20 things to do in Dubai over the Eid Al Fitr long weekend

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This weekend will mark the end of Ramadan, and this means Eid Al Fitr, and lots of celebration in the city – as well as a four-day weekend! Can’t get away? Not to worry, there’s plenty to do across Dubai. Here are 20 things to keep you occupied over the break…

Thursday 22

1. Try an iftar with a view

Ramadan Nights at Rise are smack bang in the middle of the about-to-be-built development Dubai Creek Harbour near Ras Al Khor. From the marquee you get a great view of the Burj Khalifa and the Dubai skyline, and there’s iftar on offer (Dhs140) and suhooor (Dhs125). Listen out for Syrian composer and Qanun player Khalil Ghadri.

Dubai Creek Harbour (near Ras Al Khor – find directions here), sunset to 3am Thursday to Saturday. More info on website. 

2. Experience what its like to fly an A380

USA Sevens team v Emirates plane

There’s now an A380 simulator in Dubai Mall – you’ll get to buckle up and take the controls in a state-of-the-art flight simulator. You’ll choose your destination from 12 airports, and get to select a range of different flight paths and weather conditions. We’ll be choosing the option to soar over Hong Kong’s skyline at night (which will all be shown on the HD screens). Each session lasts 30 minutes.

Next to the Emirates Official Store, The Dubai Mall, Downtown Dubai, sessions from 10.15am to 12.15pm (Dhs325), 12.45pm to 10.15pm (Dhs375) and evening sessions from 10.45pm to 11.15pm (Dhs375). Tel: (04) 388 2915. More info on website.

3. Check out one last suhoor

Celebrate the final days of the Holy Month at Place Du Ramadan, a North African-themed pop-up suhoor in Alserkal Avenue. There’ll be a street café by Gossip, live music, fashion boutiques (pictured), inspirational talks and more. You can check out a night-by-night schedule here.

Warehouse 46, Alserkal Avenue, Dubai, June 21 to June 24, 9pm to 1am. Free entry. Tel: (050) 101 9757. More info on website.

Friday 23

4. Go out for a feast (and get a great deal)

Bazxar in DIFC has a seven-day promotion that starts today and runs over the whole long weekend. There are a bunch of deals – for instance, if you buy a burger you’ll get a free hotdog; buy two select drinks and get one free, buy four select drinks and get two cheeseburgers. There’s much, much more too, read a full list of the deals here.

Gate Precinct Building 4, Balcony Level, DIFC. 12pm to 1am Friday and Saturday, 8am to 1am Sunday to Thursday. Deals run from Friday 23 until Thursday 29. More info on website.

5. Go to a night brunch

Q43 in the Media One Hotel is offering a full-on brunch this Friday, but just from 7pm to 10pm instead of at noon. It’s laid back, with sharing dishes brought to the table. You’ll pay Dhs250 with soft drinks and Dhs350 with house drinks.

Level 43, Media One Hotel, open from 5pm to 2am this Friday, brunch from 7pm to 10pm. Tel: (04) 443 5403. More info on Facebook.

6. Adopt (or foster) a pup

This summer has been tough for the amazing people who help shelter abandoned pets, as there has been an overwhelming influx of animals. Help out one of those organisations, SNIFF, by visiting their foster and adoption day at Dubai Investment Park, which is running from 1pm to 5pm today. Even if you can just take in a dog for a few weeks it can really help out.

K9 Central, DIP 2 Dubai. 1pm to 5pm. More info on Facebook.

7. Appreciate poetry

Lovers of the spoken word should pop down to The Dubai Mall on Friday night to listen to some spoken word poetry performances hosted by Dubai-born poet Farah Chamma. You’ll find the performances in the Literature space of the 9Hijiri campaign in the mall (in front of The Souk) from 9pm to 11pm. 

The Dubai Mall, Downtown Dubai, 9pm to 11pm, Friday. Free entry. Those interested in performing should email poetry@dubaipoetics.com, or call (050) 358 5042. More info on Facebook.

8. Go see Peter Pan

The Courtyard’s free screenings of the British National Theatre’s productions continue this weekend with Peter Pan. Both little ones and adults will enjoy this show, which was directed by Sally Cookson and is a co-production with the Bristol Old Vic Theatre. It’s free to attend this screening, but spaces fill up fast so RSVP here.

The Courtyard, Al Quoz, 4pm Friday June 23 and 4pm Saturday June 24, free but RSVP essential (seating on a first come, first served basis). Tel: (050) 781 2257. More info on website.

9. Go on a crazy bike ride

Now in its fourth year, the Last Exit Summer Solstice Crazy Bonkers Ride Challenge has people cycling 180km, 161km, 100km, 38km or 58km. It’s not a race, it’s just a chance to get some kilometres notched up on the ‘shortest night of the year’ (although the race is actually two days after the solstice).

Al Qudra Cycle Path, near Last Exit, prices vary based on distance and age, race pack collection from 6pm, start time 7.30pm. More info and tickets here.

Saturday 24

10. Start your Saturday off with some Zen

This morning at the Sheraton in Mall of the Emirates there’s a free yoga session from 8.30am to 9.30am, which is then directly followed by an hour-long guided meditation by Suki Bains from 9.30am to 10.30am. (Yoga mats are provided.)

