Top list: 7 mega projects in Dubai, Abu Dhabi to watch out for 

A rundown of the upcoming attractions and properties under construction in the UAE

Aerial view of Dubai Square.

Aerial view of Dubai Square.

EMAAR-Dubai Holding/handout via Thomson Reuters Zawya

The UAE is already home to some of the world’s most iconic landmarks, from the tallest tower, to the biggest shopping mall, to artificial islands, yet it never stops creating new ones. 

This year, even as the coronavirus pandemic rages on, developers aren’t resting on their oars but are building more architectural masterpieces, adding to the ever-evolving skylines of Dubai and Abu Dhabi. 

Here, we take a peek at some of the more exciting projects on the horizon. 


This $50 million mega project is going to be another of Dubai’s beach destinations. It will include a new beachfront spanning one kilometre, which will be connected to Jumeirah Beach Walk near the Dubai Water Canal. 

With a total area of 190,000 square metres, this upcoming family destination will feature models of several floating islands as well as green hills, sandy hills, public facilities and retail spaces. It will also have a series of floating pontoons/platforms providing additional seafront facilities.  

Status: In the design stage 

Expected completion: Fourth quarter of 2023  


Located next to the Atlantis resort on the artificial island of The Palm Jumeirah in Dubai, this $1.4 billion luxury project is one of the most anticipated properties catering to the ultra-rich. 

With striking Jenga-like architecture, the project features a hotel and a two-tower residential complex joined together by a “spa bridge”, an oasis featuring pools, cabanas and lounges.  

Several of the hotel rooms and residential units on-site will have full terraces, private pools and shaded gardens. Each of the remaining rooms will have a private balcony and access to a public terrace, a lounge and rooftop restaurants. 

Between the hotel and residential areas, there will be more than 90 pools, in addition to an infinity pool. The property will also have its own private beach stretching more than 1,900 metres. 

Status: Under final stage of construction 

Expected completion:  July 2021 


This mega observation wheel is the centrepiece of Bluewaters Island, off the coast of Jumeirah Beach.  

The world's tallest Ferris wheel at 167.6 metres, it will provide 360-degree views of Dubai’s skyline and will carry up to 1,400 passengers. It is fitted with smart climate control and LED screens.

The final structure will include around 9,000 tonnes of steel. Once completed, this marvel of modern engineering will join the ranks of Dubai's most exceptional landmarks. 

Status: Testing, snagging work being done 

Expected completion: May 2021


This upcoming $1.5 billion landmark, part of the multi-billion-dollar Dubai Creek Harbour project, is expected to be the world’s tallest.

It will be linked to the central island district within the Dubai Creek Harbour, with a 4.5-kilometre boardwalk that will feature retail, dining as well as leisure and entertainment options.  

Status: In the tender stage 

Expected completion: December 2024


This four-storey shopping mall in Najmat, Abu Dhabi will span over 2 million square feet. It will feature 535 shops, including 85 food and beverage outlets, as well as a hypermarket, a children's amusement area, an entertainment centre, a 15-screen cinema and the world's largest indoor snow park, spread over an area of 11,613 square metres. 

The mall is expected to have a gross leasable area (GLA) of 300,000 square meters. The snow park is designed to look like a snow-covered enchanted forest and will deliver experiences such as sledging, zorbing and zip-lining.  

More traditional rides and activities will also be on offer. A blizzard’s bazaar and a snowflake garden are among the attractions planned for development within the project. 

Status: In final stage of construction 

Expected completion: September 2021 


This $1 billion project, located in Abu Dhabi’s Yas Island, includes the construction of a marine life park and the first “R4” facility in the UAE, dedicated to the research, rescue, rehabilitation and release of marine animals.  

SeaWorld Abu Dhabi will integrate up-close animal experiences, mega attractions and a world-class aquarium, bringing the latest technology in visitor engagement.

Status: Under construction 

Expected completion: December 2022 


The Island Resort is a beachfront development spread over 3.5 million square meters on Jumeirah Beach, Dubai, estimated to cost $500 million.  

It will include an MGM-branded hotel as well as a Bellagio-branded property featuring 1,400 hotel rooms and apartments, ten villas, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, museums, a beach club, parking facilities, water fountains and marinas. 

It will have a theatre with a seating capacity of 800, occupying an area of 80,000 square feet, that will host conferences, festivals, weddings and shows organised by MGM.  

The beach club on the island will offer several maritime leisure services. Water shows will be organised in the evenings, and the club and five-star facilities are capable of hosting special ceremonies. 

The island will be surrounded by a corniche spanning an area of 1.2 kilometres that will have cafés, restaurants and retail stores along it.  

One of its attractions, The Cave of Wonders, will occupy 124,000 square feet and will provide family entertainment through sports and games. 

Status: The infrastructure segment of the project is still under construction. 

Expected completion: Second quarter of 2021 

(Reporting by Senthil Palaniswamy with inputs from Cleofe Maceda; Editing by Seban Scaria)


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© ZAWYA 2021

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