things to do in Dubai this long weekend

Here are 20 things to do in Dubai this long weekend

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It’s the freaking (long) weekend! Here are 20 things to keep you busy on what is sure to be one of the last weekends in which it’s still pleasant to be outdoors for any length of time. Enjoy!

Thursday 20

1. Learn how to bliss out

There’s a two-hour yoga workshop from 6.30pm to 8.30pm tonight that’s all about ‘decelerating’ and relaxing. Using therapy balls, you will learn how to explore the smaller muscles in your body that usually don’t get any love. What a way to prepare yourself for a blissful long weekend.

Naya Yoga & Pilates, Motor City, Dubai. Dhs200 (therapy balls will be loaned for the workshop, but if you have your own, bring them), 6.30pm to 8.30pm. Tel: (04) 551 6262. More info on Facebook

2. Sample the varieties of NZ wines

The Tasting Class holds events all around the city to help develop the nose of those keen on grape varietals and the like, and tonight at Bazxar in DIFC you’ll find a blind tasting of the wines from the different regions of New Zealand. For Dhs200 you’ll get canapes, and be guided through a sommelier-led tasting of six varieties. They’re also hosting an NZ and Aussie wine tasting at the Cocktail Kitchen in JLT on Monday night if you can’t make this Thursday.

Bazxar, Gate Precinct, DIFC, 7.30pm, Dhs200. Register here. More info and registration at cheers@thetastingclass.com.

3. Speilberg classics with a live orchestra

jurassic park

Film fans looking for new ways to enjoy modern classics, here’s one for you, 1993’s Jurassic Park and 1981’s Raiders of the Lost Ark are being screened at Dubai Opera this weekend, accompanied by the 21st Century Symphony Orchestra, who will play the scores (an Oscar-winning one in Jurassic Park’s case) live.

Jurassic Park: April 20 and April 21, Dubai Opera, Downtown Dubai, Thurs 8pm, Fri 3pm, Dhs150. Raiders of the Lost Ark: April 19 and 21,  Dubai Opera, Downtown Dubai, Weds and Fri 8pm. Dhs150. Tel: (800) 362. Buy tickets and more info here.

4. Go to a salsa night in the Marina

Fan of a hip swivel and a bit of footwork? Well, you can bailar the night away at Mazina in the Address Dubai Marina every Thursday and Friday night from 9pm to 2am at a salsa night. For Dhs50 you’ll get a free house drink and get to work with the professional instructor who will be there all night. It’s like a fitness class and a night out all rolled into one.

Mazina, The Address Dubai Marina, 9pm to 2am, Dhs50. Tel: (04) 436 7777. More info on website.

5. End the weekend with a barbecue

Nomad at Creekside Hotel

Here’s a bit of a hidden gem: there’s a no-frills barbecue at Nomad in Garhoud every Thursday night that will set you back Dhs250 with all the meat you could eat plus cocktails, wine and beer. It’s Dhs190 with soft drinks, Dhs95 for kids aged 4 to 11 and free for those under 4. Oh, and there’s a live acoustic singer there too.

Nomad, Jumeirah Creekside Hotel, Garhoud. 7pm to 11pm, Dhs250. Tel: (04) 230 8458. More info on website.  

6. Catch the last day of the ‘Live Our Heritage Festival’

At Mirdif City Centre today you’ll find a bunch of displays of Emirati folk arts and crafts. Ask the information desk at the mall where to find the performers and artisans, as today’s the last day it’s running.

Mirdif City Centre, Mirdif, free, until midnight. More info on website

Friday 21

7. Have a refined breakfast

A dinner at the chic and yet relaxed Demoiselle by Galvin in City Walk is genuinely one of the best meals we’ve had out in a while. The date and chocolate dessert is a must if visiting later in the day, but the elegant new unlicensed restaurant is also a great place to try for breakfast (and we spend a lot of our weekends deciding where to go for breakfast). The Oeuf Royal with salmon on an English muffin comes highly recommended.

City Walk (near the Roxy Cinema), 8am to midnight, daily. Tel: (04) 590 5076. More info on Facebook. 

8. Go see some local legends

The Boxtones took home the Best Band gong at this year’s Hype Awards, so expect a lively show when they take over the already-lively Lock, Stock & Barrel tonight.

Lock, Stock & Barrel, Grand Millennium Hotel, Barsha Heights, free, from 9pm. Tel: (04) 514 9195. More info on website.

9. Go see Shakespeare Under The Stars

Outdoor Shakespeare is a bit of an institution in many cities, and this weekend you’ll find it at Al Serkal Ave in Al Quoz. Even cooler is the fact that the production of Macbeth is set in modern-day Dubai (so it may be more relatable for many).

Al Serkal Avenue, Al Quoz, Friday and Saturday, 7.30pm, Dhs150 (25% discount with student ID). More info and tickets here

10. Celebrate Spring

We’re slightly less enthusiastic about Spring here in Dubai than people are in many other countries, but still, Springfest at Reform sounds fun. What can you expect? A lakeside day with live music, a roast, bouncy castle, face painting, a petting zoo and 40 craft beers.