Sheraton Dubai Mall of the Emirates, Barsha, 8.30am to 10.30am. Free but make sure to reserve a space by calling (04) 377 2380. More info on Facebook.

11. Watch the Lions Tour

McGettigans Souk Madinat

On Saturday, you can watch the British & Irish Lions take on the All Blacks. Head to McGettigan’s JLT or McGettigan’s Souk Madinat Jumeirah to watch the game from the Lion’s Den Fanzone. You can even order a special Lions Burger or Kiwi Burger. Kick off is 11.35 Dubai time: perfect timing.

McGettigan’s JLT, Cluster J, JLT or McGettigan’s Souk Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai. Game starts 11.35am. Tel: (04) 378 0800. More info on website.

12. Eat burgers, and lobster

It’s likely that tonight will be the last chance to go to an iftar feast – and there is so much variety on offer. From the pop ups in Al Serkal Ave to opulent hotel feasts. One great option is the sunset meal at Burger & Lobster: the set menu includes a cheeseburger, a mini lobster roll, soup, a half-pounder lobster and chips, tres leches and a milkshake and costs Dhs119. (Note: this deal won’t be on offer today if it’s no longer Ramadan, although it’s likely it will be as Eid is predicted to be on Sunday).

Burj Daman Building, Downtown Dubai, from sunset, Dhs119. Tel: (04) 5148838. Taxi: Burj Daman Building. burgerandlobster.com

Sunday 25

13. Try a Japanese brunch

KYO Restaurant & Lounge, a slice of Japan tucked away on The Palm, is holding a special brunch on the first and second days of Eid. You’ll get a mix of eastern and western goodies – we loved the authentic matcha when we visited earlier this year. Book before June 23, and you’ll get a complimentary upgrade from the standard brunch package to the premium package (just mention “Eid Brunch Early Bird” in your booking).

KYO Restaurant & Lounge, Golden Mile 1, Palm Jumeirah, June 25 and June 26, 12pm to 4pm. Tel: (04) 557 5182. More info on website.

14. Absorb some Arabian culture

From Sunday June 25 to Tuesday June 27 there will be fairy-light-adorned canopies set up in Rimal in JBR where you’ll find Lebanese Zaffa dancers, LED marching bands, henna artists and more. The festivities are taking place at night only, so why not pop by after dinner?

Rimal, JBR, 8pm to midnight, free.  Tel: (04) 390 0091. More info on Facebook.

15. Hit up a pool party

Justin Bieber’s favourite beach club, Zero Gravity, is celebrating Eid for two days and two nights. Spend the days cooling off in the pool, and emerge in the evenings for performances from the club’s resident DJs. Entry is Dhs200 for daytime pool and beach access (but Dhs150 of that is redeemable on food and beverage). 

Zero Gravity, Al Sufouh, Sunday June 25 and Monday June 26, 10am to 3am. Entry is Dhs200 (Dhs150 redeemable in food and beverage vouchers). Tel: (04) 399 0009. More info on Facebook.

16. Spend the night in a greenhouse

Leafy green Dubai bar Treehouse Dubai has transformed into a Greenhouse again for summer, with a fully air-conditioned glass tent now covering the space. There are twinkly fairy lights and an outdoors feel, which makes it the perfect break from stuffy windowless bars.

Taj Hotel, Business Bay, Dubai, 7pm to 2am. Tel: (04) 438 3111. More info on website.

Monday 26

17. Book in a pool day

If you can’t get away for the weekend, why not treat yourself to a daycation so you feel like you’re on holiday for a few hours at least? Read about 8 deals to try here. There’s an opulent deal at Jumeirah Zabeel Saray: for Dhs590 you’ll get a 45-minute hammam experience or a 45-minute massage; access to the beach and pool; access to the spa’s wet facilities; a set-lunch at Sultan’s Lounge Private Dining Room and kids will have free entry to the Sinbad’s Kids Club.

Jumeirah Zabeel Saray, Palm Jumeirah. Dhs590 per person, from 9am daily, offer valid until August 31. Tel: (04) 453 0456. Taxi: Jumeirah Zabeel Saray. More info on website.

18. Visit a maths and science exhibition

A new exhibition opens in Creekside Park today called MathAlive! The exhibit promises to help kids get interested in maths and science with interactive activities that incorporate everything from space travel to football and video games. Tickets cost Dhs10 for kids aged two to 15 and are Dhs15 for those over 16.

Children’s City, Gate 1, Creekside Park, Al Riyadh St, 9am to 7pm Monday to Thursday and 2pm to 8pm Friday and Saturday, from Dhs10.  More info on website. 

19. See a fireworks display

Dubai Festival City is celebrating the second night of Eid Al Fitr in a classic Dubai way: with a display of fireworks over the Dubai Festival City Bay, combining pattern, colour and sound. Be sure to get there early to nab a prime viewing spot.

Dubai Festival City Bay, Monday June 26 (or second night of Eid), from 11pm, free entry. Tel: (04) 2085261. More info on Facebook.

20. Finish Eid with a lavish brunch

Cavalli Club will be hosting a special three day Eid brunch (well, at night, so it’s really a dinner) on June 25, June 26 and June 27. It’s Dhs299 for all you can eat food and drink from 8.30pm to midnight. Expect a party vibe.

Cavalli Club, Fairmont Dubai, 8.30pm to midnight, June 25, 26 & 27. Tel: (800) 2282554. More info on website.