Unless you’ve been living in a cave, you will almost certainly have heard about the abounding family attractions now unleashing in neighbouring Dubai. One of the biggest attractions, Dubai Parks & Resorts, will have more than 100 rides spread over a whopping four theme parks.
But what you may not know is that as well as housing a second Irish Village, the heartbeat of Dubai Parks And Resorts has upped the ante with a giant reveal of more than 30 outlets opening in October.
When it launches on October 31, the retail and dining district is expected to present some serious competition to Souk Madinat Jumeirah. And with a handful of celebrity chefs on board, along with numerous well-known international brands also taking up residence, it’s easy to see why.
Headline grabbers among the outlets announced this week are Tom’s Kitchen Deli by Tom Aikens (the chap behind Pots, Pans and Boards at The Beach opposite JBR). He’s joined in the Boardwalk part of Riverland by Nusr-Et Burger, an offshoot of the Nusr-Et Steakhouse at Four Seasons Dubai.
Elsewhere, foodies will be able to grab a combination of traditional fast food – Shake Shack, Tortilla, Super Chix among them – or more casual restaurants such as Famous Dave’s, The Counter and 800 Degrees Neapolitan Pizzeria.
Riverland covers almost 250,000 square feet and is the link through which theme park enthusiasts must pass to get to any of the Dubai Parks And Resorts lands. The heavily themed area is split into four “zones”, with a 1km stretch of water complete with water taxis and activities through it. The first official pictures of the waterway all filled up can be seen above.
The smallest of the zones is The Peninsula, an elevated and licensed section, which is home to the Irish Village, Japanese restaurant Katsuya by Starck and a classically French café-style concept known as Parlé. There’s also India Gate, a thoroughfare approach to Bollywood Land with six F&B outlets, the 1950s-inspired American district of The Boardwalk, and the centuries-old French Village.
Other attractions include a reflexology and massage centre, souvenir shops, sweet shop, chemists and Havaianas store.
Raed Kajoor Al Nuaimi, CEO of Dubai Parks and Resorts said: “All visitors to Dubai Parks and Resorts will pass through Riverland so we are pleased to welcome so many new and exciting brands that will be part of our offering. In building this destination we have been inspired by many different cultures and countries, so it is important that the brands chosen also represent this and appeal to the many different nationalities, tastes and requirements of our guests.”
Surrounded by the river, visitors will not only be able to enjoy the array of casual dining options but also experience entertainment during the many festivals and concerts that will take place there.
Just another reason why the UAE is one of the world’s most culturally diverse places – and most exciting.
Prices vary. Dubai Parks & Resorts. Opens Oct 31. www.dubaiparksandresorts.com (04 820 0000).