15 things to do in Dubai over the long weekend

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Four days off? Fill them with fun stuff…

It’s an extra long weekend, and if you’re wondering how to spend it, wonder no more.

From Dubai Rugby Sevens to a massive EDM mashup, there’s some big festivals happening, to discounted tickets, dinner deals and free stuff for UAE National Day, we’ve got you covered when it comes to having the biggest and best weekend.

Here are 15 things to do in Dubai over the long weekend. 

Thursday November 29

1. See a host of EDM stars perform

A massive mash-up festival of Chinese culture and EDM music is set to land at Dubai’s Meydan Hotel this weekend. Brought to you by Envie Events (who put on other big EDM festivals such as Unite with Tomorrowland and Sensation), Bao Festival will bring more than a dozen EDM artists to the region, including DJ Mag top 100 heavyweights Martin Garrix and Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike. Dimtri Vegas and Like Mike will headline Thursday, while Martin Garrix takes to the stage on Friday. 

Bao Festival, Meydan Hotel, Meydan, 6pm to 3am, Thursday November 29 to Friday November 30. Tickets from Dhs395. dubai.platinumlist.net

2. Dine at the hands of a culinary mastermind

Chef Yann Bernard Lejard is known for his stunning culinary plating, and he’s in town for one night only this Thursday. You’ll be able to catch him at Le Cirque in the Ritz Carlton DIFC, showcasing a five-course dinner that promises to personify the union of food and art. The menu is priced at Dhs350 with soft drinks or Dhs588 with a wine pairing.

Le Cirque, Ritz Carlton DIFC, Dubai, 7pm, Thursday November 29, Dhs350 with soft drinks, Dhs588 with wine pairing. Tel: (04) 372 2323. ritzcarlton.com

3. Kickstart the weekend with a ladies’ night

The stylish Ba Restaurant and Lounge in Fairmont The Palm has a brilliant Thursday ladies’ night offering where ladies can enjoy unlimited drinks (including their fancy cocktails) between 6pm and 9pm for just Dhs99. There’s no need to book, but we recommend showing up early to nab yourself a seat with prime views of the Dubai Marina skyline.

Ba Restaurant and Lounge, Fairmont The Palm, Thursdays, 6pm to 9pm, Dhs99. Tel: (04) 457 3457. fairmont.com

4. Kickstart the weekend with an evening brunch

Kickstart with Thank Brunch it’s Thursday, the new Thursday evening offering from Media City loft, Q43. Running from 9pm to 12am every Thursday, expect free flowing drinks and a specially curated menu of crudites served with homemade pita bread, hummus and coriander dip, Salmon Ceviche, Salt & Pepper Calamari, Make-your-own Taco Towers and a sweet selection of homemade donuts, served with Haribo, chocolate and maple syrup and cinnamon sugar.

Q43, Media One Hotel, Media City, 9pm to 12am, Thursdays, Dhs129 soft, Dhs199 house. Tel: (04) 443 5404. q43dubai.com

Friday November 30

5. Dress up for Dubai Rugby Sevens

Whether you’re a rugby fan or not there’s plenty to keep you entertained, from food, music, prizes and of course the legendary fancy dress at the three-day festival, which kicks off this Thursday. As well as all the usual action both on and off the pitch, this year they’re introducing new activities as well as a dedicated music festival featuring a Britney Spears tribute act and Faux-Asis.

Dubai Rugby Sevens, Sevens Stadium, Dubai, Thursday November 29 to Saturday December 1. dubairugby7s.com

6. Tuck into a brand new breakfast menu

Famous for monster milkshakes and oh-so-instagrammable burgers, Black Tap is the restaurant chain on most Dubai instagram feeds. But did you know it’s also just started serving breakfast on weekends? Available at both JBR and Al Naseem locations, dishes include standard breakfast options such as avo toast but also some all-American types such as fried chicken and waffles.

Black Tap, Jumeriah Al Naseem and Rixos Premium JBR, Friday and Saturday. Facebook.com/BlackTapDubai

7. Party at a Pukka Up boat party

Party brand Pukka Up is known for its famous boat parties in European party spots including Ibiza and Marbella, but this weekend they’re headed to Dubai for the first Pukka Up brunch boat party. There will be on board entertainment, a jacuzzi and all your food and drink included from 12.30pm until 5pm.

