From architectural marvels to world-famous spas and new-to-the-nation beauty brands, we’ve got a lot to be excited about in 2018.

From the awe-inspiring Louvre Abu Dhabi to the ultra-luxe Bulgari Resort, we’ve had plenty of new openings to explore throughout 2017 here in the UAE.

But the dawn of a new year has us anticipating what else we can expect in the near future.

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So, from five-star hotels to upcoming stores and sprawling malls, we’ve pulled together the launches to look forward to in the Emirates over the next 12 months.

The countdown is on…

The Opus

opus dubai

It is her first—and only—structure in Dubai, and the late Zaha Hadid’s local masterpiece is set to open its doors early this year, developers have announced, almost two years after the legendary architect’s passing. The already-iconic building in the Burj Khalifa district will feature signature furniture designed and selected by the Iraqi-British visionary, as well as a variety of residences, boutique hotel, office space, a nightclub, 12 restaurants and a rooftop bar. We can’t wait to step foot in the head-turning cuboid building…

Charlotte Tilbury

Charlotte Tilbury

Stocking up on our favourite nude lipstick will get a whole lot easier when this British makeup artist opens her first store in the UAE. Tilbury, who’s worked with the likes of Nicole Kidman, Kate Moss, Kim Kardashian and Jennifer Lopez, launched her eponymous collection in 2013, and is particularly famed for her all-in-one kits. No exact date has yet been confirmed, but the standalone shop will open in The Dubai Mall in 2018. So say goodbye to having to rely on online swatches in the very near future.

Six Senses Spa

six senses dubai spa

Prepare to feel your stresses just melt away, as this luxury hotel and resort chain is opening its first therapeutic haven in Dubai this year. The best news? We won’t even have to wait that long for a five-star pamper, with the spa set to open on the Renaissance Downtown Hotel’s fifth floor in early February. The relaxing sanctuary will feature six treatment suites dedicated to different senses—sight, sound, touch, taste, smell and intuition—as well as a nail salon, yoga classes and wellness screenings. We’re lying on that massage table in our minds already…

Ain Dubai

Bluewaters Island

Residents will have surely noticed the enormous structure springing up off the coast of JBR, and now the wait to step on that giant wheel is almost over. When it opens in 2018, Ain Dubai is expected to become the world’s largest observation wheel, standing at 210 metres high with 48 spacious stone-floored capsules. Forming the centrepiece of Bluewaters Island, a Dhs6 billion project visible from The Beach, the man-made destination will offer waterfront living with more than 600 residences up for grabs, as well as hotels, restaurants and shops when finished.

Mohammed bin Rashid Library


It was revealed back in 2016, as part of the Year of Reading, that Dubai would receive a new world-class library, and it looks like the striking building will soon be open for business. Slated to launch in the next six months, the Mohammed Bin Rashid Library in Al Jaddaf will be home to 4.5 million books and an estimated 9 million visitors a year. Paperbacks aside, we’re eager to see the structure—which has been designed to look like an open book on a rehl, the traditional lectern the Quran sits on—in the flesh.



We’re not exactly short of retail options here in the UAE, but one upcoming online shopping destination looks set to make it even easier to get a whole new wardrobe on our doorstep. Nisnass is the latest e-commerce launch from Al Tayer Insignia, one that’s targeted at digitally savvy shoppers of the “now” generation (we’re looking at you, millennials). Launching exclusively on mobile phones first—plus offering two-hour delivery for shoppers in Dubai—you’ll find more than 200 brands, including Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, Gap, Nike and Puma, online when the app launches on January 29.

Mandarin Oriental

Mandarin Oriental

This world-famous five-star hotel will be branching into Dubai with not one, but two hotels—the first of which is expected to open in Jumeira Beach at the end of 2018. With 200 rooms, including 12 over-water villas with private pools, plus myriad restaurants and drinking holes and a sprawling spa. we’re envisioning a festive staycation already. The second Mandarin Oriental (located in Downtown Dubai and illustrated above) is slated to open in 2020.

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The Guggenheim Abu Dhabi

The Guggenheim Abu Dhabi

We’re cheating a little here as there’s no confirmation that this Saadiyat Island gallery will open its doors in 2018—but we have our fingers crossed. With the Louvre Abu Dhabi’s grand unveiling in November, our appetite is whet for world-renowned museums, and this one promises to give a platform to “the most important artistic achievements of our times”, according to developers. The head-turning building, designed by architect Frank Gehry, is reason enough to visit, even for art-phobes.

Cityland Mall

Cityland Mall

Shopping destinations in the UAE seem to be springing up all the time – always going bigger, better… and this year, they’re going more bucolic. Cityland will be the world’s first nature-inspired mall when it opens in the second quarter of 2018, with the complex centred around “colossal” open-air botanic garden. Situated near Global Village, the entire development will stretch a huge 2.2 million square feet, and the nature reserve will be free to enter. Sounds like a weekend problem-solver to us.

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Images: Getty, supplied, Charlotte Tilbury/Facebook, Mandarin Oriental/Instagram, Dubai Media Office