We all know that we should go to see the aquarium in Sentosa while in Singapore, or go to Phuket while in Thailand, or go on a desert safari while in Dubai. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing incorrect in doing so. I mean it’s not Dubai until you go racing across the dunes or go mad shopping. But there are so many new and unexpected places to see across the world that we shouldn’t limit ourselves to the obvious.
I am the off-beat path kinda girl. So when I went to Vietnam, I gave Halong Bay a miss and went to Cat Ba instead. Here I have jotted down new and upcoming attractions for you to experience on your next trip.
Dubai Safari Park, Dubai
The Dubai Safari park will open early this year. It will have giraffes, lions, elephants and many wild animals from Asia and Australia in a forest built in the middle of a desert. Animals are also expected to join in from the Americas at a later stage. Animals will not be taken from the wild. It will also house rescue animals with great focus on their welfare. The park will also have a hotel complex by 2020.
Dubai Canal, Dubai
Just about anything is possible in Dubai. Now it has brought a little bit of Venice into its desert city. I cannot wait to visit the Canal when I visit Dubai next week. This spectacular canal comprises one shopping centre, four hotels, 450 restaurants, with walkways and cycle paths. It starts from Business Bay into the Persian Gulf through Safa Park and Jumeirah. It is an architectural visual to see with stunning bridges to cross over. There is also a beautiful water fall to see from 8pm to 10pm. So check it out if you want to experience Europe in the Middle East.
Louvre Abu Dhabi
Talking about experiencing Europe, you don’t really have to go to Paris to see timeless art. This new museum is a product of an agreement between Abu Dhabi and the French government; its focus being to bridge the gap between eastern and western art and cultural worlds. Scheduled to open a little later in 2017, the museum will be 260,000 sq ft. According to resources, the final cost of the construction is expected to be between US$100 million and US$130 million. In addition, US$525 million was paid by Abu Dhabi to be associated with the Louvre name, and an additional US$747 million will be paid in exchange for art loans, special exhibitions and management advice.
Warner Bros, Abu Dhabi
There is great news for superhero junkies in the region. I mean isn’t the world just better with Batman in it. What am I talking about? There is a new Warner Bros theme park getting built as you are reading this. Scheduled to open to the people in 2018, this iconic structure will pan 1.65 million square feet and will be located at Yas Island in Abu Dhabi. It will cost an astounding US$1 billion dollars. The theme park will be a visual right out of the movies with Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman, as well as Warner Bros’ favourite animated characters such as Bugs Bunny, Scooby-Doo and the awesome Tom and Jerry. It will feature 29 rides and shows, retail outlets for your Warner characters merchandise fix, and multiple restaurants. A Warner Bros branded hotel will open at a later date alongside the park.
AJ Hackett Sentosa – Bungee Jumping, Singapore
Nothing beats the rush of adrenaline than jumping into nothingness. And you can do the same in Singapore now with the city-state’s first bungee jumping attraction. I can tell you with personal experience that it is a life-changing experience. Standing on the edge of the ledge with your mind completely blank and letting go to jump will give you a high to remember. AJ Hackett International has operated this active experience in more than 10 countries since 1988, which means they are an expert in safety measures. The main jump is from a height of 47metres,while there is a 50 metres roof jump option. Jump menu offering more than 20 options. And they will capture it all on video and still photography so you get all bragging rights.
Ethnobotany Garden, Singapore
Now this one is super interesting. This attraction combines education, fun, and preserving cultural traditional knowledge. Southeast Asia, like India, has a huge heritage of using plants for medicinal or other purposes. The Ethnobotany Garden, which will be a part of the Singapore Botanic Gardens, will give visitors insight on the different uses of plants belonging to the region. It will showcase plants used by indigenous cultures of Southeast Asia to give a better understanding of native plants and its relevance today.
20th Century Fox World, Malaysia
This attraction will open in late 2017 or early 2018. The theme park will be 25 acres in size and will feature roughly 25 thrill rides and attractions based on films like Rio, Ice Age, Life of Pi, Night at the Museum, Planet of the Apes, Alien vs. Predator and Titanic. It will be the first such venture by 20th Century Fox and it's a surprise they chose Genting, Malaysia for it. The Malaysia launch will be followed by Dubai and Korea. The Malaysia attraction will cover a massive 25 acres of land and have restaurants, retail shops, and a Disney-like dream parade – basically the works!
Ferrari Land at PortAventura, Spain
After the first Ferrari World in Abu Dhabi, Spain will see Ferrari Land come to its shores in April 2017. It will cost almost US$100 million to build. This theme park will be the latest addition to Port Aventura World Parks and Resort. The top ride is called the vertical accelerator and it claims to go from 0 to 150 mph in 5 seconds. Reaching the height of 367 feet, think before you go on this ride. All rides, as the name suggests, will be Ferrari-themed. If speed is your thing, this is one attraction you should not miss.
Volcano Bay, Universal Orlando Resort, Florida, USA
Nope, this is not built on a volcanic site. Volcano Bay is a water park that will replace Wet ‘n Wild at Universal Orlando. It is themed around a 200-foot-tall (61 m) volcano named ‘Krakatau’. Volcano Bay is scheduled to open in May 2017. This water park will have 18 attractions. The highlight will be the Krakatau Aqua Coaster in which riders will go speeding through the volcano in canoes. Going in all directions at a high speed, this is not for the faint-hearted. These are also the usuals -- wave pool, a lazy river, family raft rides, and slides.
Toy Story Land, Disney Hollywood Studios, USA
As if Disney Hollywood Studios was not already magical, Toy Story Land will be joining the ranks this year. Fans can meet Andy, Buzz, Woody and all their other favourite characters. Additionally, two rides are being built – one called Slinky Dog Dash which will be a family roller coaster. The second one is inspired from the first movie and is called Swirling Saucers. There will also be over sized building blocks and game board pieces for your toddlers.