Pukka Up Ultimate Brunch Boat Party, from Dubai Marina, 12.30pm to 5pm, Friday November 30, Dhs349. pukkaup.com

8. Tuck in at a brand new brunch

Travel around the world with the international brunch at Crowne Plaza Dubai, which has just launched every Friday. Choose from live cooking stations and an array of world cuisines from the buffet,  which includes Italian, Middle Eastern and Brazilian delicacies.

Crowne Plaza Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, 12pm to 4pm, Fridays, Dhs220 soft, Dhs320 house, Dhs420 bubbles. Tel: (04) 331 1111. crowneplazadubai.com

Saturday December 1

9. Ride a camel for free at Dubai Garden Centre

Surely, it’s worth popping along just to see camels roaming about at a Garden Centre? Besides the free rides, they’ll be Arabic music and cultural performances, free Arabic food and henna painting all happening on December 1. Plus, free face painting, a bouncy castle and UAE-themed arts and crafts for children to take part in.

Dubai Garden Centre, Sheikh Zayed Road, Satuday December 1, 10am to 2.30pm. Tel: (04) 5904333. desertgroup.ae

10. Celebrate National Day with a cultural festival

From December 1 to 3, The Dubai Mall’s promenade area will feature a large majlis, inviting guests to experience traditional hospitality with Arabic coffee and dates, Pearl Harvesting Displays and Falcon Displays. Families can also get complimentary Henna Painting done in a traditional or modern design of their choice.

The Dubai Mall promenade, The Dubai Mall, Downtown Dubai, 10am to 12am, December 1 to 3, free. thedubaimall.com

Sunday December 2

11. Make the most of the weekend with a party brunch


To celebrate no work on Monday, Drai’s are throwing open their doors for a special National Day brunch on Sunday December 2. The five hour all-inclusive package will run from noon until 5pm, although doors open at 11am so head down early to bag the best beds.

Drai’s, Gate B, Meydan Grandstand, doors open 11am to 9pm, brunch 12.30pm to 5pm, Dhs225 ladies, Dhs295 guys. Tel: (052) 388 8857. draisdxb.com

12. See a stunning fireworks display

You’ll be able to catch not one, but two fireworks shows at 8pm and 10pm on Sunday December 2 at Festival City Mall. Known for their extravagant National Day celebrations, Festival Bay will be kicking off festivities from 2pm, which will include traditional Ayala dance performances and a brand new light and laser show.

Festival Bay, Dubai Festival City, 8pm and 10pm, Sunday December 2. dubaifestivalcitymall.com

13. Drink free coffee

Park House is serving free Café Rider Roastery coffee at its Nessnass Beach location from 9am to noon on National Day.

Nessnass Beach, Jumeirah 3 (behind Sunset Mall), 9am to noon. Tel:(04) 2521565. parkhouse.ae

Monday December 3

14. Kickstart the festive feels with a tree lighting ceremony

The annual Christmas Tree lighting ceremony at Irish VIllage is one of the biggest and best festive events of the year. Taking place this year on Monday December 3, it will feature live music from two choirs, festive eats such as mulled wine and mince pies, as well as the small matter of turning the lights on on the giant twinkly tree.

Irish Village, Garhoud, Dubai, 7pm to 10pm, Monday December 3. Tel:  (04) 282 4750. theirishvillage.com

15. Kickstart your day with a hearty breakfast buffet

If you’ve got another day off, why not head out for breakfast. At Address Boulevard, breakfast runs from 6.30am to 11am, and features a hearty breakfast spread including  cold cuts, cereals, authentic American breakfast dishes and a selection of coffees and teas. It’s priced at Dhs137 per person, or opt for a la carte.

The Restaurant, Address Boulevard, Downtown Dubai, 6.30am to 11am weekdays, 6.30am to 12pm weekends, Dhs137. Tel: (04) 888 3444. addresshotels.com

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