Artist impression of the L’atelier des Lumieres, an immersive museum that will project paintings on the walls and floor. Image by Claudine Colin Communication.

The dawn of 2018 brings with it new things to see and discover on your travels. Whether you’re in for a pleasant surprise upon a visit to an already familiar destination or are looking for that extra motivation to hop on over to a place you’ve always wanted to explore, these new attractions are sure to delight.

We’ve kept an eye out for some of the most exciting openings this year. With landmark museums and one-of-a-kind theme parks that will soon launch, we can hardly keep ourselves contained. Looks like we’re in for another great year of travelling!

Museums

L’atelier des Lumieres, France
Expectations are high for the first digital museum in Paris, the L’Atelier des Lumieres. Instead of exhibiting physical objects as per conventional museums, the new attraction will instead digitally project paintings on the eight-metre high walls and expansive open floor space. Taking the immersive experience further, visitors can also expect to wander amongst masterpieces created by artists such as Klimt and Picasso accompanied by original soundtracks that were created to complement each piece. The museum will make its debut in the French capital on 13 April and is expected to hold two exhibitions each year.

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Pieces from the old National Museum of Fine Art will be displayed in MUZA. Photo by Jean-Pierre Dalbéra / CC BY 2.0

MUZA, Malta
Timed to coincide with the city of Valletta’s European Capital of Culture 2018 designation, the opening of the new National Museum of Art, MUZA, is a significant milestone for the country. The museum will aim to increase visitor interaction through creating a story-based narrative and by hosting frequent events. MUZA’s collection will also include pieces from the exhibits of the now-defunct National Museum of Fine Art. The museum will be located in the capital’s old town, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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Scotland’s first design museum will be making new waves. Image by V&A Dundee.

V&A Dundee, Scotland
Come 15 September, Scotland’s inaugural design museum will be opening its doors. Named the V&A Dundee, the museum is a sister to London’s recognised Victoria & Albert Museum, which claims to be the world’s top art and design museum. Besides featuring works by local Scottish artists, the V&A Dundee will exhibit several collections with historically significant objects, display roving exhibitions and host daily design-focused activities. Situated by the River Tay waterfront and designed by the award-winning Japanese architects Kengo Kuma & Associates, the building itself also makes a pretty picture.

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Artist impression of the Grand Egyptian Museum, which will be the world’s biggest archaeological museum. Image by heneghan.peng.architects.

Grand Egyptian Museum, Egypt
Slated to be the largest archaeological museum in the world, the Grand Egyptian Museum will exhibit a variety of ancient artefacts from ancient Egypt. Expect to see the impressive full tomb collection of King Tutankhamun along with other never-before-seen objects, which you can learn about further through mobile phone applications and interactive stations built around the exhibition halls. Otherwise known as the Giza museum, the compound will also have entertainment facilities and gardens for visitors to explore.

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Expose yourself to experimental and modern pieces at the VCU Institute for Contemporary Art. Image by Iwan Baan.

VCU Institute for Contemporary Art, United States
One of the most anticipated art museums opening in the United States this year is the US$41-million-dollar (S$54-million-dollar) VCU Institute for Contemporary Art. Located in Virginia, the free museum will focus on experimental and modern works and showcase art from fresh artists. Other elements, including new media and live performances, will also be incorporated into the exhibits. The museum will begin accepting visitors come 21 April and its first collection, titled Declaration, will examine the influence of art on social change. 

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Theme parks

Artist impression of a steampunk-inspired ride at LVMH’s new theme park. Image by Jardin d’Acclimatation.

LVMH theme park, France
The renowned luxury goods conglomerate LVMH is dipping its foot into new waters with its plans to open a theme park. Inspired by steampunk, a design style that largely incorporates elements of 19th century steam-powered machinery, the theme park will feature 17 new attractions. High ambitions have been set for the new amusement park, as its board has made clear its aims to grow it into one of the country’s top three amusement parks. The attraction will be located in Paris’ Jardin d‘Acclimatation, and is set to inject new life into the historic gardens.

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Artist impression of the world’s only Twentieth Century Fox World theme park, which will be opening in Genting. Image by Resort World Genting.

Twentieth Century Fox World, Malaysia
The only Twentieth Century Fox World theme park has had fans waiting with bated breath for its opening since it was first announced. And with approximately 25 rides and attractions based on popular films such as Ice Age and Titanic, it’s easy to see why. Finally due to open this year after a delay, the theme park will be a welcome upgrade to the previous Genting Theme park, whose location it has taken over. The Skytropolis Indoor Theme Park, which will have 24 attractions geared towards children, will also open in Genting alongside the Twentieth Century Fox World Malaysia theme park.

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Artist impression of the Metropolis at the first Warner Bros. theme park in the world. Image by Warner Bros. World™ Abu Dhabi.

Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
One for the superhero fans, the new indoor amusement park in the United Arab Emirates’ capital will comprise of six different lands, including ones dedicated to Batman’s Gotham City and Superman’s Metropolis. The first Warner Bros. theme park in the world, the amusement park will also delight long-time fans by 
featuring old favourites such as Looney Tunes and Scooby-Doo. Take pictures with characters from your childhood, hop aboard one of the 29 rides or immerse yourself in the live entertainment.

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Artist impression of the expansive Shanghai Polar Ocean Park, which will have the world’s largest collection of marine species. Image by Haichang Ocean Park.

Shanghai Polar Ocean Park, China
Predicted to open in July, the whopping 300,000-square-meter park will include four marine animal zones, and will reportedly have the largest collection of marine species around the world. You’ll have the rare chance to see Arctic and Antarctic wildlife; add three theatres and 15 other entertainment facilities and the park is set to become one of the country’s most popular marine attractions. While you’re in Shanghai, you can also consider dropping by Shanghai Disneyland or the upcoming Hello Kitty Theme Park.

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Others

Surf day and night at this new facility. Image by URBNSURF.

URBNSURF Melbourne, Australia
Conveniently located in Melbourne Airport, the country’s first surf park will allow visitors to indulge in the sport all year long. With wave-generating technology and LED lagoon lighting, nighttime surfing is no longer an impossibility. The facility caters to both beginners and experts; opt for a class to hone your skills or just grab a board and ride the waves. You’ll also feel more secure letting your children try your hand at the sport in the controlled environment. An adventure lover’s dream, the compound is additionally equipped with skate ramps, playgrounds, rock-climbing and mountain bike tracks.

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Whoosh down one of the canyons with three others on quad zip lines. Image by Grand Canyon Resort Corporation.

Grand Canyon West Zip Line, United States
If you’ve always been awed by the magnificent Grand Canyon with its sheer cliffs and signature red rocks, you may enjoy this new way of experiencing the landmark. Not for the fainthearted, the Grand Canyon West Zip Line will allow you to soar approximately 305 metres above one of the side canyons. With quad zip lines, which allow four people to soar at the same time, you can easily admire the great views of the landscape together with your loved ones. The attraction began operating on 2 January so zip on down if you’re interested!

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Visit the world’s largest picture frame. Image by Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority.

Dubai Frame, United Arab Emirates
One of the country’s most impressive monuments, the Dubai Frame is a new attraction that literally acts as a picture frame for Dubai’s skyscrapers, including the famous Burj Khalifa. Consisting of two towers joined by a 150-metre-tall bridge, the landmark is undeniably a photographer’s dream. Take a stroll on the bridge to enjoy a panoramic 360-degree view of your surroundings or visit the museum on the ground floor to learn more about the city’s history. Visitors are now welcome to the attraction, which officially launched on 1 January.

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