything from dining to retail. Located between Al Maktoum and Floating bridges, the Jewel of the Creek project sprawls over 125,675 square metres. It includes hotels and residential towers, in addition to a man-made lake, a waterfront promenade and marina for 65 berths.