This post is gonna be full of selfies. Lots of it actually. Why? Because RIVERLAND DUBAI is that awesome that you just want to take a picture of yourself with it in almost every corner of this newly opened attraction in Dubai!
Riverland Dubai is part of the massive project known as the Dubai Parks and Resorts which is something that has been a long time coming since the Emirate is quite lacking of world-class theme parks that could equal Disneyland and the like! Lucky us, Dubai Parks and Resorts has opened this November and all will be fully operational by December this year! Yay!
So what is Riverland Dubai? Riverland Dubai is actually a theme park within a theme park, smack right in the middle of Legoland Dubai, Legoland Dubai Waterpark, Bollywood Parks Dubai, Motiongate Dubai, and Lapita Hotel Dubai which are all within the Dubai Parks and Resorts grounds! You can consider it as a gateway to all these awesome theme parks but by its own right is a must see destination in Dubai!
Why? No.1, cause the ADMISSION is FREE! Yes, you read that right, admission is free! This was the first thing that attracted me to it since my family aren’t planning to go to the theme parks till my little brother gets here while on school vacation! Good thing I read about this “important fact” when I chanced upon a copy of READ Magazine in the metro! So since our family weekend day out schedule was still half full – stroll in the newly opened Dubai Water Canal in the morning (blogged here), and then have breakfast at Sofitel Downtown’s Les Cuisine – I’ve suggested that we go to Riverland Dubai and see what it’s all about!
Riverland Dubai is located, as I’ve mentioned, in the Dubai Parks and Resorts grounds which can be reached by just going south/Abu Dhabi bound along Sheikh Zayed Road. Once you’ve passed by the famous ENOC Petrol Station in the empty quarter of Jebel Ali, just keep your attention on your right and on the direction boards and you’ll see an exit that shows you the way to the Dubai Parks and Resorts!
IMPORTANT: Once there though, when you go there by car like us (which is also the most convenient means to go since it’s really far from Downtown Dubai), a Parking Fee would be charged (Valet – 150 AED; Or get your lazy ass and park by yourself fee of 50AED) which is quite reasonable!
We were lucky enough to be there early on a Dubai weekend (at around 12 noon – yes that’s early by Dubai Weekend standards), and we got parked in a spot only 3 minutes away from the entrance to Riverland Dubai – a massive gateway adorned with what seems to be Groot of the Guardians of the Galaxy (as my wife Jill first thought LOL!), but are, I think, some kind of water/river fairies of some sort. The mood was joyous with the background music playing and the staff welcoming you to the park with big smiles in their faces! I love that! Feels like Disneyland once again in terms of pumping good vibes in your fun-searching soul whether you’re a kid or an adult!
It feels like you’re in a different place other than Dubai altogether!!!
So let’s break this all down in What to See in Riverland Dubai by Zones! Alright?
India Gate is the first place in Riverland Dubai that you’ll see when you arrive from the parking entrance gateway – cause it’s quite colossal with its majestic piazza filled with casual dining restaurants that will whet your appetite or replenish your energy after your dream-like day in the theme park!
In the middle of it is a very beautiful and huuuggee sculpture of four hands doing some kind of hand gestures (I dunno what they mean though!)!
BOLLYWOOD PARKS DUBAI
When you move ahead, the India Gate leads you to the entrance of the Bollywood Parks Dubai with all its Bollywood feel!
But we’ll leave exploring Bollywood Parks for next time as we are here to explore the Riverland Dubai itself, so going along, we got to the much awaited…drumroll…
LEGOLAND DUBAI & LEGOLAND WATERPARK DUBAI
Legoland Dubai is a dream come true for me as I’ve always wished for a theme park like this to be opened in the Emirate cause Global Village to be honest get’s really tiring and boring after being here for almost 7 years now! Always wanted to go to Legoland Malaysia and I’m happy that I didn’t since we now have our own here in Dubai!!! Ever since I first heard that Legoland was going to open, the kid in me have patiently waited for this moment to be actually here!!!
Legoland’s gateway was huge (like the recurring theme for all gateways in Dubai Parks and Resorts are) with its signature LEGO-ey look! There’s even a huge LEGO work right outside with a dragon, a knight in armor, a damsel in distress and all!
Another chance to take a snap!!!!
Legoland Dubai is open but Legoland Waterpark isn’t unfortunately! Can’t wait for it to open though..Will there be Lego Pools??? LOL!
Boardwalk on the other hand transports you back in time to 1950s America with the street filled with the architecture, neon signs and everything that comes from the said era.
Not everything is open though (I guess everything will be open by December), but there is FUZZIWIG’s Candy Factory!!!
It is like being a kid again seeing candies that I used to love during my younger sweet devouring years especially Butter Finger which I wonder why I don’t see in groceries here in the UAE!
They even have candy products that come from classics such as Super Mario Products, Sanrio…
and PAC-MAN!!! Wohoo, got this uber cool arcade looking tin of Pac-Man Candies!!!
Aptly neighboring the Boardwalk is the entrance to Motiongate Dubai which is under construction. By the looks of it, it’s kinda a Universal Studio-like theme park…
Yes, I guess it’s a Universal Studio-like theme – see the Director’s chair? ha-ha!
Their website says, “Best-in-branded entertainment from three of the largest and most successful motion picture studios in Hollywood – DreamWorks Animation, Sony Pictures Studios and Lionsgate”.
I heard it will also open on December! Caaan’t wait!!
If Riverland Dubai is the heart of Dubai Parks and Resorts, the heart of Riverland Dubai will be the Peninsula which is an artificial island in the middle of the first man made river in a theme park in the whole world (Yep, that was a very long sentence!).
Unfortunately, it’s not open to the public yet but from afar you can see how awesome it is with all the 19th-century inspired buildings.
The Peninsula will be the center of festivities within Riverland Dubai due to its large outdoor venue and will be lined with restaurant and bars (oh, yeah!)!
The Peninsula is connected to the “mainland”, by huge arched bridges! We tried going up the bridges but the security said it wasn’t allowed yet..sigh..
THE FRENCH VILLAGE
Thought almost everything was not yet accessible???
Nope! The French Village is the main reason why I wanted to go to Riverland Dubai!!!
Walking along the banks of the Riverland Dubai River leads you to a superb medieval-themed French village – it’s as if you’ve entered a time portal! And it’s open to the public!
With architecture that places you in Hollywood movies about Medieval French life, the French Village in Riverland Dubai is a must see attraction in Dubai Parks and Resorts!
Complete with fountains…
Medieval French Houses…
A castle, ruled by Lord Havaianas!
Yes, it’s actually a Havaianas Shop LOL!
a rural stone bridge…
Stunning views from the riverbank…
And AUTHENTIC FRENCH RESTAURANTS such as…
and STARBUCKS LOL!
and many others…
But seriously, I would love to have an early morning breakfast at McDonalds and or Starbucks in this French Village Setting! Thanks to Riverland Dubai, I might in the very near future!
SHOULD WE GO TO RIVERLAND DUBAI?
My answer is very obvious! Yes, by all means, grab your family, your friends, whoever and head on to Riverland Dubai and might as well try out the theme parks that surround it! Riverland Dubai and Dubai Parks & Resorts Theme Parks are such refreshing places to see in Dubai and it guarantees you a relaxing, exciting and very fun adventure especially this winter season!!!
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