Reform Social & Grill, The Lakes, Dubai. 5pm to 10pm, Thursday; 2pm to 10pm Friday and 2pm to 7pm Saturday. Tel: (04) 454 2638. More info on Facebook

11. Fall down the rabbit hole….

Nikki Beach Dubai is hosting an Alice in Wonderland-themed “Mad Tea Party”, complete with live entertainment, cocktails, and crazy costumes – look out for the White Rabbit and the Queen of Hearts as you’ve never seen them before. Embrace your inner Mad Hatter and party into the night.

Nikki Beach Dubai, Pearl Jumeirah. Friday April 21, 11am to 2am. Single sun lounger starts from Dhs300 including one soft drink and towel. For luxury daybeds (max three per bed), minimum Dhs2000 spend on food and drinks applies. Tel:(04) 3766162, email info.dubai@nikkibeach.com. More info on website.

12. Go to a games night (yes, including board games)

Is your idea of a great night out more Monopoly and Settlers of Catan than it is bottle service and queues at clubs? Well then you’ll want to go to the Recess Game Night in Business Bay tonight. There will be classic games, video games and some nostalgic competitions – running from 8pm to 11pm. It’s free to attend, and ladies get three free drinks.

The Backyard, Steigenberger Hotel, Business Bay, Dubai. 8pm to 11pm, free. Tel: (04) 369 0000 More info on Facebook. 

Saturday 22

13. Spend the afternoon at a new spot by the Creek

Check out Rise at Dubai Creek Harbour before it shuts for the summer – running from 4pm, there are a bunch of events throughout the day, including live music, food trucks, outdoor movies, VR pods, activities for kids and abra rides. Head down at 6pm today and you’ll find a special sunset yoga class by Melissa Ghattas.

Rise Dubai Creek Harbour (find location map here), near Ras Al Khor. Free, from 4pm to midnight today. More info on Instagram and Facebook.

14. Go see Russell Howard…

The smiley British stand-up is performing at Dubai College Auditorium this Thursday, Friday and Saturday night. Yes, he’s performing in a school hall (but it’s a Dubai one, so is sure to be fancy). Read more about him here.

Dubai College Auditorium, Al Sufouh, Thurs 8pm, Fri 8pm, Sat 7.30pm, Dhs295. Tel: (04) 4237980. More info on website. Buy tickets here.

15. Go on a nighttime adventure

You know that obstacle course in Mirdif? Well they’re hosting a night session tonight – that’s right, high ropes in the moonlight. It kicks off at 7pm, and for Dhs175 you’ll get a three-hour session, all equipment included.

Aventura, Mushrif Park, Mirdif. 7pm, Dhs175. Tel: (052) 178 7616. More info on website. 

16. Go to a really long happy hour

In celebration of the long weekend, Irish pub McGettigan’s Souk Madinat Jumeirah is stretching out its happy “hour” – for eight whole hours. From 12pm to 8pm, enjoy a selection of house drinks for Dhs29 each. You can also tuck into a traditional roast dinner with all of the trimmings (available all day) for Dhs109, and receive a free drink.

McGettigan’s, Ground Level, Souk Madinat Jumeirah. Open 9am to 3am. Tel: (04) 447 0219. More info on website.

17. Throwback to the ’80s

Thomas Anders, the lead vocalist behind the most-successful German pop duo ever, the 80s-tastic Modern Talking, is playing at The Music Hall tonight. If the 1980s was your peak musical era, then this is the night out for you.

Music Hall, Zabeel Saray, The Palm, Dubai. From Dhs350, 7pm to midnight. Tel: (04) 341 1988. Book tickets here.

Sunday 23

18. Check out a model-approved exhibition

Make up lovers can delve into the history of Dior Beauty at the Art of Colour exhibition in The Dubai Mall. Based on the book of the same name, the colourful exhibition showcases some of the House’s most iconic looks. It was launched in Dubai last week by none other than supermodel and Dior Makeup brand ambassador, Bella Hadid.

 The Dubai Mall Fashion Catwalk Atrium, April 15 to 23, weekdays 10am to 10pm, weekends 10am to midnight. Free. Tel: (04) 399 5777. More info on website.

19. Sing karaoke (for half price!)

Lucky Voice

From this Saturday until Wednesday April 27 Lucky Voice in Barsha Heights are putting on half price karaoke to celebrate National Karaoke Week (we weren’t aware the UAE had such a thing, but we’ll take 50 per cent off of private singing booths any day). Read more about Lucky Voice here.

Grand Millennium Hotel, Barsha Heights, Dubai, daily 4pm to 3am. Tel: (04): 4478010. Metro: Dubai Internet City. More info on website.

20. Try a new Thai spot in Tecom

Inside the new DusitD2 Kenz Hotel (that name certainly rolls off the tongue) you’ll fine a cute new restaurant called Wise Kwai that’s all about celebrating Thai street food. Note: It’s unlicensed right now, but the food’s worth it.

DusitD2 Kenz Hotel, near the Dubai Internet City metro station, 12pm to 3pm and 6.30pm to 11pm weekdays, 12pm to 11pm weekends. Tel: (04) 567 2247. More info on website.

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