You know that moment on a Thursday afternoon when your work buddy asks what you’re doing this weekend and your mind goes blank? Well worry no more, friends, because What’s On has the perfect solution, whatever mood you are in.
You may have noticed the Dubai Food Festival is currently helping all of us who shed the post-Christmas pounds pile it all back on again. To celebrate, we have pulled together a brilliant collection of lists to help guide you on your merry way around Dubai’s best dining options, starting here with the very best breakfasts in town.
Check out our guide to breakfast in Dubai, complete with plenty of other helpful nuggets of information, including health tips, recipes and handy advise.
Beach Canteen adds a new dimension to Dubai’s culinary scene
The Beach Canteen project, part of the Dubai Food Festival, sees 16 of the city’s restaurants serving up everything from sushi to tacos for 10 days from Thursday February 27, on three different stretches of coastline – Jumeirah 1 Open Beach, Kite Beach and Sunset Beach.
Foodies looking for a festival vibe should head to Jumeirah 1 Open Beach, which will have arts and crafts and picnic tables perfect for tucking into French crepes from Le Creparis, maneesh from Lebaneesh or buns from Roti Mum Café. For a more interactive atmosphere try Kite Beach, which will have DJs, table tennis and free yoga sessions, as well as pasta from Giolitti and contemporary Mexican treats from Loca among others. The set-up at Sunset Beach will take inspiration from the local region, with Arabic music, lighting, and traditional décor. Diners can take their pick from Barjeel’s Emirati options, sushi from Kyo Café, French fare from La Provence or Ines Paris, and the UAE’s own Raw Coffee.
Jumeirah 1 Open Beach, Kite Beach and Sunset Beach, Feb 27 until Mar 8, noon to 11pm. dubaifoodfestival.com
BE PART OF PETER PAN
Children of Dubai are being given the chance to appear in Peter Pan The Never Ending Story, dubbed ‘the biggest, most spectacular, most glittering, most technically sophisticated and most magical show ever staged in the region. A mix of theatre, illusion, circus, blockbuster movie and rock spectacular rolled into one with 50 dancers, stuntman, acrobats, magicians and actors from 10 different countries’. Auditions for places among the gang of Lost Boys and Girls of Neverland takes place at Dubai Mall, from 6pm to 9pm at Souk Dome ground floor. And Peter Pan and Wendy (who have their own magical story to follow) will be there selecting 20 kids to perform on the stage.
Dubai has a new green space to hang out and it’s right in the heart of Downtown and Business Bay. Known as The Bay Avenue, the new development offers visitors a place to relax, shop and dine, and launches this weekend with the chance to enjoy a picnic and watch a movie al fresco, all free. Other activities include yoga, face painting, puppet show, circuit fitness clothes and a stilt walker parade.
Bay Avenue, Business Bay, Dubai. Tel: (04) 391 1114. Metro: Business Bay. Taxi: Executive Towers. facebook.com/BayAvenue
CELEBRATE ST DAVID’S DAY
Reform Social & Grill
It may not quite resonate around the world in the same way as St Patrick’s, by the national day of Wales – known as St David’s – is a big deal for the Dragons of the British Isles. To celebrate, Reform Social & Grill in The Lakes are offering complimentary Welsh cakes for Welsh people (proof of nationality required) and blackboard Welsh specials of Leek soup, faggots and Sheppard’s pie throughout Saturday March 1.
The Lakes, Dubai, Saturday 8am to midnight. Tel: (04) 4542638. Taxi: The Lakes. reformsocialgrill.ae
Petrol heads take note, you have a new place to fawn over your beloved machines, and it’s called Cafe Rider Custom Motorcycles in Al Quoz. According to their own information, the ‘offer a platform to express yourself and an environment that reflects the creative culture that defines you. It’s a unique blend of motorcycles, specialty coffee and art that creates an exclusive lifestyle experience’. As well as the food and drink, Cafe Rider is the exclusive dealer of the acclaimed Brass Balls Cycles, and have the brilliant beasts on show around the place.
14b Street, just off Umm Sequim Road, Al Quoz. Daily 8am-7pm. Tel: (04) 321 4411. Metro: Mall of Emirates. facebook.com/caferider
TASTE OF PERU
Did you know that Peru was last year voted the leading culinary destination in the world? Well now you do. And those of you to have eaten at Toro Toro or The Act will probably concur. And this weekend you can get up close with some of the experts from the South American country, as part of the Dubai Food Festival, to enjoy experiences of traditional dishes, including ceviche, tiradito, causa, quinotto and beef anticucho. There will also be live musical stylings from Peru Andino, a prominent group of Peruvian musicians, and celebrity Peruvian chef Christian Bravo and his sous-chef will be cooking live and interacting with visitors.
