Try something new: 15 fun new things to do in Dubai


From long-awaited openings to fresh dining spots, deals, and places to party, we bring you our monthly round-up of new things to do in Dubai.

1. Check out the new Museum of Illusions

Love trickery and illusion? Then you’ll want to visit the world’s biggest Museum of Illusions, which is opening at Al Seef on September 12. The museum will boast 80 interactive exhibits, including a vortex tunnel, rotating cylinder and an Ames room, where guests will shrink or grow depending on their position. Looks like the perfect place to snap a kooky new profile pic.

Museum of Illusions Dubai, Al Seef, opening September 12. Dhs80 adults, Dhs60 children.

2. Get your adrenaline fix at a new theme park

The wait is finally over: Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi theme park has officially opened its doors. The world’s first Warner Bros. branded indoor theme park is home to 29 rides and attractions based around six different lands, and more superheroes and cartoon characters than you can shake a cape at. It’s located on Yas Island, just a little over an hour’s drive from Dubai.

Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi, Yas Island, daily 10am to 8pm. Single-day ticket Dhs295 (Dhs230 for children).

3. See a film at a new licensed outdoor cinema

VOX Cinemas has opened a new branch in the movie-themed hotel, Aloft City Centre Deira. The rooftop cinema is licensed, which means you can enjoy a drink while catching the latest blockbuster on the big screen. It also has a retractable roof, so it can be enjoyed in all seasons.

Vox Outdoor Cinema, Aloft City Centre Deira. Dhs75 single seat, Dhs150 double seat.

4. Hit up a brand new ladies’ night

Fancy sipping bubbly at the city’s tallest bar with your girl squad? At.mosphere, the restaurant and lounge located on the 122nd floor of the Burj Khalifa, has launched a new ladies’ night that takes place every night of the week. From 9.30pm to midnight, pay Dhs120 and you’ll enjoy a bottle of bubbly and a selection of complimentary canapes. The sought-after window tables are first come, first served, so we’d recommend getting in early.

At.mosphere, Burj Khalifa, Downtown Dubai, daily 9.30pm to midnight, Dhs120. Tel: (04) 888 3828.

5. Book a table at a new restaurant

Bringing a slice of Mexico by way of Toronto to Dubai Marina is La Carnita, and if you like tacos, we’re pretty sure you’ll love this new joint. The industrial-looking restaurant and bar serves up a neat menu of Mexican street food, inventive cocktails, and seriously cool vibes.

La Carnita, Intercontinental Dubai Marina, daily 5pm to late. Tel: (04) 44254030.

6. Throw it back at a new bar

The House Party Bar is here to take you back to the 90s. Split into a series of rooms, you’ll find a games room complete with beer pong and table football upstairs, adjacent to the children’s playroom, where partygoers can dive into a neat ball pit. Downstairs, there’s a kitchen (where you’ll find the bar), living room, garden, bedroom and even a bathroom complete with tub and toilet. Served up alongside a cheesy soundtrack of pop hits, it’s a must-try for a novelty night out.

The House Party Bar, Fairmont Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road, Mon and Thurs 6pm to 3am, Sun, Tues, Weds and Sat 6pm to 2am, Fri 4pm to 3am. Tel: (050) 995 5400. @thehousepartybar

7. Indulge in sweet treats at a new Japanese bakery

Fans of Japanese baked goods have long been making the trek out to Al Ghurair Centre in Al Rigga for a taste of the sweet treats at Yakitate, and the good news is they’ve opened a second branch down the other end of town, at Ibn Battuta Mall. The bakery specialises in adorable character sweets like Hello Kitty buns filled with custard, and Pikachu cheese tarts. They’re also famous for their light and fluffy Japanese cheesecake.

Yakitate, Ibn Battuta Mall, daily 10am to 11.30pm.

8. Make your Insta followers jealous at a new unicorn-themed cafe

Dubai’s Al Wasl Vita Mall has just welcomed a unicorn cafe and we’re already totally obsessed. Unicorn Vibes is a cosy, all-pink cafe that comes complete with unicorn wing murals, a flower wall and whimsical furniture which wouldn’t look out of place in Alice In Wonderland. On the menu, you’ll find all kinds of magical treats, including a drink dubbed “unicorn tears”.

