Dubai in 2018

By | Category: Travel destinations

the Dubai Frame

Dubai is a place that never seems to – or wants to – stay still. This year it has additions to its attractions or completely new ones to attract the tourist in its attempt to meet its target of twenty million tourists by 2020.

For a different view of Dubai, try visiting a new building called the Dubai Frame. It is 150 metres high thus providing panoramic views but the difference is that it is also 93 metres wide. Its two vertical towers are connected by a 100-square-metre bridge that features a 25-square-metre glass panel in the centre, offering a great 360-degree view of the city. The bridge serves as an observation deck providing uninterrupted views of old Dubai to the north and new Dubai to the south. Visitors begin their journey by learning about the history of Dubai in the Past Gallery, with picturesque projections depicting Bedouin life, camels and the infinite sands of the desert. Visitors then move on to augmented reality-activated screens on the Sky Deck level that showcase present-day Dubai, before walking through a specially designed ‘vortex tunnel’ to a virtual metropolis representing the future of Dubai.

Since it seems nothing stays the same you can almost bet that Dubai would be the destination that was going to alter. And it has. This time it is about to open the tallest hotel in the world. Called the Gevora Hotel, it has 75 floors and will be 356 metres high. For all that size it has just 528 rooms, the rest of the space having been given over to four restaurants, swimming pools for adults and children, a Jacuzzi facility, a health club, a luxury spa and gymnasiums.

Zaaaha Hadid’s “The Opus” © Omniyat

One attraction that lures visitors are the Dubai Fountains. As with the views form the Dubai Frame, there is no another way of viewing the fountains.  A brand new floating platform located within the fountain pool area provides the audience with a different perspective of the landmark sight. The 272-metre boardwalk takes visitors to within nine metres of the fountains and is open daily from 5pm and 11pm daily.

The official opening of Zaha Hadid’s ‘The Opus’ building will take place this month. The Opus is the architect’s only work in Dubai and is located in Business Bay. It consists of two glass towers linked by a ground-floor podium and a steel and glass bridge towards the top, with a futuristic void in the middle. The building, developed by Omniyat Properties, features 56,000 square feet of office space, a club, restaurants and a boutique hotel. Located in the heart of the Burj Khalifa District it offers  views of the Burj Khalifa,  is fully furnished with pieces selected by Zaha Hadid and is also serviced by ME hotel. But for many of us it will be a legacy to a significant architect whose early death must have robbed us of so much creativity.

If you don’t fancy climbing the Burj Khalifa’s 160 habitable floors but still want to explore the building, then a new, virtual reality experience may appeal.  It simulates the real-feel of scaling the building before embarking on a white-knuckle climb to the top of the spire. The simulation takes users to the very top of the tower before descending in a journey which can be completed in four minutes. A ‘mission commander’ reaches out to users as they ride the elevator on VR mode to the 160th level where they collect suction gloves to ascent the spire, before grabbing a parachute for the free-fall VR ride into the dancing fountains. The VR experience uses ‘room scale’ tracking technology that enables users to move in three-dimensional space and interact with the environment with motion-tracked handheld controllers. The pods feature a wind-effect, whereby the VR ride is as close to real as possible.

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