Taste of Peru, Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai. Thursday February 27 6pm, Friday February 28/Saturday March 1 3pm. For more information visit jumeirah.com
PAUL VAN DYK AT SKYDIVE DUBAI
Dance music fan or not, there’s a more than fair chance that if you ask anyone with ears if they have heard of Paul van Dyk, the answer will come back “yes”. To most he is known as the overlord of electronic music’s most emotional and synthetically uplifting genre, trance. He’s also just as synonymous with one of said genre’s most enduring and widely appealing tracks in the form of 1998’s For An Angel, and though it very much defined the early years of the style with its over-driven 132 bpm kicks, arpeggiated synth lines and rich washes of carefully orchestrated melody, the German who produced it has accomplished so much more since.
Ahead of his appearance at SkyDive Dubai on Thursday February 27, we spoke to the superstar. Check it out here.
Zero Gravity, at Skydive Dubai Drop Zone, Dubai. Metro: Dubai Marina. Taxi: Zero Gravity. February 27, 6pm to 3am. Dhs180 in advance/Dhs250 on the door.
DUBAI FLEA MARKET
Get yourself down to Safa Park between 8am-3pm for the monthly Flea Market, where you can pick up any number of bargains… or even sell some of your own stuff (fill out the form here). You’ll find a wealth of second-hand things for the home, plus clothes, books, toys and knick knacks by Gate 4 of the green space.
Gate 4, Safa Park, Dubai. 8am to 3pm. Tel: (05) 28208671. Taxi: Safa Park.
THE BIG GRILL
This music and food festival, which is part of the inaugural Dubai Food Festival, on February 28 at the Emirates Golf Club will be headlined by UB40 with support from Diana King and No Mercy. There is also unlimited BBQ for ticket holders. Party-goers can expect ‘great entertainment combined with flaming barbecues and tasty steaks like the authentic Indian kebabs, Lebanese mashawis and an array of global tastes’.
UB40 are best known for their monster hits of the 1990s, ‘Red, Red Wine’ and ‘Can’t Help Falling In Love’, but do in fact claim to have charted in the UK with more than 50 singles, shifting more 70 million records. They have picked up Grammy nominations (Best Reggae Album on four occasions) and Brit Award nods (Best British Group) since their inception in Birmingham in the late 1970s. You can relive some of their best hits below.
Check out the interview we did with UB40 frontman Duncan Campbell, right here.
The Big Grill, Emirates Golf Club, Emirates Hills, Dubai, February 28 from 2pm, Dhs295. Taxi: Emirates Golf Club.
ENGLAND v SCOTLAND
Just don’t call it a friendly! The oldest rivalry in international football is coming to Dubai on February 28 in the form of a legends match featuring some of England and Scotland’s most familiar players. In the third installment of this exciting annual series at the JA Centre of Excellence, stars like Teddy Sheringham, Lee Clark, Andy Goram and John Collins will face-off in what was a match to first take place in 1872 in London (scroll down to see the line-up on that day). The Legends Game, which kicks off at 3pm on Friday February 28, is the main event on a day of football which includes your chance to enter a team into a 5-a-side tournament, which is open to all age groups and ability levels and costs Dhs800 for eight players.
For more information, visit facebook.com/events/
FARMER’S MARKET IN ABU DHABI
The Collection, the exclusive new retail and dining destination within the St Regis Saadiyat Island Resort, Abu Dhabi, has launched a new Local Harvest Farmers’ Market offering ‘a relaxed and fun community hangout for all the family and some of the finest products that the UAE has to offer’. The little piece of food heaven will feature farm fresh fruits, vegetables, dates, honey and other produce, as well as locally made arts and crafts.
Starts Saturday March 1 and runs every week 10am-4pm until the summer. saadiyattheresidences.com/en/
The new Thursday night concept at JW Marriott Marquis’ stunning club, VIP Room, continues its idea of broadcasting unforgettable live acts including artists, dancers, celebrity hosts and singers from around the world, with EXS from Italy.
VIP Room Dubai, JW Marriott Marquis, Sheikh Zayed Road, Business Bay. Tel: (052) 8818888. Metro: Business Bay. viproom-dubai.com
Meydan Racecourse will play host to the Oil Baron’s Charity Ball on Friday February 28 from 6.30pm. Inspired by a James Bone: License to Thrill theme, it is the largest and longest running social events in the industry… and this year they have soul singer Beverley Knight performing alongside local band The Maplejacks. As well as the usual entertainment, a live auction this year will include a signed jacket by Michael Jackson, microphone signed by Madonna, guitar signed by members of U2 , jacket signed by Tiger Woods and jacket signed by Jack Nicholson. All proceeds will go to The Friends of Cancer Patients Charity.
For information on how you can get your tickets, visit theoilbaronscharityball.com
TINA TURNER TRIBUTE
We’ve all done it, belted out the chorus to ‘Simply The Best’ at full volume. But with the original Tina Turner now 74-years-old, the chance of doing it as part of a crowd are sadly dwindling. But on Thursday February 27 from 8.30pm, you can join the best of the tribute acts to the legendary songstress when Niqi Brown takes to the stage at Millennium Airport Hotel. Performing on the hotel’s recently expanded Terrace – which can now cater for events up to 1,000 people – Brown/Turner will be belting out some of Tina Turner’s early disco hits such as ‘Nutbush City Limits’ right the way up to her later rock anthems ‘Private Dancer’, ‘What’s Love Got To Do With It’ and the old classic we all love to shout.
