Over recent years many of us have fallen in love with Abu Dhabi and Dubai as fantastic destinations to escape the world as we know it. With reliable weather, top-notch hotels and bustling tourist attractions, there's plenty to like too. That list is only getting longer in 2016, thanks to these new attractions opening over the year.
Set to become one of only a few theme parks in the UAE, Motiongate (pictured above) looks set to replicate the success of Universal Studios' parks, centered on the movies of Liongate and Dreamworks studios. With details on the attractions still relatively vague, it's hard to say exactly how the park will look when finished, but with the promise of year-round attractions it's fair to say a number of rides and experiences will be inside and away from the harsh summer heat.
The promise of experiences inspired by The Hunger Games, Shrek, Ghostbusters and Kung Fu Panda will certainly appeal to families though and the kids will never be happier about feeling blue when they visit the enchanting Smurfs Village! The park is set to open its doors in October this year.
Opening late in the year, Bluewater Island will bring Dubai its very own Ferris Wheel and, like a certain wheel close to home, will be named after the city as "Dubai Eye". The ride will sit on the edge of the newly created Bluewater Island which will be just off of the Jumeirah Beach Residence.
The top of the wheel will provide guests with unrivalled views of the marina area and the Atlantis Hotel, which is unsurprising when you discover that The Dubai Eye will become the world's tallest Ferris Wheel (210m). With 48 capsules able to hold 1,400 passengers at once, it is certainly set to draw in the crowds.
Legoland is another theme-park making its way to Dubai this year and with it will be bringing the world's first Legoland water park as part of the package! Set to open in October, the water park will also be the first in the region designed exclusively for kids and their families. Highlights will include fifteen water slides, a Duplo-themed toddlers area and, in typical Lego fashion, the build-a-raft-river will allow guests to build their own custom raft for use on the rapids!
The park will have around forty Lego-themed rides and attractions, with thousands of models and millions upon millions of bricks to build them. Visitors will have the chance to visit six different worlds - Factory, Lego City, Imagination, Kingdoms, Adventure and MiniLand - each with their own unique appeal.
An exciting new outdoor dining destination is set to arrive in the UAE too, in the form of the ambitious Riverland. Featuring a medieval French town, a 1950's style American boardwalk and an Indian-themed zone this destination looks to be more than just another dining experience. Set along the water's edge, guests will be able to enjoy bustling street life with performers, concerts and festivals held at the Peninsula venue.
Opening October 2016, the area already has a number of confirmed retailers with the highlights being Tom's Kitchen, from Michelin starred chef Tom Aikens, Famous Dave's BBQ and Giraffe. Set to become one of Dubai's premier dining areas, Riverland will sit on the gateway to Jebel Ali, where Legoland and Motiongate will be based.