Unicorn Vibes, Al Wasl Vita Mall, Al Wasl, daily 10am to 10pm. Tel: (050) 555 0352.

9. Liven up your Friday with a new party brunch

The Dim Sum Disco powered by Candypants is the brunch that everyone wants to be at. Taking over Maiden Shanghai in the FIVE Palm Jumeirah, it’s a high-end, high-energy dining experience serving a sleek a la carte offering of sharing dishes paired with an array of beverages, and an up-tempo soundtrack of vocal house and commercial tracks spun by Dubai DJ Adam Graca. After brunch, a ‘Drunch Disco’ offers three drinks for Dhs100 from 4pm to 6pm.

Dim Sum Disco by Candypants, Maiden Shanghai, FIVE Palm Jumeirah, Fridays, 1pm to 4pm, Dhs395. Tel: (050) 220 4638. @CandypantsEvents

10. Or try a new brunch especially for pizza lovers

Not to be mistaken for the long-serving JLT outpost Jazz@PizzaExpress, PizzaExpress Live is a new serving of pizza-meets-music located in Business Bay. Their new ‘Fork It’ brunch promises a four-hour package of unlimited beverages, a starter buffet, a la carte mains and a set dessert, alongside live music, a DJ and an illusionist.

PizzaExpress Live, Doubletree by Hilton Bay Square, Business Bay, Fri 1pm to 5pm. Dhs199 soft, Dhs299 house, Dhs349 premium. Tel: (04) 5665722.

11. Make the most of a brilliant cheese and wine deal

Folly by Nick & Scott in the Madinat Jumeirah is one of our favourite spots in the city – during the cooler months, we love heading up to their rooftop terrace for a sundowner. And they’ve recently launched another great deal – every Monday, you can enjoy two hours of unlimited wine alongside a cheeseboard for Dhs295 for two. Perfect for a post-work catch up with a friend, or date night.

Folly by Nick & Scott, Madinat Jumeirah, Mondays, 5pm onwards, Dhs295 for two. Tel: (04) 430 8535.

12. Check out a new restaurant by a celebrity chef

Celebrity chef Todd English has opened his popular Food Hall concept in The Dubai Mall. Covering an impressive 12,000 square feet, there’s no less than 12 open kitchens inside, serving food from eight different sub-restaurants.

Todd English Food Hall, Fashion Avenue, The Dubai Mall, daily 10am to midnight.

13. Watch a film at a new 270-degree cinema

Another exciting newcomer to The Dubai Mall is a 270-degree cinema screen, ScreenX by Reel Cinemas. The unique cinema sees the panoramic screen wrap round the walls either sides of cinema seats, leaving movie-goers feeling like they’re inside the film. You probably won’t come here to catch the latest rom-com, but it’s perfect for high-energy, action-films.

Screen X by Reel Cinemas, The Dubai Mall, various timings, from Dhs68.

14. Try a celeb-favourite workout

The infamous Barry’s Bootcamp has opened its second DXB branch in Dubai Marina’s Trident Grand Mall. The LA-based fitness craze counts Kim Kardashian, Kanye West, Ellie Goulding among its fans. Barry’s signature red room is fitted out with a long run of state-of-the-art treadmills and lit like the Ministry of Sound, which leaves you feeling like you’re in a part-gym, part-nightclub.

Barry’s Bootcamp, Trident Grand Mall Level 1, Dubai Marina, Sun to Thurs 7am to 9.30pm, Fri 7.15am to 2.30pm, Sat 8am to 6.30pm. Tel: (04) 874 8476.

15. See K-pop and a Dubai icon combine

If you hadn’t heard of EXO before, we’re pretty sure you’ll know their name now. The Korean supergroup – considered one of the hottest boybands in the world right now – caused total mania when they came to Dubai earlier this year. Their smash hit, Power, was chosen as the first ever K-pop song to be used for a Dubai Fountain performance. It was so successful that the light and water show will play to the track for the entire month of September. Don’t miss it!

The Dubai Fountain, Downtown Dubai, daily at 8pm.

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