From the world’s largest marine-life aquarium to a 180-story floating vertical city – These 8 megaprojects are under construction right now in the UAE and they are nothing that the world has ever seen

Saudi Arabia has been hogging the limelight with gigaprojects like The Line. Another Arab Gulf county that is embarking on ambitious megaprojects in UAE. Developments like Dubai’s Burj Binghatti, Abu Dhabi’s museums, and Sharjah’s floating theatre are all contributing to making UAE stand for Unbelievable Arab Excellence, one that will completely redefine the destination in the next ten years. Let’s take a closer look at some of these exciting ventures-

SeaWorld Abu Dhabi, Opening later in 2023
After San Diego, Orlando, and San Antonio, a marine-life theme park that is nearly 90 percent complete is set to open its gates this year. The first SeaWorld location outside North America, spread across 183,000 square meters, will include habitats, rides, interactive exhibits, and immersive guest experiences.

What about marine life? The largest multi-species aquarium built on five indoor levels featuring a whopping 58 million liters of water will house 150 species, including sharks, manta rays, sea turtles, reptiles, amphibians, and invertebrates. SeaWorld Abu Dhabi will also be home to several bird species, from penguins to puffins.

Dubai Wasl Tower, Opening in 2024
UNStudio will add charm to the already striking skyline by building a tower with the world’s tallest ceramic facade. Designed in collaboration with German engineering firm Werner Sobek, Dubai Wasl Tower is a 990 feet skyscraper located centrally along Sheikh Zayed Road. The building, with a twisted, asymmetric shape, will be operated by the hotel group Mandarin Oriental and will contain over 250 five-star rooms.

It will also accommodate offices, private apartments, and public spaces. 17 lifts, four main lobbies, a spa, a sky deck, and a rooftop are some standout features. There will be a secondary low-rise building to the side, including the car park, a column-free ballroom on the first floor, and an open-air pool on the roof deck.

Saadiyat Grove, Abu Dhabi, Scheduled to open in 2027
$1.5 billion Saadiyat Grove is gearing to be completed by 2027. The mixed-use project will offer visitors a 360-degree view of three museums on the island. Additionally, it will deliver 60,000 square meters of retail, entertainment, and leisure spaces.

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Expect the gigantic development to house nearly 3,000 homes, two hotels, and co-working spaces as well. Saadiyat Grove will offer proximity to the iconic museums and easy access to Al Falah Road, Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Street, and the Sheikh Khalifa Bridge, which connects the island to the rest of the emirate.

The Zayed National Museum, Abu Dhabi, Scheduled to open in 2025
UK-based architectural firm Foster + Partners are the masterminds behind the Zayed National Museum in Abu Dhabi. As a monument and memorial to the late sheik Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the founding president of the UAE, the museum will pay homage to the Saadiyat Island cultural district. The most discernible feature of the museum is five lightweight steel towers housing the museum’s galleries at their bases.

The towers act as thermal chimneys drawing cool air into the spaces below that are dedicated to the history and culture of the country. There is also a gallery devoted to falconry. Keeping the love for falconry in mind, interior spaces open up to an outdoor arena for live displays with hunting birds. The opening date is scheduled for 2025.

Dubai Vertical City, Scheduled to open in 2030
The Knowledge Summit in Dubai in 2019 witnessed the conception of a zero-energy building
aka, the Vertical City. Architecture firm Luca Curci architects will build a vertical city-building of 25,000 people in the water. The structure will comprise 180 floors dotted with green areas and vertical gardens. In addition to homes and services, Vertical City will include offices, stores, and other facilities for a large community.

Residences incorporate apartments, duplexes, and villas. Considering this tower is settled on the sea bottom, residents can expect wonders like underwater parking, spas, a meditation center, a gym, and stunning hotel rooms with underwater views. Dubai’s floating ‘Vertical City’ was proposed for 2030.

Sharjah Floating Theater, Opening date undisclosed
Sharjah’s new open floating theatre project is reminiscent of a giant oyster shell revealing a beautiful pearl. The pearl, in this case, is Sharjah’s mesmerizing east coast exclave of Kalba. Renamed ‘Al Mahara Theatre, ‘the cultural destination will seat 1,000 people, provide unique views of the city’s landmarks, and host world-class performances and plays on the pristine waters of Kalba Corniche.

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The theatre’s design was based on an idea by the emirate’s ruler, Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi. The completion date of the project has not been revealed.

Abu Dhabi’s Jubail Island, Scheduled to open in 2025
Abu Dhabi’s $1.36 billion Jubail Island, located between Yas Island and Saadiyat Island, will be a spectacular home to home to between 5,000 and 6,000 residents. The low-density community developed across 400 hectares will include six residential village estates divided between 400 single-family and 400 multi-family homes. Jubail Island’s Marina is a spacious waterfront marvel welcoming yachts, boats, and superyachts, well-connected to the neighboring waterfront destinations.

Some noteworthy attractions here include Jubail Mangrove Park, kayaking, and Pura Eco Retreat, a favorite with nature enthusiasts. The land plots were handed over in June 2022, and the villas’ handover has been announced to commence in October 2023.

Dubai’s Kempinski Floating Palace, Scheduled to open later in 2023
Not many things turn out to be a first for Dubai, the dazzling land that houses everything amazing. But the Kempinski Floating Palace is a first for the City of Gold. The main is surrounded by 12 other floating luxury villas that can sail independently at jogging speed. Swiss hotelier Kempinski correctly dubs them luxury houseboats connected to the central 156-room hotel by pontoons.

The glass pyramid-shaped luxury hotel includes exclusive gourmet restaurants, bars, spas, pools, boutiques, and banquet areas and is ideally located near Jumeirah Beach. The grand affair is accessed via yachts, speed boats, and helicopters. The breathtaking Kempinski Floating Palace is slated to open in 2023.

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With over 15 years of experience in luxury journalism, Neha Tandon Sharma is a notable senior writer at Luxurylaunches. Her expertise spans luxury yachts, high-end fashion, and celebrity culture. Beyond writing, her passion for fantasy series is evident. Beginning with articles on women-centric gadgets, she's now a leading voice in luxury, with a fondness for opulent superyachts. To date, her portfolio boasts more than 2 million words, often penned alongside a cappuccino.