2009 uncovered

We take a look at what's in store for Dubai in 2009. From new stores to brand new laws, we've got it covered.

The Knowledge
Early 2009

Date TBA
Cavalli Club Opening
‘Living against monotony, with the enjoyment of music, good food and pleasant company, is the Cavalli Club philosophy,’ proclaims Roberto himself, the Italian fashion designer extraordinaire, about the Dubai venue he had planned to open this November. The venue will have quartz floors and crystal walls, as well as sushi and wine bars, an Italian restaurant and a lounge. ‘Dubai is opening the windows of tomorrow onto this project,’ he says. Let’s hope tomorrow comes soon then.

Date TBA
X Games
We were gutted when the games – so extreme they need just an ‘X’ rather than the full word – didn’t go ahead as planned on December 13. Fingers crossed, we’ll be seeing some bruise-worthy skateboarding, BMXing, inline skating and Moto X stunts in the early part of next year. Check out the ‘X Games Dubai’ clip on YouTube for a flavour of the spins and spills.


New health insurance laws
Hold that yawn – a health insurance overhaul in Dubai means that for the first time ever, every resident in Dubai will have access to healthcare – including construction workers. Insiders predict this will in turn uncover a wealth of new conditions and diseases in the emirate, and perhaps prompt further changes in the system. Keep an eye on local press to see how this affects you.


Date TBA
Fatboy Slim
Dance music’s biggest personality, the legendary Fatboy Slim, is gracing our shores at some point in February. Literally. Rumour has it he’ll be DJing on a beach, as he did back home in Brighton, UK, to hundreds of thousands of fans – although this may of course be poppycock.

February 26-March 1
Emirates Airline International Festival of Literature [EAIFL]
Finally, Dubai’s throwing a dedicated literati party. And of course, anything to do with Emirates Airlines – and festival founder and Magrudy’s pioneer Isobel Abulhoul – will be mega. Literally (excuse the pun) dozens of world-renowned authors are coming to celebrate all things wordy, from Kate Adie and Rajaa Alsanea, to Margaret Atwood and Louis de Bernières. Keep your specs on eaifl.com and our Books page for updates.


March 5-7
Rugby World Cup

With the mud from the Dubai Sevens still fresh on our shorts, preparation is already underway for the first ever Rugby World Cup Sevens to be held in Dubai. Taking place in the same venue, The Sevens, 24 men’s and, for the first time 16 women’s teams will ruck it out. Get tickets now at timeouttickets.com, Dhs450 for a season ticket.

March 5-April 5
Cirque de Soleil’s new show, Alegra

Following their fantastic performance in 2006, the artists are back to perform in the all white ‘Big Chapiteau’ outside Ibn Battuta for an entire month. The permanent show won’t set up on the Palm Jumeirah until 2011, so we suggest you get your fill of the bendy people this year. Keep an eye out for our full coverage of the show nearer the time.

April, May, June, July, August

We think it’s fair enough to predict that during this period Dubai will get rather hot. But we can also say with confidence that Time Out will be on hand with ideas to keep you from tearing your eyes out in boredom.


September 9
Burj Dubai opens!

With everything going according to plan, the world’s most talked about and (currently) tallest tower is set for completion in September, allowing us to finally have a nose around the Armani Hotel, as well as the observatory deck on the 124th floor (with access from The Dubai Mall’s Fashion Avenue). Then, and only then, will we know the building’s full height – currently rumoured to be around a staggering 818 metres.

Date TBC
The other half of The Dubai Mall

In other Emaar news, we’ll be seeing several more shops open in The Dubai Mall throughout 2009. Expect Kidzania, the micro city for children, gaming centre Sega Republic (complete with indoor spincoaster) and Dubai’s largest cinema complex towards the end of the year. The Galleria’s high street strip and Fashion Avenue, packed with more designer stores than you can throw a melting credit card at, should also both be open for business.


Metro goes live
As soon as its wheels turn, life in Dubai will, without exaggeration, never be the same. After four years’ work, the Metro’s 87 fully automated, driverless trains will run over 75 kilometres of track, with the capacity to zoom almost two million people around the city. In gold, silver and lower-class carriages, of course.


November 19-22
The Dubai World Championship takes place at Jumeirah Golf Estates

US$10million (Dhs36.7million) is at stake and the 60 leading golfers from the European Tour are up for the challenge at the brand new Jumeirah Golf Estates. We wonder if Jamie Oliver, restaurateur for the project, will be on hand to provide snacks.


Abu Dhabi to host FIFA 2009-2010
The cooler season brings more sporting history to town – the cream of the footballing world will descend on Abu Dhabi in search of international silverware. Get in!

Rumours 2009

Alain Ducasse and Thomas Keller may be setting up restaurants in Dubai. U2 will play a gig here. Manchester City FC is planning an exhibition match in the Emirate. Mariah Carey’s ego has shrunk enough for her to play here next year. The water taxi service on the Creek will launch, starting with 10 boats. Laurence Fishburne’s version of The Alchemist will finally start filming in the UAE. On a more serious note, taxi starting fares are set to rise, and the UAE might introduce income tax. Gah!

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