The Terrace, Millennium Airport Hotel, Garhoud, Dubai. Dhs250 with BBQ and selected drinks. Tel: (04) 702 8833. Metro: GGICO millenniumhotels.ae
THE YUM YUM ROOM
This weekend the Courtyard Playhouse will be performing this stunning portrayal of tense relationship between a 17-year-old, Tom, who wants to drop out of school and become a DJ, and his disapproving father. It explores the key issues currently facing youth and compassionately tackles themes of growing up, place and identity in a dramatic one hour play complete with an original beatbox soundtrack. Originally a hit in Australia The Yum Yum Room is a real story with a message which writer Stephen House believes is an important one that needs to be shared. The themes of bullying, finding your place in society, being ashamed of your past, struggling with single parenthood are all as current in Dubai as anywhere else. Everyone who comes and watches The Yum Yum Room will be able to identify with one of the characters: as a teenager, a parent or an individual who doesn’t always fit the mould.
Courtyard Playhouse, Thursday (8pm), Friday 6pm and 8pm, Saturday 6pm and 8pm. courtyardplayhouse.com
CLASSIC CAR FESTIVAL
The Boulevard in Downtown Dubai will ring out with the sounds of classic car engines all weekend as over 225 beautiful vehicles from time’s past are paraded at the sixth Emirates Classic Car Festival. Both cars and motorcycles will excite enthusiasts and amateurs alike from 2.45pm on Thursday February 27 at the Emaar Pavilion.
For more information, visit emiratesclassiccarfestival.com
GET READY FOR SCIFEST
Science isn’t all lab coats and bubbling test tubes – that’s the message from the team behind Dubai’s first ever science festival. With a fashion show, movie screenings, and even a murder mystery dinner lined up alongside exhibitions, lectures and debates, SciFest has as much to offer those who dreaded chemistry lessons as it does die-hard science buffs.
Festival director Rohan Roberts says SciFest is designed to have mass appeal. “For many people the last time they engaged with science was in high school, and they remember it as dull facts and figures,” he explains. “Science is so much more than that. When you look at things scientifically, the world becomes a very different place – a world of answers and explanations.”
Meydan IMAX Theatre, Al Meydan Road, Dubai, free. February 26 to March 1. Taxi: The Meydan Hotel. scifestdubai.com
Fresh from the success of his collaboration with Chris Brown on Show Me, LA rapper Kid Ink brings his body art and rhyming skills to Dubai for the first time. Here’s what he has to say for himself. “My passion for tattoos started when I was 16. I went and got my first tattoo with my mom, who took me up to the shop. She was like, ‘You can only go if I go with you and get something as well’. I’m going in the direction of just always wanting to make bigger music. The people that inspired me were just always trying to make big music, the Pharrells and Timbalands and Kanyes. I set my standards high.”
N’Dulge, Atlantis, The Palm, Dubai. Tel: (04) 4260561. Friday, 9pm to 3am. Taxi: Atlantis, The Palm. Dhs150, ladies free before 11pm.
Indie band The Coronas are heading this way for a Dubai hat-trick. The Irish lads have come a long way in five years, playing to audiences of 10,000 fans and picking up awards en route. Lead singer Danny O’Reilly spoke to our friends at Hype and said: “We’ve played in Dubai twice before over the last two years at McGettigan’s and the shows were great. This time they’re moving it across to a bigger venue in Almas Tower because the demand is so big, which is cool. Thanksfully we’ve had some time off each time we’ve visited. We’ve been lucky enough to go on safari, visit the malls, chill on the beautiful beaches and play golf. This time I really want to go to a water park. The weather’s horrible here in London so I’m looking forward to seeing some sun.”
Almas Tower (opposite McGettigan’s), Jumeirah Lake Towers. Dhs150. Thursday February 27, doors open at 7pm for the 9pm show. Metro: Jumeirah Lake Towers.
Get your drum ‘n’ bass and dubstep fix this weekend courtesy of South Pacific bass botherer Q-BIK. Did you know. He’s performed all over the world, from Hanoi and Miami, and Bristol to New Orleans. His strangest gig yet, though, was in a nuclear bomb shelter in Slovakia. Originally from New Zealand, where he started DJing, he’s lived in Perth, Australia, for the last seven years. He was nominated for Best Drum & Bass DJ and Best Local Tune at the 2009 Perth Dance Music Awards. When he retires from the world of music, he’s said he plans to race pigeons and enter barbeque competitions (although the two probably aren’t connected).
Casa Latina, Ibis Hotel Al Barsha, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai. Free or pay Dhs60 on the door, including two free beverages. Friday February 28, 9pm to 3am. Metro: Sharaf DG station. facebook.com/basswork.dxb