An indoor tropical forest with real animals, a Bob the Builder play house and restaurants by Michelin-starred chefs are some of the new attractions that will soon open at the newly extended City Walk, the retail, leisure and residential development between Al Wasl Road and Shaikh Zayed Road, spread across more than 900,000 square metres.
And hello, Hareem Al Sultan fans, a three-month large-scale exhibition, based on the Turkish TV series that has taken the Arab world by storm, is also opening on March 1.
Now open to the public, the extended space features 60 new ‘tenants’ that include shops, restaurants and attractions. The Green Planet, a first-of-its-kind “bio-dome” built to resemble a tropical forest, with more than 3,000 real plants and animals, will open later this year, said developer Meraas.
While fashion brands include everything from Karl Lagerfeld and Diane von Furstenberg to Coach and Tory Burch, a massive multi-floor store for shoes and accessories called Level Kids, based on the same concept in The Dubai Mall, will also open later this year.
Here are the top things to look out for at the City Walk extension:
The Green Planet: A tropical forest indoors? The Green Planet, which is all set to open later this year, is a “bio-dome” that recreates a tropical forest, complete with real plants and animals. The indoor ecosystem is meant to be an educational one, where everyone can learn about biodiversity, says the developer. A giant 25-metre tree, the world’s largest man-made ‘tree’, will be the centerpiece. For more, go to thegreenplanetdubai.com
Mattel Play! Town: This one’s for the kids. The 5,000 square metre attraction, targeted at those aged between 2 and 10, will feature five themed areas based on well-known Mattel characters: Barney, Thomas & Friends, Bob the Builder, Angelina Ballerina, and Fireman Sam. There will be live shows and what the developer calls ‘eduplay’ activities. For more, go to playtowndubai.com.
Hareem Al Sultan exhibition: Starting on March 1, Hareem Al Sultan: The Exhibition, will bring the hit Turkish TV series closer to fans in the Middle East. A look at life behind the doors of the Topkapi Palace, the large-scale exhibition will present the original decor, costumes and accessories used from the first episode, to those from memorable scenes. Visitors can see and touch the accessories, costumes and jewellery and smell the scents of the rooms of the palace. Hareem Al Sultan, based on the life of Ottoman Sultan Suleyman the Magnificent and his wife Harem Sultan, who was initially a slave, premiered in 2011 in Turkey and soon became a global sensation, with a massive following in the Middle East. For tickets to the exhibition, go to ticketmaster.ae.
Fashion: You’d think we in the UAE already have all the brands in the world. Well there’s a couple more that are making its debut at City Walk: There’s Belgian brand Essentiel Antwerp, known for prints and graphics; edgy New York label Rag & Bone and Italian label Flavio Castellani. Other shops that already have a presence in the UAE include Cath Kidston, the British designer known for her vintage styles, Diane von Furstenberg, Polo by Ralph Lauren, 7 For All Mankind, Armani Exchange and Coach.
Restaurants: Michelin-starred brothers Chris and Jeff Galvin, popularly known as Galvin Brothers, will be one of the many new tenants at the new City Walk extension. While their restaurant is set to open in the next few months, there are already a few new ones to try. New York City eatery Serendipity3 is now open. The cafe is loved for his desserts and signature Frrrozen Hot Chocolate. There’s also pastry shop Bubo, Farzi Cafe bistro and Brass Cafe.
Level Kids: The Level Shoe District concept, a multi-brand shop for everything shoes and accessories, is expanding. Level Kids at City Walk is almost done, featuring a massive multi-level shop for shoes and accessories. Because designer wear for kids is so underrated.
Geek Nation: Because we don’t have enough shops for comic book and video game lovers, Geek Nation is here. The pop culture destination is promising exclusive merchandise, limited-edition action figures, collectibles and all things geeky under one roof.