Dubai's future: 10 mega projects that will be ready by 2020

Meydan One is just a small part of what's coming. 

Neil Churchill August 4, 2015

In 2020, Dubai and the UAE will host the world Expo. Before then however, there are a number of gigantic real estate projects that are scheduled for completion, and some of them are truly mind-blowing. 

Dubai already has many stunning buildings, such as the Burj Khalifa and Emirates Towers, but even those iconic pieces of real estate will stand in the shadow of some of these future developments. 

Only yesterday, a new mega project dubbed Meydan One was announced, featuring a 711-metre high tower, mall, indoor ski slope, the biggest dancing fountains in the world and a 100-berth marina. Just a normal Monday announcement in Dubai, really.

Starting with last night's reveal, here are 10 incredible developments due for completion over the next five years that will change the appearance of both Dubai and the United Arab Emirates forever.

Meydan One
When? First phase by 2020  

As well as the details mentioned above, we also know that Meydan One will house a five-star hotel, the world's highest 360-degrees observation deck (655m), the world's highest sky restaurant (675m) and 885 apartments. The mall will have a retractable roof and will have around 300 food and beverage outlets.

In total, Meydan One will measure five million square metres, with the first phase of the project located between Meydan and Al Khail Road. 

Dubai Frame
When? End of 2015   

If you drive past Zabeel Park today, you’ll notice two huge poles currently being erected side by side. Their size gives you an idea as to how big the Dubai Frame will be, and how it should look when completed. 

Costing AED 120 million and measuring 150 metres high by 93 metres wide, the project has already been named one of the world’s best new attractions by The Telegraph newspaper.  

There will be a technology path showing visitors a history of Dubai, and a panoramic elevator to the top of the frame for what will undoubtedly be a spectacular view. 

Bluewaters Island
When? Q1, 2018  

Off the coast of JBR, Bluewaters Island will be home to the world’s largest Ferris wheel, a Jumeirah Venu hotel and enough retail, food and entertainment options to serve a predicted three million visitors per year.  

Costing AED 6 billion, the island will be linked to the mainland via a new bridge for electric podcars, a footbridge and a cable car system. 

Jumeirah Bay Island
When? 2017   

Constructed in the shape of a seahorse, Jumeirah Bay Island will be Dubai’s most intimate and upscale reclaimed land project when it is complete.  

Spread over 6.3 million square feet, JBI will be home to low rise apartments, a marina, restaurants and boutique shops. It will also be the location of Dubai’s Bulgari hotel – more details of that, here.   

JBI will be connected to the main land by a 300-metre bridge and will access Jumeirah Beach Road beside the Four Seasons.  

Dubai Creek Harbour at The Lagoons
When? Unconfirmed  

Located alongside the Ras al Khor wildlife district, Dubai Creek Harbour will be gigantic – three times the size of Downtown Dubai. It will be home to the world’s tallest twin towers, as well as over 3,500 office units, eight million square feet of retail space, 39,000 residential units and 22 hotels.  

Emaar and Dubai Holding have already launched the first phase – Dubai Creek Residences – set to be a cluster of six towers.   

Dubai Canal 
When? 2017   

Hidden behind the billboards surrounding Safa Park are the foundations of Dubai’s canal project, a 3.2km-long canal linking the end of Dubai Creek in Business Bay to the Arabian Sea.  

What makes this project unique is the uprooting of some of Dubai’s busiest motoring arteries, as the canal cuts across Sheikh Zayed Road, Jumeirah Beach Road and Al Wasl Road. A bridge that will elevate SZR eight metres into the air to allow the canal to flow underneath is under construction, as are three pedestrian bridges linking Jumeirah Beach Walk to Safa Park.    

Deira Islands
When? End of 2017   

The Palm Deira was one of Nakheel’s pre-2007 megaprojects that fell flat on its face. So instead, four islands covering 23.5 km of coastline have replaced the project. With 8.5km of beaches and 2km of breakwater, the coastal work alone will cost AED 550 million.   

The south island will include a 4km stretch of waterfront housing a marina, night souk, mall and the Deira Islands Towers. There will also be 2,400 apartments and a 400,000 sq ft shopping and leisure promenade.   

MBR City
When? 2018/19   

The multi-billion dollar Mohammed Bin Rashid City will be comprised of four key areas, focusing on family tourism, retail, art and entrepreneurship and innovation. Located between Al Khail road and Nad al Sheba, it will be connected to Downtown Dubai by the ‘cultural crossing’ – an area of art galleries.   

Measuring 54 million sq ft, MBR City will feature 600 hectares of parkland, waterways, woodland and a waterpark. There will be 1,500 luxury villas in designs of modern Arabic, Mediterranean and modern chic.    

Museum of the Future 
When? 2017   

At the time of its announcement, HH Sheikh Mohammed said: ”The Museum of the Future will be an incubator for ideas and real designs, a driver for innovation and a global destination for inventors and entrepreneurs.”  

In addition to becoming a major tourist destination, the museum will offer advanced courses and workshops, and will be used as a platform to demonstrate and test the latest inventions and prototypes, from both up and coming start-ups and the world’s technology giants. It will also have the world's first all 3D printed building in its vicinity, which will be used as an office by the museum.  

Theme parks
When? From October, 2016   

Once a byword for Dubai's debt problems, theme parks are becoming a sign of Dubai's future. Dubai Parks and Resorts are in the process of building a 25 million sq ft theme park in Jebel Ali, costing AED 10.5 billion. It will encompass three separate parks – Motiongate Dubai, which will have a Hunger Games area, Legoland Dubai and Bollywood Parks Dubai. 

Meanwhile on the other side of town, Dubailand is building an IMG Worlds of Aventure theme park, including zones dedicated to Marvel and Cartoon Network.