Riverland Dubai showcases multi-themed clusters such as France, Bollywood and American Diners Image Credit: Clint Egbert/Gulf News

Riverland forms the entryway to the three main theme parks of the 25 million square feet Dubai Parks & Resorts: Bollywood Parks, Legoland Dubai and Legoland Water Park and Motiongate.

No tickets are required to access this retail and dining destination which is designed like a theme park itself. 

Here are five things you should know about Riverland Dubai:

1. It’s massive

At 234,000 square feet covering four main zones, this attraction right in the middle of the Dubai Parks & Resorts is big. There will be more than 57 restaurants, including licensed ones, each fitting in with the zones. There will be banks, a spa and food and services kiosks. There’s also four event spaces, including three outdoor and a large indoor multi-purpose venue for celebrations, parties and meetings.

2. It’s free

There will be no entry charge to go into Riverland Dubai and you can stay as long as you like during opening hours, which are from 10am to 1am daily. You’ll have to pay for your food and drinks and when you go into the theme parks.

3. The river

A river runs through it. Yes, this 1km waterbody connects the entire zone, running through many of the 57 dining and events zones that will soon open. The meandering river is six metres deep and is 50 metres at its widest point. More than 188,00 cubic metres of water has been used to make it look like a real river. Soon, boats will be added to take visitors from one point to the other.

4. The zones

Riverland has been divided into four main zones: India Gate, close to the entry to Bollywood Park, which is designed like 1930s India; French Village, near Legoland Dubai, features Mediterranean-style dining harking back to Europe in the 1600s; Boardwalk, inspired by America in the 1950s, with restaurants to match; and The Peninsula, a live concerts and festivals zone along the river.

The Boardwalk (near the entrance of Lapita, the Polynesian-themed resort hotel, which is due to open at the beginning of December) will feature jugglers, live entertainment and neon signage all around, along with casual dining options and quick-service restaurants.

5. The location

Once the Dubai Parks and Resorts fully opens, this Jebel Ali destination is going to be the centre of a lot of action. It’s is approximately 45 minutes from the Dubai International Airport, 15 minutes from Al Maktoum International Airport, 30 minutes from Dubai and 45 minutes from Abu Dhabi.

Riverland Dubai opened along with Legoland Dubai on October 31, while Bollywood Parks and Legoland Water Park will open on November 15. The Hollywood-themed Motiongate will open on December 16.