2017 predictions

Will Milner gazes into his crystal ball to predict 17 trends for 2017

It has been a strange old year. The news was weird and the trends were bizarre so we just tried to enjoy the ride as best we could. That’s not stopping us from looking into our crystal balls and making a few uneducated guesses over what the future holds for the next 12 months.

1 Trump’s Wall
Whatever your view of Donald Trump there’s no denying the imaginatively coiffured reality TV host and president-elect of the US is a worthy winner of a Person of the Year award. His newfound power could be enough to see the oft-mooted Trump hotel fling open its doors in Dubai. And we’re fully expecting a Mexican restaurant called The Wall to be the first in Dubai to have a serving US President attend the opening.

2 Sadness cafés
In 2016, we lost some of the greatest influencers in showbiz – David Bowie, Leonard Cohen, Gene Wilder, Muhammad Ali, Prince. The UK lost its ties to the EU with the Brexit vote and Dubai lost its independent shawarma shops, Rivington Grill in Souk Al Bahar and Reflets par Pierre Gagnaire. Harry Ghatto’s karaoke joint will shut up shop by the end of the year, as will The Ivy. And, erm, Tokyo @The Towers left us. It’s been a tough year for passings, so we’re looking out for Sadness cafés that will open for public displays of emotion to lament such losses. Just you wait and see.



3 Gardening is the new rock ’n’ roll
Cooking, comedy, fashion, art and intelligence have all been called the new rock ’n’ roll and we’re ready to get our hands mucky for the incoming gardening craze. Balconies that look like Dubai Miracle Garden and pot plants indoors will be Instagrammed more than coffee art and sunsets next year, so start planting the seeds of future social media success (quite literally).

4 Photos of photos
Marketing departments, bloggers and social media consultants are spending hours trying to come up with the next internet craze. Having succumbed to the fog in Dubai/rain in Dubai pictures ourselves, we’re missing out on real life. So all significant photos next year should be of a camera screen pointing at the event rather than the actual event itself.

5 Vegetarian food
The next big food craze was lying on the ground in front of us the whole time. While the world was inventing ludicrous croissant fruit waffle hybrids (croruffles?) it turns out vegetables are tasty, easy to grow and cheap.

6 Abba reunion
Internet-breaking news and Dubai have one thing in common – things just have to get bigger and bigger in order to stay ahead of the sensationalist curve. So it’s going to take something along the lines of ABBA reforming and announcing an exclusive residency of Sweden on The World islands to register on the “wow” scale next year.

7 Live video mania
They’re creeping in already, but live videos are going to be as common as bad grammar, ill-considered opinions and sunset photos on your social media timelines next year. Get ready for blockbuster excitement such as Mate in a Taxi, Brand on a Run and Cat Eats Food.

8 Yogart
Yoga in art galleries is the relaxation trend you’ve been waiting for.

9 Augmented reality dining
Just when you thought dining could not get any weirder, we’re predicting that restaurants will start handing virtual reality headsets to diners, so that while they’re served steak by regular waiters in regular restaurants they’ll experience knights feeding them dragon meat in castles in the clouds. Think Pokemon Go meets haute cuisine. Pokemon Gourmet?

10 Canal plus
We never thought we’d like urban waterside strolls more than by Dubai Marina. And then the Dubai Water Canal came along. It’s not enough, though, so we’re holding out for another giant extension that connects
the two.

11 Festival City
Dubai has already appropriated many of the world’s best bars and restaurants and some of the biggest names in culture are coming to Abu Dhabi’s museum district, but festivals still tend to be home-grown. Following news that the BBC Proms will come to Dubai Opera, we’re calling on Dubai Festival City to live up to it’s name and start snapping up the rights to the likes of Glastonbury, Burning Man and Coachella, which should all succumb to the call and bring a spin-off here.

12 Replica bars
When Pier 7 opened a few years ago we called it a game changer. Independent venues with distinct vibes stacked up on top of each other offering the potential for a venue hop was an idea we grasped immediately. Now we want the same, but with a fantasy element. So every level has to be an exact replica of a fictional watering hole. We’re saying the Cheers bar, Mos Eisley Cantina from Star Wars, Rick’s Café from Casablanca, Fat Sam’s Grand Slam Speakeasy from Bugsy Malone, the Coyote Ugly bar, hobbits’ favourite The Green Dragon and The Gold Room out of The Shining cover just about every nightlife occasion.

13 Home bars
We’re also predicting more home bars opening next year. As lounges increasingly adopt “homely” décor, reasons to actually go out and socialise are becoming less important and we’ve always fancied building our own super-club in the comfort of our own homes.

14 Adult summer camps
Crafts in the morning, sports in the afternoon and a constant itinerary of non-stop entertainment to fill the hours of a long day – summer camps sound amazing. But why are they just for kids? In a playground city like Dubai, we’re hoping to see the launch of adult holiday camps with activities to keep us entertained on days off from work.

15 The IV
We’re well aware that Dubai has not one, but two Irish Village bars now, but we’re predicting of an entirely different type of IV this year. We’ve already seen autonomous, driverless cars being tested on the streets of Downtown but the “Intelligent Vehicle” will do so much more than just drive. It’ll be able to hold a full conversation to keep you entertained on your journey. But quieter types need not fear, as the car will also be able to just read your thoughts, knowing exactly where you want to go without you uttering a word…


16 Capes to come into fashion
We’re hoping that a glut of new superhero movies takes capes off the catwalk and into regular, everyday wear.


17 Justin Bieber will turn up early and be charming
Okay, some things are just too far-fetched to believe at all.

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